When you play in a competition, accurate score cards are essential. Rule 3.3b defines the responsibilities of the player and marker.
For all competitions, score cards will be printed with the player's name and daily handicap for the course being played, and the date of the competition. Score cards also show the Stoke Index and Par for each hole, for men and women as applicable. Don't forget that if a man is marking a woman's card or vice versa, that the par and stroke index is different for each gender!
Mostly, two players exchange cards and record each other's scores. Sometimes this is a three-way exchange. When you mark someone else's card, you must take responsibility for recording their correct score in terms of number of strokes on each hole. If you make a mistake and record fewer strokes than the player had, and the player does not detect the error and submits the card, they will be disqualified if the error is identified.
Do you want to be responsible for your partner's disqualification?
Please record your name as Marker on the score card you are marking. This enables us to resolve uncertainty, for example if a player's score has been altered but it is not clear from the alteration whether the score should be say 5 or 6 - reference to the card the player marked, where they recorded their own scores, may help resolve the uncertainty. Please try to make all numbers clear and easily read. It is difficult to match player and marker when the marker is not recorded.
The solution is to ALWAYS compare the STROKES TAKEN on each hole. Don't worry about Stableford points or Par result, the computer will take care of that. We ignore the Stableford points or par result recorded on your card, only the STROKES TAKEN ON EACH HOLE count. Of course, if the computer gives a different result we will have to investigate your card closely.
It is far too common to see errors on score cards where, for example, the player recorded 6 for 3 on a par 5 where he gets 2 strokes, but the marker wrote down 5 for 3 as they are used to getting only 1 stroke. In this case the player would be disqualified as they signed a card with a lower strokes taken score. If the error is not detected the player gets 4 points and unfairly beats someone else.
If, however, the marker records 6 when the player has 5, then the 6 will be counted and the player will have a lower Stableford score. Refer Rule 3.3b.
This is why we plead with all players to compare STROKES TAKEN on a hole by hole basis for every hole, as well as Stableford points before submitting the score card. Recording the Stableford points or Par result on the card is helpful for you to know how you are going, and helps the Pro Shop identify errors when the points on the card differ from the computer.
Another significant problem arises from illegible corrections. If you do not have an eraser it is best to cross out the wrong score and write in the adjacent square. Very common is over-writing a 6 with a 5 or vice versa, and the result can often be hard to interpret. Examples:
Since the Pro Shop staff have been taking cards for score entry, instead of requiring players to use the touch screen to enter their hole by hole scores, the error rate has increased, and can be as high as 15% or more. This is unacceptable and unfair to all players. It is the responsibility of every player and their marker to accurately record scores and to check these scores before submitting the score card.
Please help the Pro Shop staff by checking the STROKES TAKEN on each hole with your marker.
If you have any questions about marking score cards, the Pro Shop staff will be pleased to advise you.
While a score card is not required in Match Play a Match Play card is available with the Match Play Index, based on starting from the first tee. This index is used for Handicap Match Play and follows the Golf Australia recommendations. Not that for this index, the hole number is 1 for the first hole you play, regardless of which golf course hole this happens to be. It has nothing to do with the degree of difficulty of the hole but is designed to apportion the handicap difference fairly over the match.