Pace of Play

Only You Can Stop Slow Play. Please do your part.

Suggestions for how you can help us with pace of play:

  • 1

    Play Ready Golf

    The biggest contributors to slow play are players who are not ready to hit when they should. There is no penalty for playing out of turn. If the person who is furthest from the hole is not ready for whatever reason, take the initiative and hit your shot!

  • 2

    Lost balls

    Any player who may have lost their ball should not have the whole group look for it. Again, PLEASE PLAY READY GOLF. If your playing player has not yet found his/her ball and you have hit your shot, go help them (but look quickly!).

  • 3


    Have one “Captain” in the foursome who will take charge of ensuring proper pace of play. It only takes one person to recognize that if you haven’t seen anyone in front of you for a while, you may have fallen behind.

  • 4

    Cart Golf

    If carts are restricted to the cart paths, take a few clubs with you to your ball, especially if it lies on the other side of the fairway.

  • 5

    Score Card

    Mark your score on the next tee deck. If you are on pace, you should always have to wait a few minutes on the group ahead of you to clear the landing area or green which will provide you the time to collect scores from the previous hole.

  • 6


    Please listen to the Marshals. If they ask you to pick up your pace, they are doing their job to ensure everyone (including your group) enjoys their game. We welcome suggestions or comments on this important issue.

Marshalling Policy

  1. Players are responsible to keep up to the group in front of them at all times.
  2. To be considered on pace, groups must be within 1 shot of the group ahead of them.
  3. When there is no group in front to use as a reference, a playing time of a maximum of 2 hours shall be used per 9 holes.
  4. Groups unable to keep up will be moved to the appropriate position on the course.
  5. At no time will the excuse “there is no one behind us” be accepted for not keeping up to the pace of play. A new group tees off every 9 minutes. There are many groups behind you.

Pace of Play FAQ’s:

The accepted pace of play at Northlands is a maximum time of 4 hours for the first 3 hours of play (4 hours 15 minutes thereafter). This time has been established as reasonable by the golfers of Northlands and is based on averages of similar par 71 courses in the golf industry. The following will address commonly asked questions about our pace of play policy.

  • Who decides if a group is “slow”?1

    Our Marshals have total authority over golf play. To avoid any confusion, and to ensure that our policies are enforced in a consistent manner, the methods used to identify groups that are behind an acceptable pace of play are made as simple as possible. If you have fallen back, relative to the group ahead of you, you are behind! ie: if you tee off immediately behind the group in front, you are expected to stay immediately behind that group at all times for the duration of your round.

  • Why did the Marshal ask me to speed up?1

    If you have been asked to pick up your pace it means that you have been identified as having fallen back of the group ahead of you. This does not mean you are being singled out. Many groups may be asked to close up gaps every day. A group can fall behind briefly for many reasons (a member of your group may have spent an extra couple of minutes searching for a lost ball, your group may have had to wait a few minutes for a maintenance cart to clear a landing area, the kiosk may have been making more hot dogs, etc.). Of more importance is a group that is simply taking too much time between shots and not being ready to play or are otherwise unaware they have fallen behind. In either case the Marshal will likely know the reason your group has fallen behind. It is his job to remind everyone that they must keep up with the group in front.

  • Why has the Marshal asked me to speed up, even though there is no one behind me?1

    The pace of play is determined by your position relative to the group ahead, not the group behind. If the group behind you has fallen back, it means that the marshal will be trying to get them back into proper position. To move them into position, the group ahead of them (your group) must first be positioned properly. 3 or 4 minutes behind might not seem like that big a deal however if just 5 groups fall 3-4 minutes behind for example, our 18 hole pace of play will be 15-20 minutes slower for the rest of the field.

  • What happens if our group cannot keep up?1

    Northlands welcomes golfers of all abilities, however, it is a condition of playing at this course that you play within the stated pace of play and do not fall back of the groups ahead. High handicap golfers do not have a monopoly on slow play. Many mid and low handicap golfers also have bad habits that can contribute to slow play. The Marshal will give your group fair opportunities to catch back up to the group ahead of you (the number of opportunities will depend on how far behind you have fallen). If your group still is not capable of catching the group ahead you may be asked to play a more forward tee or pick up your ball and move ahead into position. We want all our customers to enjoy a relaxing time on our course without feeling they are being pressured, but sometimes these actions must be taken to ensure unacceptable delays do not occur on the course. Failure to follow the Marshals instructions could result in removal from the course.

  • If Northlands has Marshals, why is it slow today?1

    The staff at Northlands does everything within their power to minimize the number of slow rounds on the golf course. There are however, on a few occasions, circumstances beyond our control that prevent this from happening. To Marshal a large group of golfers during long and busy days requires cooperation from all of the players. If this is not forthcoming, your round may take longer through no fault of your own. For this reason we can only guarantee our best effort to maintain pace of play and without help from all players, cannot guarantee a specific pace of play.

  • What can I do to help the pace of play?1

    Everyone who plays golf has a responsibility to share the golf course fairly with other golfers. If you are falling behind, please use these simple tips: Play ready golf. This means when the way is clear for you to shoot, be ready to shoot. Don’t be concerned with whose turn it is to hit. If there is a member of your group who is a shorter hitter, have them hit first (if they’re ready). Do not stop on a tee box or green to have a conversation. Keep playing and walking/driving while conversing, as the group behind you will be waiting for you to clear the landing area. Don’t spend too much time looking for a golf ball. If you can’t find it in a couple of minutes, drop another and continue. If you are using a power cart, walking to your ball to see which club you’ll need wastes a great deal of time. Take several clubs to your ball if you are not sure. Keep up to the group ahead of you!

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