Guidance on Running a Competition

Appendix F: Guidelines on Issuing, Marking and Checking Score Cards

The responsibilities of the Committee, the marker (who is normally a fellow-competitor) and the competitor in relation to score cards are as follows:

  1. Responsibilities of Committee
     (a) To publish a Handicap Stroke Table indicating the order of holes at which handicap strokes are to be given (Rule 33-4) which may be printed on the score card.
     (b) In individual stroke play, to issue for each competitor a score card containing the date and the competitor’s name, and, on return of the score card by the competitor, to add up the scores for each hole to arrive at a total for the round and to apply the handicap recorded on the score card (Rule 33-5).
     (c) In four-ball stroke play, to apply the handicaps recorded on the card, ascertain the better-ball scores for each hole and add up these scores (Rules 31-3 and 33-5).
     (d) In bogey or par competitions, to record which holes have been halved, won or lost and, in Stableford competitions, to compute the number of points scored (Rule 32-1).
     (i) In any form of stroke play, the Committee may request assistance by asking the competitors to date and name their own score cards.
     (ii) A competitor cannot be penalised if the score card he returns has been incorrectly totalled or has had the handicap to which he is entitled under the conditions of the competition wrongly applied.
     (iii) In bogey and par competitions, a competitor cannot be penalised if a wrong result is shown against a hole, provided the gross score for the hole is correctly recorded. Similarly, in Stableford competitions, it is the Committee’s responsibility to compute the points scored at each hole.
  2. Responsibilities of Markers
     (a) To check the score with the competitor for each hole (Rule 6-6a), including any penalty strokes.
     (b) To record the gross score taken by the competitor for each hole (preferably as soon as the hole is completed).
     (c) To sign the score card and hand it to the competitor on completion of the round.
  3. Responsibilities of Competitor
     (a) In handicap stroke play competition, to ensure that his handicap is recorded on his score card before it is returned to the Committee (Rule 6-2b).
     (b) To check his score for each hole (Rule 6-6b).
     (c) To settle doubtful points with the Committee (Rule 6-6b).
     (d) To ensure that the marker has signed the score card (Rule 6-6b).
     (e) To countersign the score card himself (Rule 6-6b).
     (f) To return the score card to the Committee as soon as possible (Rule 6-6b).
     (g) In four-ball stroke play, to ensure that the gross scores to count are individually identifiable on the score card (Rule 31-3).
     (i) It is immaterial where the score card is checked.
     (ii) The fact that the competitor has countersigned the score card should normally be accepted as evidence that he has checked it. If the competitor signs his score card in the space intended for the marker or vice versa, this mistake does not invalidate the score card.
     (iii) The competitor is liable to disqualification for any breach of Rule 6-6b, the wording of which is designed to impress upon him his responsibility for ensuring the correctness of the score card he returns, signed and countersigned.
     (iv) The Committee has the power (Rule 33-7) to waive or modify a penalty of disqualification, but this power may only be used in exceptional individual cases and should not be used in cases where the competitor has been careless or negligent.
     (v) The competitor’s duty to return his score card to the Committee “as soon as possible” (Rule 6-6b) should be interpreted reasonably. Since no alterations may be made after the score card has been returned to the Committee (Rule 6-6c), the competitor must be allowed sufficient time to check the score card carefully. It is for the Committee to decide whether any delay in returning the score card was reasonable.