It’s no secret that pace of play is one of the biggest issues in golf. So much so that there are several rules changes being made in an effort to speed up the pace of play (e.g., time spent looking for a golf ball, the ability to putt with the flagstick in, local rules not requiring you to play under stroke and distance, etc.).
The 2019 Rules of Golf will also have a rule that specifically talks about prompt pace of play.
According to the USGA, Rule 5.6 will encourage prompt pace of play by writing:
- Players should recognize that their pace of play affects others and they should play promptly throughout the round (such as by preparing in advance for each stroke and moving promptly between strokes and in going to the next tee),
- A player should make a stroke in no more than 40 seconds (and usually in less time) after the player is able to play without interference or distraction, and
- Committees should adopt a Pace of Play Policy (rather than only say they may do so).
In addition, new Rule 6.4 will expressly allow playing out of turn in match play by agreement, and for stroke play, will affirmatively allow and encourage players to play out of turn in a safe and responsible way to save time or for convenience (also known as “ready golf”).