SHOULD I POST THIS SCORE?
How many of the following excuses have you heard (or used) for not posting a score?
I was playing an unfamiliar course. I was playing with my boss and was so nervous I didn’t play well. I was so bad I didn’t want anyone else to see the score. I haven’t played for several months so it was just a warmup. The clubhouse was closed when I finished. The computer wasn’t working. I couldn’t remember my GHIN. I was using new clubs. I was just playing for fun. I didn’t want my handicap to go down (or up). I was in a hurry. I didn’t finish the round. We played a team best ball format so I pickup up without putting out on several holes. It was really (hot, windy, muddy, cold) out there so I couldn’t focus. Winter rules were in affect. I played by myself so no one was there to attest it. It’s only April and my club doesn’t start until May or it’s October and my club is done for the year.
Our handicap index relies on complete scoring history. Selectively posting your scores causes your handicap to not be representative of your potential – leaving out the really ugly rounds may cause your handicap to be lower than it should be and leaving out the really good rounds may cause it to be higher than it should be. Neither of these is truly fair to you or competitors in future play.
To determine whether or not to post your score, the key questions you should ask yourself are:
1. Is it posting season? Because of the winters in the northwest, Oregon golfers do not post between November 30 and March 1. However, if you play in California, Arizona, Florida or some other state still observing an active golf season, you must post those scores even though you are an Oregon Golf Association member.
2. Does the course have a USGA Course Rating and Slope Rating? For example, par 3 courses generally are not rated and cannot be posted.
3. Did you play at least 7 holes? If you did play between seven and twelve holes you must post a nine-hole score. If more than 13 holes were played you must post an 18 hole score.
How to score holes you didn’t complete: Any holes that you did not complete should be scored as par plus any handicap you would receive per your handicap and the hole by hole handicap assigned on the scorecard. For example, if you have a handicap of 36 and it starts raining so hard on hole number 15 that you decide to quit, you should complete your scorecard by assuming that you make double bogey on the remaining holes and post that adjusted score (a handicap of 36 would get you two strokes per hole). If your handicap is 32 and you’re in this same situation you would expect to get a double bogey on any unfinished holes with a handicap rating of 1-14 and a bogey on holes with a handicap rating of 15-18.
4. Did I play by the rules? Most of the time if you did not play by the rules, you do not post the score. The only exceptions I’ve found involve
(1) match play where the putt may be conceded or you may pick up your ball because the hole has been won
(2) team play where you may be asked to pick up your ball because your partner has finished the hole with a score equal to or better than you could get if you finished.
In both of these situations, you would record the score you would most likely have received had you finished the hole.
5. Did I do anything that the USGA lists as unacceptable for posting purposes?
The following are specifically addressed: (a) When you carry more than 14 clubs; (b) When clubs are limited to less than 14 (as in our 3 clubs and a putter) game; (c) When using a nonconforming club or ball; (d) When using an artificial device (training aid) not allowed in competition; (e) When deliberately experimenting/practicing by placing balls in locations other than where the ball landed.
6. Does it matter if I played alone?
Yes, changes in 2016 indicate that scores made while playing alone are no longer acceptable for handicap purposes.
7. Has the course indicated that local winter rules are in force?
Sometimes a course may post a notice that winter rules are in force. For example, because of heavy rains they haven’t been able to mow the fairways as short as normal so they may allow you to lift, clean and place. In this case your score should be posted. However, you should clarify what the local rule includes. If the course has not made that decision but you and your playing partners decide to play by taking penalty free relief rather than playing the ball it as it lies, the scores should not be posted because you did not play by the rules.