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How to play ‘par golf’ time-wise at Randpark

by | Aug 20, 2021

​There is no doubt that slow play can detract from the enjoyment of the game for many golfers. An 18-hole round taking five hours is starting to push the limit. A fourball taking a fair chunk of time upwards of this spoils the day for pretty much everyone as the whole field is held up. Six hours is criminal.

This is why Randpark has instituted at the club what the R&A have termed “time par” or “time allowed”, which is more or less what “par” should be, time-wise, for each hole on the two courses. So, depending on which hole, on Firethorn the par-4s should take, on average, 14 or 15 minutes to complete, the par-3s 12 or 13 minutes and the par-5s 18 minutes or 20 minutes. It all adds up to 2hr 13min for the first nine, and 2hr 12min for the back nine. Therefore, allowing 15 minutes for the halfway house, an ideal round should take 4hr 40min.

“For slightly shorter Bushwillow we’re also looking at 14 minutes for the par-4s and 12 minutes for the par-3s, and 17 minutes for each of the par-5s,” says the club’s Senior Golf Manager, Rikert Schalkwyk. “And with 15 minutes at halfway, the ideal round in Bushwillow’s instance would, therefore, be 4 hours 31 minutes.”

These details are already printed on the back of the new scorecards.

Of course, golf can never work out exactly like this in practice. But for the enjoyment of all “time par” is more or less what we should all aim to achieve.

Also, on the back of the scorecards are further hints to achieve an acceptable pace of play. One of these, importantly, is by playing “ready golf”, which both the R&A and USGA have found to have speeded up and revolutionised the pace of play worldwide. In the old days, it wasn’t etiquette to play out of turn, but now, as Randpark members are discovering, “ready golf” is the perfect way to speed up play. If it’s safe for you to play, and you’re not interfering with your playing partner or endangering anyone, even if it’s technically not your turn, go ahead and play. It’s for everyone’s benefit.

“Another very important factor,” says Rikert, “is to be fully aware of when your starting time is and to give yourself plenty of time to get yourself and your equipment ready to be able to tee off promptly on time. A delay of five minutes will cause a snowball effect and hold up the whole field behind you by five minutes.”

Rikert adds that for the most part, Randpark’s members are very much aware of the importance of pace of play, as are the starters and marshals. But juniors and newcomers to the game, for instance, may need help and encouragement to fall into line.

Professional golfers tend to play faster than us mere mortals – mainly because they don’t hack around in the bush looking for balls like we do! – and here’s an interesting fact: The great South African golfer of the 1940s and 1950s, four-time British Open champion Bobby Locke, was castigated throughout his career for what was seen as his slow play. He won the 1952 Open at Royal Lytham, but after the third round the Australian, Norman von Nida, complained to the Championship Committee about Locke’s “funeral-like pace”. Locke’s crime? Playing the third round in 3hr 30min! Let’s just say times have changed because today that would be considered fairly brisk.

At Randpark there’s no urgency to have to clock 3 hours 30 minutes for a round. “It’s not a race,” says Rikert. “We want all our golfers to enjoy the whole experience of a day out at the Club, the company, the halfway house (be it ‘grab and go’ because of Covid protocols), the courses, the service, the booking procedure, the pro shop, whatever …”

Stick to the ‘time allowed’ guidelines, and we’ll all enjoy our day and our golf that much better.

For further information on pace of play visit the R&A website and their “Pace of Play” manual.

Written by Randpark Member, Grant Winter


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Golf Terms & Conditions

1. The Club reserves the right to impose a cancellation fee of up to R250 for any tee-times booked in peak times (as determined by the club) which are cancelled within 24 hours regardless of whether that actual member made the booking and /or cancellation.

2. The Club reserves the right to impose a no-show fee of up to R500 for any tee-times booked in peak times (as determined by the club) where the member failed to show up regardless of whether that actual member made the booking and /or cancellation.

3. Golf specific disclaimer: When entering the Club’s premises, the member is fully aware and understands the risk and hazards inherent to the golf environment which includes but is not limited to the risk of being struck by flying golf balls and lightning strikes. In the case of the latter, the member further acknowledges that the shelters provided on the golf course are rain shelters only and are not lightning proof and the club accepts no responsibility in respect of death or injury of persons or destruction or damage to property as a result of any lightning strike whether it occurs at or near a rain shelter or at any other place. All persons using any such rain shelters or any other shelter on the property do so entirely at their own risk. It is to be noted that whilst the Club makes use of an automated lightning detection system, the Club makes no warranties and accepts no responsibility with respect to either the reliability or accuracy of the equipment. It is further noted that a member always has the right to stop play if he/she deems any condition, including lightning, to be a danger to his or her personal safety.

