2023 Pace of Play: 4 checkpoint policy - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

2023 Championship Pace of Play Policy – 4 checkpoint


The following Policy will be in effect at the following events: BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship, Christman Cup, Four-Ball Championship, Junior Boys’ Championship, Marston Cup, Middle-Amateur Championship, Open Championship, Patterson Cup, Senior Amateur Championship, and all USGA Qualifiers.

Players should play at a prompt pace throughout the round. Players are both allowed and encouraged to play “ready golf” in a safe and responsible way (Rule 6.4b) and should make a stroke in 40 seconds or less. (Rule 5.6b)


The Committee will designate four (4) holes on the course as pace of play checkpoint holes. When a group has been notified by a checkpoint official of a missed checkpoint (out of position), the group is expected to regain its position.

Maximum Allowable Time

Maximum allowable time is the MAXIMUM time considered necessary by the Committee for a group to complete its round. This is expressed in a per-hole and aggregate time format on the player’s scorecard.

Out of Position

A group is out of position when it:

  • Takes more than the maximum allowable time to finish a checkpoint hole and
  • Completes play of that checkpoint hole more than 14 minutes after the group in front of them.

A hole is complete when the ball of the last player in the group to hole out has been removed from the hole.

The first group(s) of each wave is measured only against maximum allowable time until they are within 14 minutes of the group in front of them.

Group out of Position – Monitored by a Rules Official

  • Any group that is out of position may be monitored by a Rules Official who may individually time strokes made by a player(s).
  • Bad times (see below) and other information gathered at any time, including extensive rulings, will be considered during the review process. 
  • Regardless of position, if the Pace of Play Committee determines that a player(s) in the group is delaying play of their group, following groups, or the competition in general:
  • The player(s) may be spoken to by a Rules Official.
  • The penalty for a breach of Rule 5.6a (Unreasonable Delay of Play) may be applied.
  • Any player(s) concerned about another player(s) in the group should request a Rules Official to monitor the group.

 Timing / Bad times 

• If the group misses a checkpoint, bad times will be considered when determining penalties. 

• Each player is permitted a maximum of 40 seconds to make a stroke. A player is considered to have made a bad time only when the player exceeds 40 seconds, plus an additional 10 percent timing margin. 

• The timing of a player’s stroke begins when it is the player’s turn to play without interference or distraction. Time spent determining yardage and other conditions, such as wind, will count as time taken for the stroke. 

  • On the putting green, the actions allowed under Rule 13.1 are not included in the timing of a player’s stroke, provided the player is not unreasonably delaying play. However, time spent surveying the line of play from any angle will count as time taken for the stroke. 

• A player may inquire about their bad times at any point during the round. 

 Missed Checkpoints (Penalties) 

The following penalty structure applies for players in a group that have missed one or more checkpoints: 

  • 1 missed checkpoint – warning 
  • 2 missed checkpoints – one (1) penalty stroke 
  • 3 missed checkpoints – additional two (2) penalty strokes 
  • 4 missed checkpoints – disqualification

If a group misses multiple checkpoints but finishes the round under their maximum allowable time, the group is still liable to a penalty. 

Any penalty strokes that are to be applied to a player(s) score are applied on the checkpoint hole(s) where they became liable to a penalty.

 Review Process 

Pace of Play reviews will not take place during the round. The Pace of Play Committee will review missed checkpoints in the scoring area only (before scorecards are returned) and make a final determination whether penalties will be assessed.