Pace of Play Guidelines

All players should take responsibility to ensure every member in the group is following the SECGT Pace of Play guidelines.
  • Realize the group is “on the clock” as soon as they play from the teeing ground on the first hole.
  • Play ready golf throughout the entire round.
  • The first person to complete each hole should immediately go to the next tee and is expected to be the first person to tee off. The second person to finish should replace the flagstick.
  • When spotters, officials or parents are available to help search for a potentially lost ball, the SECGT recommends that players go forward to play his next shot or shots and hold the group’s position on the golf course.


Overall time par is the amount of time in which the SECGT Tournament Committee expects all players to complete a round. This will be expressed on a per-hole basis and an overall time for 18 holes. In part, time par is established with the understanding that 45 seconds or more to play a shot without distractions is excessive.
  • A group’s time begins when a member of the group has played a stroke from his starting teeing ground.
  • Checkpoint times are measured when the flagstick is replaced in the hole after all players in the group have holed out.
  • The SECGT Tournament Committee may adjust time par between tournament rounds.


"Out of position” is defined as:
  • Failure to complete the hole being played in less than the time established by the Committee after the group immediately ahead put the flagstick in on that hole (i.e. 14 minutes is defined as 14:00:00).
* The first group(s) of the day is judged only against time par until they get into position with any group ahead of them.


  • Bad times: A player has recorded a bad time when he has taken in excess of 45 seconds to play a shot once it is his turn to play and there are no distractions. Players will be notified of the number of bad times they have committed when they receive their first red card.
  • A one-stroke penalty may be assessed to each member in the group  or one-stroke penalty will be assessed to any player with multiple bad times (minimum of three) or the player responsible for the slow play.
Penalties will be confirmed with the group by an SECGT Rules Official and verified in the scoring area.

Undue Delay

  • If a player records five (5) bad times during the round, he will receive a one-stroke penalty for undue delay. Players will be warned after receiving three (3) and four (4) bad times.
  • The player will receive another penalty stroke if he records two (2) or more additional bad times.


Listed are factors the SECGT takes into consideration in creating a fair time par at each event:
  • Difficulty and length of course / walks between holes
  • SECGT Pace of Play history for course
  • Conditions of competition


The following tips will enhance your tournament experience and can keep your group in good position during your round.
  • Show identifying marks on your golf ball to fellow competitors.
  • Get your yardage before it is your turn to play.
  • Read your putt before it is your turn to play.
  • Recognize when someone will need the flag tended or your ball marked.
  • Get to your next shot without delay. It is more important what you do between shots than during.
  • Be aware of who is away. If you're not sure, ask.
  • Know where your group is in relation to the group in front of you.
  • Anyone can search for a lost ball. Have your parents and spectators one shot ahead of your group to spot errant shots.
  • If a ball is not found after a brief search, the fellow competitors should go forward and play their shots to the green and let the player and spectators continue the search.
  • If your ball might be lost outside a water hazard or out of bounds, play a Provisional Ball (Rule 27-2).
  • If a situation arises and you do not know how to proceed, play a second ball under Rule 3-3 and continue play (stroke play only). You must report the facts to the SECGT staff afterwards regardless of score.
  • Place golf bag off the putting green near the next teeing ground. This avoids holding up the following group to hit while a player retrieves their golf bag from the front of the green.