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Slow Play


MEGS has declared war against SLOW PLAY.

For a typical golf course, the maximum time allowed is as follows:
8 minutes for a Par 3 hole,
12 minutes for a Par 4 hole and
16 minutes for a Par 5 hole.

You and players of your flight should always keep the flight in front in sight. If the flight in front is gone out of sight, your flight is most likely slow play. That means, someone in your flight is slow play.

Any good golfer should realize that SLOW PLAY is a crime. The reason is very simple. If you are late by 1 minute, you are actually killing 1-minute’s time of EACH of the players behind you. So if there are 40 players (which is very common) following you, you are wasting 40 minutes of other peoples’ time. If you are 2 minutes late, you are wasting over an hour of other peoples’ time. More than that is the players of the same flight who want to catch up the group in front would try to play quicker than their norm and the result is always that, this player has a ruined game.

Some golf clubs have very strict rules to limit slow play. They will have marshals to push you to speed up, or to ask you to skip playing one or more holes ahead in order to catch up. Even worse, some may ask you to leave the course immediately.

Some tournaments penalize the slow players by adding strokes to their scores according to the time delay.

In our recent tournaments, we have experienced serious time delay in completing the rounds. This caused extensive delay in the subsequent programmes. We have also received complaints from the golf course’s management. Therefore, it is necessary to introduce strict requirements against SLOW PLAY.


Complaint and verbal reminder

Any MEGS member while in a round of the event held by MEGS considers another MEGS member playing slow, he may urge that player to play faster. If that player doesn’t improve his pace during that round, the member can serve a verbal complaint to any member of the Committee after the event. The slow play member will receive a mild verbal reminder from the Committee. This verbal reminder will be recorded in the Committee Meeting Minutes with the alleged slow play member’s name but keep the complainant anonymous.

Slow Play Brigade first evaluation round

The Committee would arrange the alleged slow play member into a flight with one of the Committee’s Slow Play Brigade member appointed by the Committee in his next event joined. If the Committee’s Slow Play Brigade member considers the alleged slow play member is not slow play. His status will be resumed normal and recorded in the Committee Meeting Minutes.

Consequences if identified slow play

If the Committee’s Slow Play Brigade member also considers the alleged slow play member is really slow play, a yellow warning will be issued to him in writing issued by the President.
His handicap index will be reduced by 0.5. He will be put into flight in his subsequent events with members other than the previous played members. If there is no complaint received after 3 rounds, the player will resume his normal status but his handicap index will remain as that reduced.

Further Complaint and Slow Play Brigade Evaluation

If another complaint arise from any of his subsequent 3 events, the Committee will issue a red warning to him in writing issued by the President. He will be observed by another Slow Play Brigade Member assigned by the Committee in his next event. If the Committee’s Slow Play Brigade member considers the alleged slow play member is not slow play. His status will be resumed yellow warning status and recorded in the Committee Meeting Minutes. If he is considered slow play again by the Slow Play Brigade Member, the case will be reverted to the Committee for a formal approval of his membership repeal, he will be refunded with his membership deposit if there is any.

Slow Play List

The Committee Minutes will maintain a list of Slow Play member status attached. The status includes “under verbal warning”, “yellow warning”, “red warning”. For player resumed normal status , his name will be removed from the list.

Tips to be Remembered to avoid slow play

1. Get ready before your turn, be it on the tee-box, fairway or the green.

2. Determine the yardage and bring with you enough clubs to avoid returning to your golf set.

3. Keep the pre-shot routines to a minimum including practice swings and waggles. This is very crucial and is always the source of complaint.

4. Carry more balls with you and play a provisional ball whenever in doubt.

5. Watch other player’s shot to help identifying the locations to reduce searching time.

6. If you can’t find your ball within 5 minutes, play the provisional ball.

7. Avoid using mobile phone and in case unavoidable, make it short and make it not disturbing other players.

8. Don’t talk while other player is going up for the routine. If you are talking, cut it short and stop as player may need you to stop talking before his routine begins.

9. Read your putt while your fellow player is putting but not to disturb him. If you are the one to putt first, read it while you are walking up to the green

10. Gimme for putting distance less than a putter’s length
(From putter head to edge of grip – MEGS Rule for monthly competition)

We want to build up MEGS into a reputable though amateur golfing society representing the engineering trades of Hong Kong. It is therefore imperative for everyone one of us to be fully aware of the golf etiquette and to avoid SLOW PLAY.

Prepared By:

P W Lam

Rules Manager

F & P