The PGA Tour will introduce Average Stroke Time Infractions to deal with slow play in 2024…
PGA Tour players could receive big fines for slow play in 2024.
The tour’s Policy Board will introduce Average Stroke Time Infractions to measure the pace of play next season.
This strategy will replace the Observation List used to focus on changing a slow player’s habits that had been in effect since 2021.
The membership was informed on Tuesday that the AST concept will be adopted next year which could see players fined up to $20,000.
At the conclusion of an event, a player’s average time will be compared against the field average. If their time is seven seconds or more than the field, this will be an AST infraction.
If you reach your 10th AST infraction, you’ll be fined $20,000 and an extra $5,000 for additional infractions from 11 to 14.
$10,000 fines will be issued for players that surpass 15 infractions. If a player accumulates less than 10 infractions but has a ratio of infractions to tournaments of 50% or above, they will be fined $2,000 per infraction until the end of the season.
Financial penalties associated with accumulating official warnings will be removed from the policy next year, as part of some adjustments made by the board.
Players who are second or third to play in a group will have 100 seconds to hit, as opposed to 120, but first to play will be allowed 120 seconds.
The number of timings allowed before a fine is down from 12 to 10 and a player that accumulates 10 infractions will receive a fine without an exception.
“The Observation List has been very successful, and furthermore has been a tool which has allowed the Rules Committee to effectively work with individuals to improve their personal pace habits,” the tour said to the players.
“However, as we look to evolve the list and improve it, it has become apparent that there was an inequitable disparity in weekly field averages due to factors such as course difficulty and weather.
“Depending on the player’s chosen schedule, this had the potential to artificially skew their 10-tournament stroke average and therefore result in an unfair assessment.”
Slow play has been an issue in professional golf for many years and the debate reared its head at the Masters in April when Patrick Cantlay was widely criticised for his pace at Augusta National.
Brooks Koepka described the last round in Georgia as “painfully slow” while playing behind Cantlay and Viktor Hovland.
“One thing that’s interesting sitting on the PAC (Player Advisory Council) is you get all the numbers and the data, and rounds have taken about the same length of time for the last 10 or 20 years that they currently take,” Cantlay said in response.
“When you play a golf course like Augusta National, where all the hole locations are on lots of slope and the greens are really fast, it’s just going to take longer and longer to hole out.”
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