Rules Guy: How do you account for temporary hole closures or yardage changes on your scorecard?

How should you handle scoring when a course is temporarily modified?

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The Rules of Golf are tricky! Thankfully, we’ve got the guru. Our Rules Guy knows the book front to back. Got a question? He’s got all the answers.

During a recent round, a par 5 was reduced to a par 3 due to flood damage, in essence turning the course to a par 70 from a par 72. How do I account for this when posting my score? The guys in the pro shop gave three different answers: “Post the score as it is on the card”; “just add 2 strokes to your score”; and “I don’t get paid enough to answer that.” —John Jeney, Hillsborough, NJ

Rules Guy loves Noo Joisey (and, thankfully, is paid enough to answer that)!

When temporary changes are made to a course, the club should reach out to its local Allied Golf Association for guidance. Depending on the circumstances, the AGA may decide to generate a temporary Course Rating, Slope Rating and par that would reflect the temporary course conditions.

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Rules Guy: Is it permissible to accidentally mix up the numbers on a scorecard if the total score is correct?
By: Rules Guy

If a temporary rating has been provided, you should go ahead and post your actual score for the hole. Failing that, the recommendation is for players to post net par (par + any handicap strokes received on the hole) as their score for the hole.

For more scoring guidance from our guru, read on …

This year, I’ve played in 40 mph winds, downpours and on courses nearly under water, but the new “playing conditions calculation” hasn’t applied to any score. If these situations don’t trigger a score adjustment, can you tell me what does? —Ann Therese Palmer, Kailua, Hawaii

Rules Guy can assure you that, rumors notwithstanding, the playing conditions calculation (PCC) isn’t made by an evil consortium of tight-fisted actuaries twirling their handlebar mustaches. The process is, in fact, automated.

PCCs are made at the end of each day, comparing the players’ actual scores to their expected scores. If the scores are significantly higher or lower than expected — which can be caused by course setup as well as weather — an adjustment is automatically applied.

Rules Guy: Can scores on courses modified due to coronavirus concerns be posted for handicap purposes?
By: Rules Guy

Here’s the rub: At least eight scores from golfers with a Handicap Index of 36.0 or less must be posted that day before the clock strikes midnight for a PCC adjustment even to be considered. Ergo, everyone needs to get in the habit of posting scores on the day of play. Scores that aren’t posted on the same day will still get the PCC adjustment if applicable but don’t get included in the PCC computation; as any data scientist worth his calculator will tell you, the more scores that are posted, the better the data set becomes.

That said, fewer golfers typically brave the course during extreme weather. Throw in the common misconception that we’re not expected to post our score when brutal conditions lead to uncharacteristically high scores, and it can be difficult to reach the PCC scores threshold.

Dear readers, for the dogged Ann’s sake, and all of ours, post every acceptable score, good or bad, then and there, unless the course’s Handicap Committee has temporarily suspended score posting due to the hurricane/monsoon/typhoon, etc.

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Got a question about the Rules? Ask the Rules Guy! Send your queries, confusions and comments to rulesguy@golf.com. We promise he won’t throw the book at you.

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