Luke is an avid weekend-warrior golfer from the East Coast who plays golf more than he cares to admit.
If you’re new to golf or just aren’t well-versed in some of the terminologies, you may have heard the word ‘marker’ in relation to golf tournaments.
Golf has many specific terms that relate to the game and keeping track of them all can be difficult to do.
That’s why we’ve written this article to explain what a marker is in a golf tournament. The short answer is that a marker is the person that records, or marks, your scores.
Keep reading this article to find out more about markers in golf tournaments and exactly what their responsibilities are.
Let’s get started!
What Is A Marker In A Golf Tournament?
When playing in a golf tournament, it is a rule that each player must have a marker that keeps track of their score.
According to the rules written by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and The R&A, a marker is “the person responsible for entering a player’s score on the player’s scorecard and for certifying that scorecard.”
A marker can be one of several people and is commonly another player, but cannot be a partner of the player.
The Committee responsible for the tournament may choose who each player’s marker is or they will set out the rules that allow a player to choose their own marker.
It’s very common for competitors to mark down each other’s scores during a tournament. This is a quick and easy way to ensure the scores are marked down correctly as the players keep each other honest.
What Are The Responsibilities Of A Marker?
Having the responsibility for marking down another player’s score during a competition can be daunting but it needn’t be!
Remember, if you’re marking down your competitor’s score they’re also marking yours, so it is in both players’ best interest to mark down scores accurately.
By breaking down the responsibilities of a marker, we can hopefully make this daunting task look a little less complicated and worrying.
First, markers need to watch the golfer’s play closely so that they can score it correctly. This is a simple and easy step as you’re probably going to do this anyway! Make sure that you watch every shot that they hit.
Next, you will need to count all of the strokes for each individual hole. Don’t forget to add any penalty strokes that they accrue for action such as hitting the ball out of bounds or into a water hazard.
We would always recommend checking this score with the golfer before marking it down and moving on.
If there are disagreements in the score, it’s easier to sort them out while the hole is fresh in the mind than at the end of the round when details are more difficult to remember.
At the end of the round, you will need to add up the stroke count for each hole so that the player has a total score. Make sure that you sign the scorecard as well to confirm that it was you that marked the card.
Once you’ve added everything up and signed the scorecard, give it to the player. They will then give you your card as well. You should double-check your scorecard again, even if you have confirmed the stroke count after every hole.
Do Pros Use The Same Person As Marker For Every Tournament?
It is very unusual for competing pros to use the same marker in several tournaments. This is because of how tournaments are designed and scheduled.
Competitors begin playing the tournament in randomly selected groups of four, so it is unlikely that random selection will produce the same markers.
In most PGA tournaments, the field of competitors gets cut after two rounds. The number of players is usually cut in half so instead of playing the rounds in groups of four, players instead play in pairs.
This means that players often don’t even have the same marker throughout an entire tournament!
What Does ‘Non-Competing Marker’ Mean?
Although this might seem self-explanatory, it’s still best to clarify the meaning. A non-competing marker refers to someone who is keeping score for a player but isn’t competing in the tournament themselves.
This isn’t very common in most tournaments but does frequently happen at The Masters, for example.
It’s not unusual for a golfer during the third or fourth round at The Masters to have a solo tee time and in this case, a non-competing marker will be assigned to keep their score.
They will play the hole with the competitor so that the rhythm of playing the hole isn’t disturbed, but they are not part of the tournament.
What Happens If A Marker Makes A Mistake?
If a marker makes a genuine mistake when marking down the score, this will be resolved without any punishment or consequences to the marker.
If the marker and player can’t agree on the numbers, the marker can decline to sign the scorecard and the Committee will make a judgment in this case.
However, if the marker knowingly records an incorrect score or knowingly signs a card that contains incorrect scores, they can be disqualified from the tournament.
If you want to continue playing in the tournament it is of vital importance that you take every step possible to ensure that the correct information is counted and recorded.
In the case of non-competing markers, they can’t be disqualified from the tournament as they are not in the tournament. However, it is very unlikely that they will ever be asked to perform the role of marker again.
In this article, we explained what the word ‘marker’ means in a golf tournament. We explained that a marker is someone who keeps a player’s score and described in detail what the role entails.
We also explained how markers are chosen and the circumstances where a non-competing player may take the role of a marker.
We hope that information in this article has answered all of your questions.