Rules and Rants

The R&A hosts industry forum to discuss pace of play

St. Andrews, Scotland – The R&A is conducting an industry forum in St Andrews this week to examine the issues surrounding pace of play and the time it takes to play golf.

The Time for Golf conference, which is taking place today and tomorrow, will bring together representatives of national affiliated bodies with figures from some of the key organisations involved in administering the sport to discuss factors such as the golf course, management and player behaviour.

Dale Jackson, chair of Golf Canada’s Rules Commitee, is there representing Canada.

The conference follows on from the results of an extensive pace of play survey conducted by The R&A between September 2014 and March 2015 that attracted more than 56,000 responses from 127 countries.

Among the key findings of the survey were that, while 70% of golfers are largely satisfied with the duration of their rounds, 60% expressed the view that they would enjoy golf more if they played in less time.

The forum is part of The R&A’s ongoing effort to identify ways to reduce the time it takes to play golf, and will provide an opportunity for industry partners to contribute their views and discuss potential solutions. One of the initial outcomes of the conference will be a set of guidelines on ways to improve pace of play that delegates will help finalize before distribution in spring 2016.

“We know that the time it takes to play golf is one of the barriers preventing many people from getting involved in the sport,” said Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A.

“It isn’t a problem that we can solve overnight, but it is clear that we must focus on making golf more enjoyable to play and watch. The Time for Golf conference is an opportunity to bring together representatives from some of the key organizations around the world to identify potential changes that can be made to improve the experience of playing golf, spectating at a live event or viewing the sport on television.”

The results of The R&A pace of play survey are available for download here.