Golf leaders in Indiana are convinced that “Pace of Play” at the junior golf level is declining and it needs to improve for the future of the game in the Hoosier State.
Representatives from the Indiana High School Athletic Association, Indiana Golf Association, Indiana High School Golf Coaches Association, Indiana PGA and the United States Golf Association have developed an unprecedented junior golf “Pace of Play” action plan that will increase awareness through education with an added element of accountability for junior golfers and their coaches.
In a recent survey completed by 147 Indiana high school coaches, the majority of these coaches believe a reasonable pace of play is 4 ½ hours or less. Common causes for slow play were identified as players not being ready to play when it’s their turn; players not moving quick enough between shots and pre‐shot routines taking too long.
Beginning with the 2018 IHSAA girls golf season in July, all sectional participants and their coaches will be required to view a 20‐minute “Pace of Play” video and complete the testing components contained in the video which will focus on Golf Course Awareness, Pre‐Shot Routines, Putting Green Procedures and Equipment Management.
Anticipating sweeping changes to the USGA Rules of Golf beginning in 2019, this year’s Indiana High School Golf Coaches Conference will focus on the Rules of Golf in an effort to help a coach better assist his/her players with the rules while on the course. Beginning in 2019, the IHSAA will conduct rules seminars for all of its high school coaches prior to the start of their season.
The IHSAA and the Indiana PGA are also developing a pilot program for the boys high school regular season in April. Players will be expected to complete nine holes in two hours and fifteen minutes. Procedures and guidelines will be in place to assist and ensure players complete their rounds in the allotted time. The Indiana PGA will officially invite its members and their facilities to participate in late February.
Ted Bishop, 38th President of the PGA of America, directed the group. He was joined by Bobby Cox, IHSAA Commissioner; Chris Kaufman, IHSAA Assistant Commissioner who administers high school golf; Mike David, Executive Director of the IGA/PGA; John Hatter, President of the Indiana High School Golf Coaches Association; Tony Pancake, President of the Indiana PGA and; Ryan Lambert, former Assistant Executive Director of the IGA/PGA. Hunki Yun, from the USGA, also provided valuable insight.