RECOMMENDATIONS & COURSE PROTOCOL
Below are some sensible tips and rules designed to ensure a reasonable pace of play at Limpsfield Chart.
Expected Pace of Play
- Limpsfield Chart, being a 9-hole course, requires the 10th tee to be reserved for players coming off the 9th green.
- We therefore have to set a pace of play for 9 holes in the tee booking system, not so easy when we have 2, 3 and 4 balls playing with varied abilities. Currently this is set at 1 hour 50 minutes, so an average of just over 12 minutes per hole. This is certainly more than enough time for a 2 ball, about right for a 3 ball but probably a little tight for a 4 ball, so it’s a compromise we keep under review.
- An 18-hole round is expected to take 3 hours 40 minutes. Anything greater than 4 hours is considered slow.
1st / 10th Tee Protocol
- Please do not tee off the 10th tee earlier than your allocated time unless nobody is due to tee off the 1st.
- Should you miss your allocated tee time on the 10th (slower than 1 hour 50 minutes for the 9 holes) and players are waiting to tee off the 1st they have priority. You then alternate with those using the 1st tee.
Shared Fairway Protocol
- The 1st / 10th shares a fairway with the 7th / 16th and the 8th / 17th with the 9th / 18th.
- Players’ safety and pace of play requires a mutual understanding. There are signs informing visitors but everyone need to know our protocol:
- Those teeing off the 1st or 10th have priority unless players coming up the 7th / 16th have crossed the clubhouse road, in which case they play to the 7th / 16th green before you tee off. If the players coming up the 7th / 16th haven’t crossed the road and players are waiting to tee off the 1st / 10th they should wait and not cross the road until all players have tee’d off
- The same principle applies up and down the 8th / 17th / 9th and 18th. Players waiting to tee off the 8th / 17th have priority unless players are waiting to play their shots to the 9th / 18th green in which case wait until they have crossed the road to the green. Players who are proceeding down the 9th / 18th should wait safely to allow those ready to tee off the 8th / 17th to play. Players who are proceeding up the 8th / 17th should wait safely to allow those ready to tee off the 9th / 18th.
Always be Ready to Play
- Be on the 1st tee 5 minutes before your allocated tee-time
- Do not tee-off before or after your tee-time (Rule 5.3a)
- Proceed directly to your own ball.
- Plan your shot and select your club when approaching your ball.
- Only take one practice swing, and prepare yourself while others are hitting.
- When in doubt hit a provisional ball.
- If necessary, encourage your playing partners to maintain a good pace of play.
- Know the Rules of Golf and our Local Rules, including those about out of bounds, penalty areas and lost balls.
Don’t Waste Time
- Even if starting after a gap in the field.
- Never record scores on or near the green. Count strokes and write scores at the next tee.
- Don’t leave a trolley or club bag in front of the green. Leave it to the side towards the next tee.
- Carry extra tees, balls and ball markers in your pocket.
- If safe to do so, encourage players on incorrect fairways to play through.
- Do not give lessons / instruction on the course. Reserve that for a practice session.
On the Tee
- The first player ready to play should do so as soon as it is safe.
- Encourage your playing partners to tee off as soon as they are ready. Except in Matchplay
- Other players should wait right next to the tee markers.
- All players should watch other shots to help pinpoint the position of the ball.
- After hitting, each player should return to their clubs and be ready to proceed to their ball.
On the Green
- Leave golf bags / trollies / buggies beside the green in line with the next tee.
- Study the line, slope, grain, etc before it is your turn.
- Leave flagstick in the hole.
- Encourage your playing partners to putt, if they are ready to do so.
- Follow continuous putting rules until holed out, unless restricted by another player’s line.
- When the first player is finished putting, they should proceed to the next tee (without disturbing the other players yet to putt). There is no point three people standing around doing nothing especially if the group needs to catch up.
Making a Stroke
- A player should make a stroke in no more than 40 seconds after they are able to play without any interference or distraction. A player should be able to play more quickly than that and is encouraged to do so.
- Rule 6.4b (2): Playing out of Turn in a Safe and Responsible Way (“Ready Golf”)
- Players are both allowed and encouraged to play out of turn in a safe and responsible way, unless playing matchplay.
- Quite simply, Ready Golf is a common-sense approach to play the ball when ready:
- Dismiss all honours.
- Don’t wait for others before approaching the tee and hitting.
- Proceed to your ball as quickly as possible.
- Play the ball as soon as it is safe to do so.
- You are allowed a maximum time of 3 minutes to find your ball before it must be declared lost.
- Currently the coronavirus rules have reduced this time to 1 minute.
Alternative to Provisional Ball
- Our local rules provide an alternative to a provisional ball.
- When a player’s ball has not been found or is known or virtually certain to be out of bounds, the player may proceed as follows rather than proceeding under stroke and distance.
- For 2 penalty strokes, the player may take relief by dropping the original ball or another ball in the point where the original ball is estimated to have come to rest on the course or last crossed the edge of the course boundary to go out of bounds. The relief area must not be nearer the hole and within two clubs length of the edge of fairway.
- This option to take relief is not available if the player has played another ball provisionally under stroke and distance rule 18.3.
Following this guidance is proven to save time so ensuring all players enjoyment.