The R&A has given the green light for amateur golfers to speed up play by announcing that “ready golf” will be implemented for all its amateur events this year.
In conjunction with the USGA, the R&A has proposed a rule change for 2019 that advises ready golf in stroke play, rather than the current order of play policy as advised by Rule 10. However, the governing body is implanting the rule ahead of time as part of its efforts to improve pace of play in its championships.
The R&A’s Pace of Play manual already advises ready golf as one solution to speed up play. However, introducing it for all amateur stroke play tournaments is a big step. It means the upcoming Ladies’ British Open Championship and British Amateur Championship will feature ready golf for the 36-hole stroke play qualifying rounds. It will not be used in match play.
“We support solutions that address the issue of slow play and ready golf is an effective means of reducing the time it takes to complete a round,” said Duncan Weir, the R&A’s executive director of Golf Development. “Our research has shown that golfers would enjoy the sport more if it took less time to play and so we are introducing ready golf during the stroke play rounds at our amateur championships to help improve pace of play and the experience for the players and spectators.”
The move comes after a successful trial of ready golf during the Royal & Ancient Golf Club’s annual spring meeting, where pace of play was said to be significantly faster as a result.
The R&A has not said if the policy will be implanted in this year’s Open Championship.