Rule of the Month
Order Of Play When Playing Hole. Rule 6-4
Pace of play, ready golf, order of play etc are all very hot topics at the moment.
The new Rules Of Golf encourage ready golf and emphasis is placed on maintaining an efficient pace of play. This is for everyone’s benefit.
There is however a bit of confusion as to when ready golf is allowed and when should the policy be adopted.
I get asked quite regularly about this at the Club so I thought a few pointers would be useful as we head into the colder, wetter…potentially ‘slower rounds’ time of the year.
In Matchplay, the order of play is fundamental; if a player plays out of turn, the opponent may cancel the stroke and make the player play again.
Players however can agree to play out of turn to save time and effectively play ready golf. If this agreement is made then the players forego the right to ask their opponent to play again if they have played out of turn.
Matchplay is a very different game to strokeplay, the tactics involved don’t lend themselves to ready golf so in Matchplay it is not ideal to vary the order of play.
There are however many other pace of play factors that still apply in Matchplay which can keep the game moving at a good pace.
In strokeplay there is no penalty for playing out of turn and players are both allowed and encouraged to play ‘ready golf’. This means playing out of turn in a safe and responsible way.
A couple of points to consider:
If a player whose turn it is officially to play is ready and able to play and indicates that he or she wants to play first, other players should generally wait until that player has played.
A player should not intentionally play out of turn to gain an advantage over other players.
Playing out of turn in a safe and responsible way should always be a priority.
Pace of play and ready golf are something that should always be in the players thoughts at the start of a round of golf.
It may not be appropriate to apply all the ready golf aspects discussed above as the format of the game may dictate otherwise but the responsibility for managing your groups pace of play should always be considered.