The following arguments are often cited in defence of a slow play incident. They need to be used with great caution since, in most cases they offer no defence at all.
The tee was running late so my round time should be adjusted accordingly and found not to be slow.
Sorry, the tee running late offers no argument. Round times are ignored in most cases (see below for exceptions). Slow play is measured primarily by the GAP time. Since your place in the field is directly behind the group in front, that is where you need to be. Even where the tee is running late, all groups are still spaced according to the tee time interval and should remain that way.
The group in front was a 3 ball. They play faster than a 4 ball so there’s no way we can keep up.
Sorry, other than the exception below, under a two tee start, all groups are behind a full field moving around the course. Any 3 ball has more than one 4 ball in front of them for at least half of their round.
We lost 2 balls on the last hole, we are allowed 5 minutes per ball.
The likelihood of 2 balls being lost together on the same (last) hole is low. You can use this argument once but don’t let it wear thin. You are welcome to use this circumstance to explain the incident but you should have no issue with receiving the reminder for pace of play. Par 3 holes are notorious for expressing minor delays in the field so they offer ample opportunity for a group to close up a gap created by such an event.
We had to go to the toilet
There are toilet stops after 2, after 7, after 16 on the course and in the Clubhouse. The walk to most of these stops is not onerous. Closing a gap created by such a pit stop is no more challenging than closing up a spare tee time which may be missing in front of you at tee-off. Again, Par 3 holes are notorious for expressing minor delays in the field so they offer ample opportunity for a group to close up a gap created by such an event.
We were one hole behind but the group behind us was also one hole behind so we weren’t holding anyone up.
Sorry, if everyone justified their position in this way, how would the field look? How long would it take the last group to finish their round? Any argument citing the position of the group behind is unworthy of mention. Again, your position in the field is directly behind the group in front.
I’ve been a member here for 25 years, I’m always mindful of my pace of play and no one has ever accused me of slow play.
Sorry, no argument. Pace of Play letters are reminders and feedback of your being out of position on the day. They do not cause a permanent stain on your character or reputation. Do not offer this defence.
I wasn’t aware that swiping my card straight after my round was necessary. Now you know.
On Monday and Friday we have a one tee start. On these days, it is possible that a 2 or three ball in the lead off the tee can have an exceptionally fast round especially if they are in carts. No 4 ball group playing behind this group will be measured by the gap time. This is one place where round time is the governing aspect.
The use of 8 minute tee intervals has significantly reduced the occurrence of late tee times. Similarly, on these one tee days, there are often gaps in the timesheet. So there is plenty of opportunity to get tee time and round times ‘resets’.
If you think that receipt of a pace of play letter is unjustified in your set of circumstances and that the issue is not derived from anything under your direct control, then steady yourself and take comfort in the fact that the possibility of receiving another letter is highly unlikely.
Refer to Pace of Play Policy for the guidelines.