Consider the following scenario: A player goes through the entire round without an incident, signs their scorecard, turns the card in and enjoys a lunch or a brewskie at the bar. They then get a tap on the shoulder and it's someone from the scoring table informing them that they have been penalized or DQ'd from the tournament due to their scorecard being incorrect.
Far too many times we see scorecards turned in with mistakes after the player has left the scoring table and we are forced into assessing penalties or disqualifications due to something not being correct on the card.
- Razzle Dazzle 2014 – Player and his teammate signed their scorecard with all the hole-by-hole scores but did not record their drives and second shots. They did not read the rules; thus, did not know that they had to record first and second shots even though they physically performed the shots on the course. Result: they were assessed a two stroke penalty which took them out of the money. They were not DQ'd because their hole-by-hole scores were recorded.
- NCGA Net Amateur 2013 – Player had a birdie written in for the first hole and it was later discovered (through casual conversation) that their actual score was a par. The player did not realize this when they signed their card. Result: the player was DQ'd for signing an incorrect scorecard.
- NCGA Net Amateur 2013 – Player had their front nine score (44) written in the 9th hole box. Their 9th hole score was not written anywhere on the scorecard. The player did not realize this when they signed their card. Result: the player was DQ'd for signing an incorrect scorecard.
Note: we consulted with the NCGA and based on USGA Rule 6-6, they would have given the player a 44 on the ninth hole because that was what was recorded as the ninth hole score.
These players could have corrected their errors before leaving the scoring table WITHOUT penalty. Once they left the scoring table then it's game over.
So this does lead to an important lesson for all of us.
The player – not the scorer – is responsible for the accuracy of their scorecard. The player should verify that the hole-by-hole scores are correct. Neither the scorer or the player is responsbile for the correct total scores but the player is ultimately responsible for the correct hole-by-hole scores. The player should also read the rules for all tournaments – especially the specialty tournaments – to be sure that there are no special requirements that may ultimately result in a penalty or disqualification.
So how often have you – either as the player or scorer – verified only the total front/back/overall scores and not the hole-by-hole scores or other special requirements? We all have done just that.
Verify Before You Certify!!