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Pebble Beach Golf Links Pace of Play Guidelines

In January 2019, the USGA enacted their largest rules overhaul in history with the goals of making the rules easier to understand and promoting a faster pace of play. The Pebble Beach Company supports this initiative and has refreshed its pace of play guidelines as well, as outlined below. Our goal is for each guest to be able to play at a pace that is comfortable and enjoyable for them, and as such, we encourage you to choose a tee time that aligns your preferred pace of play with the expectations detailed on the right (or below if viewing on your phone). If you have already booked your tee time, we thank you in advance for being prepared and committed to completing your round within these target times.

How We Manage Pace of Play

Tee Captain

On the 1st tee, you will be greeted by our tee captain, who will provide helpful information as you prepare for your round. Notable items as it pertains to pace of play include a recommendation as to the appropriate set of tees to play based on skill level and a reminder of your pace of play expectation.

Player Assistants

Our player assistants are positioned throughout the golf course to help with any needs you might have during your round. Additionally, our player assistants monitor the pace and spacing of all groups on the golf course using a GPS-enabled pace of play management software and take the following steps to ensure pace of play stays on target:

  1. If your foursome falls more than two shots behind the group in front of you, our player assistants will provide an initial friendly reminder that you close the gap within a hole. We understand that brief delays happen from time to time but appreciate you regaining your position shortly thereafter.
  2. If after two holes you have not regained your position, a player assistant will join your group as a forecaddie to help you quickly close the gap.
  3. If your group is unable to move back into position after three holes with the help of a player assistant, you will be provided options to move back into position, such as skipping the necessary number of shots, or offered to restart your round behind the last group, when you will not feel pushed by anyone behind you.

Pace of Play Expectations by Tee Time

Our detailed review of the 2018 data indicates the following pace targets are reasonable and optimize the experience for our group of guests each day.

  • First off 4 hours
  • 6:30-7:50 a.m. — 4:15
  • 8-8:50 a.m. — 4:30
  • 9-9:50 a.m. —  4:40
  • 10-10:50 a.m. —  4:45
  • 11-11:50 a.m.  4:50
  • Noon and later 4:55


Pace of Play In The News

Top Instructors on the root of the problem – Golf Digest

How to Help Your Group Keep Pace

Below are a few of the most important rules and etiquette changes as it pertains to pace of play enacted recently by the USGA. We appreciate you keeping these in mind during your round:

Play Ready Golf

Please play whenever it is safe to do so. The old etiquette of “you’re away” no longer applies, according to the USGA’s rules modernization initiative.

Ball Lost or Out of Bounds

Pebble Beach Company has adopted the new local rule allowing players an alternative to the traditional “stroke and distance” penalty for a ball lost or out of bounds. Please proceed to the edge of your fairway nearest where your ball was lost or last crossed the boundary line and drop under penalty of two strokes.


It is no longer a penalty to strike the flagstick while in the hole with a shot played from the green. Waiting for someone to tend or pull the flag now unduly slows down play.

It’s OK to Pick Up

The handicap system allows for a maximum score. If you reach it, pick up, regroup, and try again the next hole. The max scores by handicap, as stated by the USGA, are:

  • 0-9: double bogey
  • 10-19: 7
  • 20-29: 8
  • 30-39: 9

Aim to Play in No More Than 40 Seconds

From club selection to pre-shot routine to execution, strive to hit your shot in no more than 40-seconds once arriving at your ball.

In addition, Pebble Beach Company and the USGA share the following “age old” tips for speeding up play:

Get Ready for Your Shot Before You Reach Your Ball

Once you are off the tee, think ahead. Determine your yardage and make your club selection before it is your turn to play.

When You Share a Cart, Work Together

While your playing partner hits, get out of the cart and walk to your ball with a few clubs. Be ready to play when it is your turn, and let your partner pick you up. Whenever possible, park your cart ahead of your ball, not behind it.

Be Efficient on the Putting Green

Line up your putt while others are putting. Leave your clubs on the side of the putting green closest to the next tee. Wait until the next tee to record your score.

Play Formats Other Than Stroke Play

Match play, Stableford, best ball, and other formats are easy and fun alternatives to individual stroke play that don’t involve every player holing out on every hole.

How We Use Technology to Our (and Your) Advantage

Pebble Beach Golf Links now utilizes a GPS-enabled hardware and software system to help us manage pace of play. Before your round, our starter will clip to one bag in your foursome a GPS unit that tracks your positioning in real time. Each unit on the golf course feeds data into a software program that our pace manager and player assistants can view from any connected device, allowing them to identify issues as they develop. As a result, our player assistants are now able to dedicate nearly all of their time to helping, rather than identifying, the groups in need.

Preparing for Your Round at Pebble Beach

Can’t wait for your round at Pebble Beach? Here are some additional resources to help you get ready for one of the best experiences in golf.

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