Golf: A player is responsible for the correctness of his scorecard and for the scores recorded at each hole

2012-06-29 00:00

IN every strokeplay round of golf a player must record the scores for his opponent(s) at each hole. He should also record his own scores on the scorecard. This applies to both the amateur and professional ranks. The rules state that a player is responsible for the correctness of his scorecard and for the scores recorded at each hole.

A golfer submitting a scorecard without the player’s and the marker’s signature is punished by disqualification. All golfers know this but there are still occasions where a player forgets to sign his card and pays the ultimate penalty. The totals for each nine and for 18 holes are unimportant. It’s the score at each hole that matters. Forgetting to sign the card is the player’s own fault, but the most common error is the player signing for the wrong score. This highlights a sorry weakness in the rules of the game that appoints a marker to keep score but doesn’t make him responsible for the correctness.

Perhaps the marker, having made a mistake should also be penalised, this will then at least place accountability for the inaccuracy fairly and squarely where it belongs and more care will be taken in scoring the card. In the rules of golf there is no mention of a marker making a scorecard error and therefore there is no penalty for him.

Why should the perpetrator escape unpunished? Johnny Miller, the past major winner and American TV commentator has publicly suggested that for the professional ranks, a player should mark his own card, sign and submit it. His playing companion may also record the score as a backup for a mistake but every player knows what he scored so an error is most unlikely. A pro would never consider doing anything untoward regarding card marking. It is highly unlikely that the learned Scottish rule makers at the Royal and Ancient would consider a change to this rule, which has stood for 250 years or so.

It is much easier now for professionals to check the accuracy of the scores marked on the scorecard. A perforated tear-off strip is attached to the card so that the scores can be easily compared.

Amateurs don’t have such luxuries, so to you weekenders, check your card carefully and always remember that it must show the handicap and bear the two signatures. There is nothing worse than playing well, finding yourself in the winning enclosure and then being disqualified. From the 19th hole

One day, not long after the Mexican-American Pro golfer Lee Trevino got married, he was mowing the front lawn as he usually did.

A woman driving a big new shiny Cadillac pulled up in front of his house. The woman driver put down the window and asked: “Excuse me, do you speak English?”

Lee replied: “Yes Ma’am, I sure do”.

The woman then asked: “How much do you charge to do gardening?”

Lee replied: “Well the lady in this house lets me sleep with her.”

The woman gasped and quickly sped off in a cloud of smoke and screeching tyres.

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