The Michigan Players Tour recognizes the problem of slow play has become a detriment to the sport at all levels. In order to do its part in combating the problem, the Tour has adopted the "checkpoint" pace of play policy, which is described as follows:
Establishment of Checkpoints On The Course
Prior to the beginning of a Tour event, the Tour will determine several checkpoints on the tournament course at which pace of play will be measured. These checkpoints will be determined based on the layout of the course, the number of available marshals, and the proximity of the checkpoints to the clubhouse. The number of checkpoints may vary depending on the course.
Once checkpoints are established, the Tour will determine the number of minutes it should take any group to arrive at the checkpoint from the first tee. Among the factors which will be considered in determining this number is the severity of the course and the likelihood of players to lose golf balls and conduct searches in the course of play.
The location of checkpoints and the time required to reach them will be published prior to the event and distributed to players prior to each round in a Pace of Play handout.
Players will be considered to have arrived at a checkpoint when the player with the honor steps onto the tee box. A group will be deemed late to the checkpoint if the player with the honor steps onto the tee box one full minute after the designated time.
It will be the responsibility of players to possess and synchronize a timepiece to the official time kept by the tournament course to measure their pace of play.
Responsiblity of the First Group to Tee Off
The first group to tee off in any round is given primary responsibility to maintain the required pace of play. The first group will be considered in breach of this policy if they exceed the time allotted to reach each checkpoint as detailed in the Pace of Play handout provided to players before the round.
The first time the first group exceeds the allotted time to reach any of the established checkpoints, the group will be given a warning.
Should the first group arrive late at any subsequent checkpoint after being warned, each player in the group will receive a one shot penalty.
Should the group arrive late at any subsequent checkpoint after receiving the one shot penalty, each player in the group will receive a two shot penalty.
Responsibilities of Following Groups
Groups teeing off after the first group will be considered in breach of this policy if they exceed the time allotted to reach each checkpoint as detailed in the Pace of Play handout. If previous groups are delayed and the designated time cannot be met, the group will be in breach if it arrives at the checkpoint more than 15 minutes after the previous group.
Note -- If previous groups are ahead of the designated pace, the group will not be in violation if they arrive at the checkpoint at or before the time established for their group in the Pace of Play handout, even if it is more than 15 minutes after the previous group.
The first time the group exceeds the applicable time, the players will receive a warning.
The second time the group exceeds the applicable time, each player in the group will receive a one shot penalty. Additional breaches will result in two shot penalties.
If it can be determined an individual player in a group is responsible for the failure of the group to arrive at a checkpoint at the designated time, the members of the group may appeal any penalties assessed. Any appeal of a penalty must be referred to the PGA Professional of the tournament course in charge of rulings immediately upon completion of a round. The group will be interviewed by the Professional to determine if the claim is valid.
The PGA Professional's decision shall be final. If the group in question does not appeal immediately upon conclusion of the round, any penalties shall stand.
In the administration of these pace of play guidelines, neither the Tour staff, its designees, nor the host PGA Professional in charge of rulings shall tolerate abuse, oral or otherwise, by a player. Such abuse may constitute conduct unbecoming a professional and possible termination from Tour membership without refund.
Tips for Maintaining Reasonable Pace of Play
The last thing the Tour desires in maintaining pace of play is for players to have their day ruined by receiving penalty strokes for slow play. On the other hand, courses have a business to run, and if the Tour cannot maintain reasonable pace of play, the course will be reluctant to host events for the Tour in the future.
In order to keep play moving, please consider the following suggestions:
1. Players hitting balls towards out of bounds or hazards should play a provisional (if applicable) to eliminate the need to return to the point where the original ball was played.
2. If any question arises about how to proceed under the Rules, proceed according to Rule 3.3 (Doubt as to Procedure). Play a second ball, and report to the Professional in charge of rulings immediately after the round.
3. Finally, if your group gets behind, allow other players to play when ready even if you are away. Although the order of play (farthest ball from the hole plays first) is part of the heritage and etiquette of the game, it is more important to maintain pace of play when your group is behind.
It is hoped these tips will aid in keeping things moving.
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