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European Tour tighten rules an...
Golf

European Tour tighten rules and ups penalties on slow play

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

10:09 15 Jan 2020

The European Tour will implement new sanctions on slow play, include a one-shot penalty for two bad times in a tournament and increasing slow play fines significantly.

The original plan launched last August was to penalise for two instances per round, but this has been eased to a pair of offences in a tournament. Some players are not too worried, Bryson Dechambeau took over two minutes on a putt last season but welcomed the rules.

Fines for consistently slow players who are regularly officially timed during the season will increase significantly. For example, a player who is timed 15 times in the 2020 season will have to pay £26,000 in fines as opposed to £9,000 if it happened in 2019.
The amount of time allowed per shot has been reduced dramatically, depending on the order of play in the group. A player has a maximum of between 70 and 85 seconds per shot "in-play". While players have to get to their ball in a maximum of 40 - 50 seconds again depending on the position in the playing group.

New System

The trial 'Pace Play' system conducted at the BMW PGA Championship is again in action in Abu Dhabi this week. The system provides referees with the times for every group through every hole to make sure that no gaps are missed.
The system is also visible to players with on the tee displays on a minimum of three holes providing groups with their position in relation to the group in front.

''Changing the regulation for an immediate one-shot penalty to now be triggered by two bad times in a tournament instead of a round will force slower players to consistently ensure they play within timing regulations,'' said John Paramor, the European Tour chief referee.

''This is part of our wider, robust policy to tackle slow play but our fundamental advice to all players remains consistent – they should be ready to play when it is their turn.''

Golf fans will hope the measures are reciprocated globally, but currently, the PGA Tour has not implemented such robust measures.

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