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The PGA Tour has acted on calls to toughen the pace of play laws ahead of the 2024 season.

The hotly contested issue has faced backlash this year, as players and officials sought a quick fix.

Players have now been informed of changes to the current regulations, which were approved during the Tour’s Policy Board meeting on Monday.

Known as Average Stroke Time Infraction, the new concept will replace the ‘Observation List’, which was instituted in 2021.

In a memo to players, the Tour said: “The Observation List has been very successful, and furthermore has been a tool which has allowed the Rules Committee to effectively work with individuals to improve their person pace habits.

“However, as we look to evolve the list and improve it, it has become apparent that there was an inequitable disparity in weekly field averages due to factors such as course difficulty and weather.

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“Depending on the player’s chosen schedule, this had the potential to artificially skew their 10-tournament stroke average and therefore result in an unfair assessment.”

Instead, the new laws will compare a player’s average stroke time against the field average at the end of a tournament.

An average of seven seconds or more above the field average will lead to an infraction, which will be accumulated throughout the season before fines are handed out.

Fines will amount to $20,000 for ten infractions; $5,000 for each additional AST from 11-14th; and $10,000 for each infraction from 15 and above.

Supported by the Player Advisory Council, chaired by Adam Scott, four other adjustments were made to the policy.

No financial penalty will be associated with the accumulation of Official Warnings, while the number of timings before a financial penalty is applied will be ten instead of 12.

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Under the Timings Financial Exception Threshold, any player who accumulates ten timings in a season will be subject to a financial penalty without exception.

And the Excessive Shot Times policy has been amended to reduce the time permitted for players who are second or third to play from 120 seconds to 100 seconds.

The first player to play will remain at 120 seconds.

In May, PGA Tour chief Jay Monahan defended the problem, as he advised the issue would be resolved at the meeting.

“It’s something that we spend a lot of time on,” Monahan said.

“We’re going to talk about it at our Player Advisory Council meeting. We get into places on the weekend where, you know, there’s a lot on the line.”

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John Turnbull A graduate of the University of Stirling, John joined the bunkered team in 2023 as a Content Producer, with a responsibility for covering all breaking news, tour news, grassroots content and much more besides. A keen golfer, he plays the majority of his golf at Falkirk Golf Club. Top of his 'bucket list' is a round of Pebble Beach... ideally in the company of Gareth Bale.

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