Are clubs allowed to kick you out for forgetting to type your score into the screen? Our expert once again delves into the rule book
Club committees. God bless them. Where would we be without them? Let’s pay tribute to the volunteers who give up their time to make our competitions run smoothly.
That said, nobody is infallible and, when it comes to making those events tick, my email is often brimming with golfers asking if their committees have overreached in a ruling.
One comes up pretty frequently and it’s a question of technology. Most of us are now told to enter our completed scorecards into the club computer or touchscreen.
It helps save a bit of time for those competition organisers and it’s also important for the administration of the World Handicap System. Remember, our handicaps change overnight now!
But I’ve had reports that those who’ve forgotten, or refused, to do so have been kicked out of the event.
Is that the right approach, and what do the Rules of Golf say? Let’s take a look…
Rules of Golf explained: Golf scoring rules
Committees can ask that you enter your scores into the computer, or touchscreen, or however you do it, at the end of your round.
But you can’t be penalised under the Rules of Golf if you don’t, or if you make a mistake when entering those scores.
Your competition organisers can find this statute in Section 5A (5) of the Committee Procedures found in the Official Guide to the Rules of Golf.
That doesn’t mean they are without teeth. A committee can provide a disciplinary sanction, such as by using a Code of Conduct, for a “player who fails repeatedly to comply with such a request”.
A clarification to Rule 3.3b (2) provides some more context when outlining the difference between requiring players to enter a score into a computer, and entering hole scores using an electronic scorecard.
It repeats a committee has “no authority to impose a penalty under Rule 3.3b (2) for failing to enter scores elsewhere”, but says they “may apply a penalty under a Code of Conduct or provide disciplinary sanctions (such as revoking entry into the next competition) for failing to enter scores elsewhere”.
What do I think? If you’re a regular offender, you’re probably getting what you deserve. It’ll get the results out quicker if you help with the admin. But if you’ve just made a mis-step, it feels a bit over the top to get the hook from the event.
Got a question for our expert?
Despite the changes to the Rules of Golf at the beginning of 2019, there are still some that leave us scratching our heads. I’ll try to help by featuring the best of your queries in this column.
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