July - 2009

It seems like every Men's Club tournament has it's own unique set of issues to sort out. Last Saturday's stroke play event is a good example of how often mistakes require the Tournament Chairmen to check each and every card to verify the winners. Because many of us play the course regularly, it's easy to forget our responsibilities during a tournament. Arrive to your tee time on time. Play the course according to the USGA Rules, also being aware of any Local Rules. Keep score for your fellow competitors along with keeping track of your own score to check after the round. Most players do that, but then some fail to either sign their card or fail to have their marker (scorekeeper) sign the card. Tournament play requires this. If this is not done, you are not following the required steps to compete in a tournament, and by the Rules of Golf, you must be disqualified. As an example, this last Saturday's tournament had five unsigned cards by players, and two by the scorer. Some cards had incomplete scores, eleven cards had no date, and two players withdrew after 15 holes.

Our Tournament Chairmen do far more work to make our events run smoothly and efficiently than anyone realizes. Thank them whenever you get the chance. Remember, they are not getting paid, they volunteered! Take a few moments to help them and hold up your responsibilities as a player.

Have you ever taken a look at Rule 6? It's one of the longest and most complex sections in the Rule Book. I'm including just a small portion of this for a starter, but when you can, please read this section.


Rule 6. The Player

6-1. Rules
The player and his caddie are responsible for knowing the Rules. During a stipulated round, for any breach of a Rule by his caddie, the player incurs the applicable penalty.

6-2. Handicap

a. Match Play
Before starting a match in a handicap competition, the players should determine from one another their respective handicaps. If a player begins a match having declared a handicap higher than that to which he is entitled and this affects the number of strokes given or received, he is disqualified; otherwise, the player must play off the declared handicap.

b. Stroke Play
In any round of a handicap competition, the competitor must ensure that his handicap is recorded on his score card before it is returned to the Committee. If no handicap is recorded on his score card before it is returned (Rule 6-6b), or if the recorded handicap is higher than that to which he is entitled and this affects the number of strokes received,he is disqualifiedfrom the handicap competition; otherwise, the score stands.

Note: It is the player's responsibility to know the holes at which handicap strokes are to be given or received.

6-6. Scoring in Stroke Play

a. Recording Scores
After each hole the marker should check the score with the competitor and record it. On completion of the round, the marker must sign the score card and hand it to the competitor. If more than one marker records the scores, each must sign for the part for which he is responsible.

b. Signing and Returning Score Card After completion of the round, the competitor should check his score for each hole and settle any doubtful points with the Committee. He must ensure that the marker or markers have signed the score card, sign the score card himself and return it to the Committee as soon as possible.
Penalty for Breach of Rule 6-6b: Disqualification.

c. Alteration of Score Card No alteration may be made on a score card after the competitor has returned it to the Committee.
d. Wrong Score for Hole The competitor is responsible for the correctness of the score recorded for each hole on his score card.
If he returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken, he is disqualified.
If he returns a score for any hole higher than actually taken, the score as returned stands. Note 1:
The Committee is responsible for the addition of scores and application of the handicap recorded on the score card - see Rule 33-5. Note 2:
In four-ball stroke play, see also Rules 31-3 and 31-7a.