April 2018 Newsletter

www.martinrathbone.co.uk – martin@martinrathbone.co.uk – 07958785326

Golf Scorecards – What Do You Know?

I’ve been asked to do a little newsletter on “How to Mark a Scorecard” – It appears that some scorecards are requiring quite a bit of deciphering when being checked by the committee.

In Professional Tournaments you will occasionally read a headline of a top player falling foul of scorecard rules but all it really takes is a little concentration. When you’ve finished your round spend a little time checking things thoroughly to avoid any costly mistakes.

Golf is one of those sports where it is the players and the markers responsibility for recording their scores correctly, sounds a little harsh but the burden isn’t too great as there are only a few things to remember.

Recording the correct handicap on the card is solely your responsibility as the player.

If you fail to record your handicap, or play off a handicap higher than that to which you are entitled, you will be disqualified from the handicap element of a strokeplay competition. The score will still count however if the competition is a scratch only competition.

If you record too low a handicap on your card, your net score will stand based on that handicap.

At the end of the round, all you are signing for is your gross score on each hole.

Scorecard 1

Scorecard 2

Although it’s very helpful, you do not have to add your scores up, record your net score, or allocate Stableford points, the majority of clubs these days have software on a PC that will do that for you.

Most golfers do mark such things on their cards, but you cannot be penalised for getting the maths, the net score or the Stableford points wrong.

Should you sign for a gross score on a hole lower than that actually taken, unfortunately you will be disqualified.

Should you sign for a higher score on a hole than that taken, the higher score stands, but you will not be disqualified.

Contrary to what some believe, you do not need to initial mistakes or corrections on the scorecard.

The scorecard must be signed by you and your marker (or markers if another person has had to take over) and returned as soon as possible on completion of the round.

Sometimes, this will be to a recorders’ area, but often simply to a box in the clubhouse or changing room.

Once it has been returned, no alterations can then be made to the scorecard.

If one or both of the required signatures are missing, you will be disqualified

Returning the card “as soon as possible” doesn’t mean immediately, nor does it mean hours later. You might have a long trek to the area where it is to be returned if, for example, you have started on a tee some way from the clubhouse.

And even if computerised scoring is in operation, it is what is recorded on the physical scorecard that is all-important, rather than what might be input in error into a computer.

And if the scorecards are prepared for you, do make sure you swap before you mark and sign, or you’ll end up signing for the wrong scores a la Mark Roe in the 2003 Open at Royal St George’s.

It is always worth an extra dose of concentration to make sure everything is spot-on before signing and returning your card, especially in the excitement of a good round.

A little time and concentration should you spare you any unnecessary scorecard heartache

There is nothing worse than the round of a lifetime being scuppered by an elementary scorecard mistake! Just ask Roberto de Vicenzo who signed for par where he’d made birdie in the 1968 Masters, costing him a spot in the play-off.

Martin Rathbone PGA - Head Teaching Professional - Surbiton Golf Club