4. A member is not entitled to a refund of golf fees in the event a competition or round is cancelled due to weather.

5. The notional base number of rounds for a CLUB10 and CLUB20 playing cards is 10 & 20 respectively regardless of any reference to an unlimited playing card. When these golf round thresholds have been completed the cost of the playing cards has been consumed. The rounds cannot be carried over to the following financial year, and thus lapse on 31 March.

6. Unlimited golf is subject to booking restrictions as per the specific membership category. The rounds cannot be carried over to the following financial year, and thus lapse on 31 March.

7. Graduates may book for a Sunday PM two weeks in advance via the booking ladies and 11 days in advance on the online platform. Bookings for the weekend will open on a Thursday (2 days before) at 06:00 am. We will introduce a graduate booking sheet which will allow graduates to add their names for a slot which the booking ladies will fill closer to the weekend. Saturday morning games will be charged at R500.00 – all other periods include the Unlimited ticket.

Membership Terms & Conditions

1. Upon the club receiving this application form, signed terms and conditions, letter of good standing from previous club and credit check approval, an invoice will be sent and membership will only become active upon full upfront payment of all applicable fees and/or signature of a debit order arrangement and payment of first instalment. If a debit order arrangement is signed, the first instalment of membership is payable via EFT, there after the debit order arrangement will take effect.

2. Membership at Randpark is subject to approval by committee. A probation period of 3 months will apply to all new applicants. In this time Randpark reserves the right to refund unsuccessful applicants.

3. Family Membership is subject to membership of principal member.

4. Club membership would without interruption continue year on year but is subject to the payment of an annual fee as determined by the club.

5. The membership may be terminated by the member giving the club twenty business days’ notice in writing of his/her intention to do so.

6. The Club reserves the right to impose a 10% cancellation fee on a member who elects to cancel his/her membership during a financial year; however, no cancellation fee will be charged if a member gives notice not to renew his/her membership at the end of the club’s financial year.

7. There is a 3 month "cool off" period applicable if a member elects to cancel his/her membership. If a member reinstates his membership within this period the Club reserves the right to charge an entrance fee.

8. The Club may cancel a member’s membership if the member is in material breach of his/her obligation to pay annual subscription fees and the Club has given the member twenty business days’ notice in writing to remedy this breach and the member fails to do so.

9. The Club may suspend a member that is in default on his membership fees paid on debit order if that debit order is not successful. The Club will inform the member of this and the member has 3 business days to rectify his/her account. If the 3 business days lapse without any payment of outstanding amount the club reserves the right to suspend the member.  Membership will only be reinstated upon receipt of amount in arrears. If a member has 3 consecutive failed debit orders without arrears being paid up, the Club may cancel his/her membership given twenty business days' notice in writing to remedy this breach and the member fails to do so. When a member is suspended he is not deemed to be a member.

10. Any levies e.g. Capital Development Fund or special fees payable on an annual basis or as lump sum for a period are non-refundable and not related to usage of the Club.

11. By either Party submitting any personal information to the other, the disclosing Party unconditionally and voluntarily, consents to the processing of the submitted personal information for the following purposes; Invoice, Debit Order, Statement, Newsletter, SMS, WhatsApp, Randpark App.
For more information on how the club uses your personal information please see our Privacy Policy (https://bit.ly/3N7TDYj) on our website.

12. The Applicant hereby agrees and consents to the Applicant’s personal information being processed by, or on behalf of the Club for the purposes set out herein.

13. It is understood by the member that it is necessary for the Club to communicate with its membership from time to time and that by signing these terms and conditions a member gives the club his/her express permission for the Club to communicate with him /her via any means of Club communication unless he/she has informed the Club in writing that they do not wish to receive such or all communication. As mentioned in Section 69 of the POPI Act.

14. By signature hereto, the member expressly acknowledges he has read, and understands, the following disclaimers from the Club Constitution and the Club Bye-Laws.

15. General disclaimer: Randpark Club does not accept liability or responsibility whatsoever in respect of death or injury of person or destroying or damage to property or loss of any nature, whether arising from negligence or any other cause including lightning, which is suffered by any member or any person who enters the club premises and/or uses the golf course or any other amenities or facilities provided. Members and other users of the Club facilities use the facilities at their own risk and are advised to insure themselves for loss and injuries they may suffer and for claims against themselves.

16. A member is not entitled to a refund of golf fees in the event a competition or round is cancelled due to weather.

17. Vouchers which may be given to a member upon joining are given on a complimentary basis and do not form part of the subscription.