The USGA and GAM stands with our entire golf community during this time. We all love the game for the escape it provides, and it is our great hope that we will all be able to play it, watch it and enjoy it together soon. We continue to urge everyone to follow the guidelines from health and governmental officials to keep you and those around you safe, and to minimize any possible exposure to coronavirus. This is especially true on a golf course, where golfers, workers and owners should heighten their level of awareness on exposure to surfaces like flagsticks, golf balls, bunker rakes, tees, carts and scorecards. We all need to do our part to respect expert advice and make the right decisions to protect each other.
From the perspective of the Rules of Handicapping, the most frequent questions received are primarily related to the acceptability of scores for posting to a player’s scoring record. In particular, relating to modifying the hole and not requiring the player to “hole out” as required under the Rules of Golf. These are founded in a desire to minimize the possibility of exposing golfers to coronavirus and have included leaving the hole liner raised above the putting surface or placing various objects into the hole so the ball can be more easily removed. In these specific cases, provided guidance from health and governmental officials is being followed, a temporary measure is in place within the United States to accept scores played under these conditions for handicap purposes using the most likely score guidelines, even though the player has not holed out.
(KEEP IN MIND, SCORES POSTED IN MICHIGAN ARE NOT ABLE TO BE POSTED UNTIL APRIL 1)
The most likely score is:
- The number of strokes already taken to reach position on a hole, plus
- The number of strokes the player would most likely require to complete the hole from that position (see Diagram 3-3 below), plus
- Any penalty strokes incurred during play of the hole
This temporary measure is now in effect within the United States until advised otherwise by the USGA.