Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Ask Linda #1566-Split up to improve pace of play

Hey Linda,
We were playing in league the other day (where, of course, we always try to do things as correctly as possible) and noticed two of the ladies in the group ahead leave the putting green while the other two were preparing to putt. It was obvious to me (and especially since they were all walkers) they were just trying to keep up pace of play as the group in front of them (a fast moving threesome of men on carts) was well ahead. And, while I'm not 100% sure, I am almost nearly so that they would have cleared their intention to go on ahead with the ladies staying behind as this is our practice in social play. In any case, one of the ladies in my group was incensed when she saw this, stating it was rude and poor sportsmanship. Your thoughts? 
Thanks, yet again,  
Lulu from Kelowna, British Columbia

Dear Lulu,

In a serious tournament, the players must stay together in their assigned pairing; the penalty for breaking up the pairing and continuing on without your fellow competitors is disqualification [Rule 6-3b].

However, this is league play, Lulu, not the Canadian Open. If the players agree amicably to split up in order to improve the pace of play for everyone, I don’t have a problem with it.

It is not “rude or poor sportsmanship” if no one in the pairing objected or was offended. For all we know, the two players still putting may have suggested that the other two move ahead. The lady who was “incensed” jumped to a conclusion with no evidence.

If it is your custom to split up in the middle of the round to improve pace of play, this is a topic that should be discussed among the group and agreed upon pre-season. You might want to attach a requirement that groups agreeing to split must get permission from someone who has the authority to grant it (e.g., a Committee member, a league officer, the club pro).

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