Tuesday, 12 June 2018


Greetings from Quaker Ridge New York where the Curtis Cup has been taking place. It has been a great three days. It was a shame GB&I had to return the Cup to the USA  and sadly the score line  does not show how well our girls actually played. The televising of the Curtis Cup meant that the event had to stick to very strict timings. If the first tee off was 1:00 pm then at 12:59 we had a count down on the tee ready for the first game and each game after that stuck rigidly to the designated tee times.

The reason I highlight this fact is that it relates to a rule of golf that is often broken by members at clubs up and down the country: 

6-3a. Time of Starting
The player must start at the time established by the Committee 
If the player arrives at his starting point, ready to play, within five minutes after his starting time, the penalty for failure to start on time is loss of the first hole in match play or two strokes at the first hole in stroke play. Otherwise, the penalty for breach of this Rule is disqualification.

Now we are told what the penalties are if we are late on the tee, but many players are unaware that there are penalties for starting too early. If you start any earlier than your allotted tee time then you are technically disqualified, except if you have been given permission by the committee. This is covered by Decision 6.3a/5.

Allotted tee times are there for a reason as it helps spread the groups throughout the course and hopefully prevents games becoming backed up. Too often I have witnessed ladies teeing off at the first on Rosemount thinking they will not drive into the group in front without any regard to the actual time they should be starting.There is a real desire to speed golf up, however, it has to start at the right pace in the first place with people sticking to their tee times.

Sandy Bushby
R&A Rules Qualified
June 2018