In April 2020 a new pace-of-play policy goes into effect on the PGA Tour.
In general, the new policy increases fines significantly and players will incur slow-play penalties in a more timely manner than previously.
The main elements of this new policy are:
- Focus will be on each player individually (rather than only on the group).
- There will be an “Observation List” (non-public), on which slow players will be. Players can be timed, and if they get one “bad time” (i.e. they use too much time for a stroke), they will receive a warning. If they get a second “bad time” in the same round, they will then incur a one-stroke penalty.
- Under the upcoming pace-of-play policy players will more easily incur a slow-play penalty. As of today, slow-play penalties are incurred only for the second “bad time” during a round – as of April this year, there will be a penalty for the second “bad time” during a tournament.
- If a player gets a “bad time” Thursday and another one Saturday (in the same tournament), he/she will not incur any penalty as of today. But in April he/she will.
- A new term called “Excessive Shot Times” (EST) has been introduced. This simply means that a player who without any valid/good reason uses more than two minutes for a stroke will get a warning/fine. Thus, each EST during a season will result in:
- First EST: A warning.
- Second EST: A fine of $10,000 US.
- Third and each subsequent EST: A fin of $20,000 US.
-> READ THIS: Will slow play ever end?
In addition, the current fines will increase as of April:
- Under the current policy, a player will incur a $5,000 US fine for the second “bad time” in a season. Under the new policy, the fine will be $50,000 US.
- Under the upcoming new policy, a player will incur a fine for being timed (even if it does not result in a “bad time”) – being timed 10 times during a season will e.g. cost the player a $50,000 US fine.
You can read more about the new pace-of-play policy in this article from Golf. com.
It will be interesting to see if this new policy will be implemented in “real life”; in other words, whether or not the rules officials will begin handing out “bad times” and penalties to the slow players – and whether or not these players then will begin playing faster.
We will see about that in RBC Heritage in April :-).