Short Story Preview: New Regulations for Slow Play – Malcolm Allen
Slow play is a major concern to players and officials. The five to six hour round is not unusual in professional competitions and many clubs are
experiencing tedious, extended rounds in club competitions and the Sunday four-ball. The R&A has long been concerned with this unwelcome trend and in Section 1 of the Rules of Golf, Etiquette: Behaviour on the Course, their advice on Pace of Play is clear. Unfortunately, it is often ignored. The R&A have accepted that if they cannot persuade golfers to avoid slow play then they may have to regulate them. The new rules, if adopted, will be used in both professional and amateur slow play competitions.
Rules of Golf Appendix IV; Accepted Rules of Slow Play
All defined terms are in italics and are listed alphabetically in the Definitions Section.
Rule 1. The Teeing Ground
a. No slow player will approach the teeing ground until it is completely clear of other players. The initial approach will be made without a club or ball in order for the player to ascertain the direction and distance of the next hole. The player may then return to his bag to select the required club and a ball.