USGA Pace System
How To Take The USGA Pace Rating & Run With It
To get off to a quick start with the USGA Pace Rating, the USGA encourages your Pace of Play Committee to consider the following:
Pace of First 5 Holes Is Critical
If players experience a significant delay within the first five holes, their expectations for fast play are seriously diminished. Enhance the playability of the opening holes by mowing the rough, trimming trees, and removing brush. And, by all means, start players off with ample intervals between groups. If you can avoid backups on a par 3 that occurs within the first five holes, you will increase the possibility that groups throughout the day will achieve Pace Rating. For more information on course set-up and management, see the chapter that begins on page 33.
Use Time Pars To Discover and Analyze Back Ups
Once you know your time pars, record the actual playing times on each hole and study possible reasons for delay. Make changes in the playability of the troublesome holes to eliminate the causes of slow play. For example, if you notice that players are losing time on a hole because of lost balls or out of bounds, take corrective action. You can place a sign on the tee suggesting that players promptly play a provisional ball and limit their search for a lost ball to no more than five minutes; or you can trim underbrush and rough; or you can point tees away from severe trouble; or you can station a ranger at the tee to advise players which direction to hit, to play a provisional, or to function as a forecaddie. In sum, use time par as an analytic tool for discovering troublesome holes and taking remedial steps to speed up play on those holes. See the example of Poppy Hills Golf Course on page 14.
Couple Pace Rating With Fast-Play Tips and On-Course Aids
New golfers and slow players need advice on what it means to be ready to hit when it's their turn. This means providing tips on watching the ball, determining distance to the green, and carrying several clubs to the landing area; hitting as soon as it's safe to hit; placing extra clubs on the far side of the green next to the following tee; minimizing trips to and from the cart; sharing the cart driving so that the passenger is always the person who is to hit next. Tips such as these can accompany advice related to rules (such as when to play a provisional ball) and etiquette.
On-course aids, such as clocks, signs, and in-cart computer displays can furnish reminders of the course's pace of play standards. Rangers and marshals can also give help, oversight, and fast-play tips throughout the round. The chapter that begins on page 15 lists products, services, and consultants on which your Pace of Play Committee can call for help with implementing the USGA Pace Rating at your course.