Know Your Scorecard: If Only They Could Talk
In stroke play, whether you are in a friendly or serious competition, a scorecard is a vital component of the round. It tells an accurate story (whether it’s a good or bad story) of a player’s round based on the number of strokes taken.
There are many other facts when it comes to scorecards:
- There is nothing in the Rules that require initials to be written on any change to a score on a hole on a scorecard.
- Contrary to popular belief, scorecards in match play are not required. They can be used to help keep the match status, but they have no official standing.
- Although there are specific spots identified on the scorecard for the player and marker to sign, if there is a visible signature for each person anywhere on the scorecard, it is considered valid.
- Scorecards don’t have to be strictly paper! A scorecard can be digital if there are means for the player and marker to attest/certify the scorecard.
There are certain responsibilities that come with a scorecard and specific people who are assigned to those responsibilities. Rule 3.3b breaks down the three parties that are involved: (1) the player (2) the marker (3) the committee.
- The player is responsible for 21 items on the scorecard:
- 18 correct hole-by-hole scores.
- Two signatures anywhere on the scorecard (their signature, plus the
signature of the marker).
- In a handicap competition, the player is responsible for ensuring
the proper handicap is on the scorecard.
- The player is not responsible for adding up or totaling the scorecard.
- Any changes that need to be made must be done with agreement of the
marker or by approval of the committee.
- The scorecard needs to be promptly returned to the committee.
- This is the person responsible for entering the scores on a player’s scorecard
and certifying those scores.
- A marker is assigned by the committee.
- When the round has ended, the marker needs to certify the hole-by-hole
scores on the scorecard and sign the scorecard.
- It is recommended that the marker stay in the scoring area with the player
until the committee finalizes the scorecard to address any questions or issues
that may arise.
- The committee is the person or group in charge of the competition.
- The committee are responsible for the following on the scorecard:
- Total of front nine, back nine and entire round (the “math”)
- Proper application of handicaps and the total net score in a
- Committees can approve changes of markers during the round.