Rules of signing your card

The disqualification of Michelle Wie on the weekend has created quite a stir. In short, for those who didn’t hear about it, Michelle Wie turned her card in to the scorer’s tent on Friday after her round. She left the roped off area defining the scorers tent before signing her card and was disqualified after her round on Saturday for it. There’s some big arguments going on greens, in bars and on blogs. The main discussion points are:
  1. Michelle Wie was silly to make such a mistake and the rules are the rules.
  2. Why did it take a day (after she’d got within a stroke of the lead!) to be disqualified?
  3. It was a mistake, not cheating and therefore the penalty is harsh.
  4. The rule saying you must sign your card before leaving the scorers tent is ridiculous.
  5. The rule saying you must sign your card is antiquated and should be removed from the game.

I must have read 50 or so different views on this and was beginning to wonder whether I even need to write mine. A discussion with other golfers the other night raised these points:

  • It’s a relic of when golf was an amateur sport only. These days in professional golf surely you saying you got a 5, and your marker agreeing should be enough. It’s all on TV anyway.
  • No other sport makes you sign for your own score or call your own penalties.
It’s a big talking point and Aussie Golfer is leaning more towards point 4 above but I suppose in a game where honesty rules and is fundamental to the spirit of the sport there must be some measures in place to punish those who don’t appreciate this. Michelle Wie’s situation highlights there’s a problem with this rule and it’s punishment as she was in no way cheating or even attempting to cheat. Her score, game or state of mind was in no way advantaged by what she did.

And just as a reminder for you all, here’s rule 6.6a and b:

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.

4 thoughts on “Rules of signing your card

  • What I don’t get is how easy it is to sign a card? How can you forget?

    To me it seems like clocking off at work after you’ve done a shift. My glorious days at Coles Supermarkets always ended with me punching in my code to sign off. If I didn’t, I didn’t get paid. Simple really.

    If there is a procedure to follow, you follow it. This has caused a few players to get disqualified over the years and she should know that.

  • Piers you are correct in that it is not really asking that much for players to abide by a few simple rules at the end of each round. That said what purpose does it serve in the modern game. Should the all blacks and wallabies have to all sign to confirm the score at the end of a match. Secondly are we not at the point now where technology means that there are numerous options available .

  • Is it wrong to sign card before hitting off

  • Whilst score cards should be signed by the marker and player, the penalty on the player for not doing so seems very harsh. Rather than disqualification it seems to me a 2 stroke penalty is fairer; always providing the score is correctly recorded.


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