European Tour Announces Plan to Tackle Slow Play

by Maura Hutchinson

The European Tour is looking to combat slow play head-on. On Monday they announced a new four-point plan to tackle the issue through regulation, education, innovation and field sizes.

Effective from the start of the 2020 season, the Tour’s new initiative will not only rely on regulations, but also emphasise player education. All golfers will now be required to pass an interactive rules test as part of their conditions of membership, to be repeated every three years. New members will also be allocated a dedicated referee to educate them on pace of play policies from the beginning of their European Tour career.

We will see a significant increase in fines for players who are repeatedly placed on the clock throughout the season, as well as reduced times for players to hit shots. If a player breaches time allowances two-times in the same round, a one-stroke penalty will be handed down.

In a further bid to show they’re serious about slow play, the European Tour will be testing a new “Pace of Play” timing system in September at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

“We are already at the forefront of pace-of-play management in the professional game, but after being mandated by our Tournament Committee to be even firmer in dealing with this issue, the time was right to take these additional steps,” said European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley on Monday.

Adding, “I believe the plan we are implementing for the 2020 season will bring about meaningful change that will make golf even more enjoyable for the players and our fans, whether they are at the course in person or watching on television.”