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Frank Deford - Scorekeepers for golf

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

From the article:

 

"Because major golf tournaments continue to maintain a 19th century pose and require golfers to keep their own score, instead of having a paid scorekeeper with a 21st century, electronic device — as is the case with every other big-time sport — golf loves to pretend that this somehow makes the sport more noble."

 

"Look, golf may be a fine game. But nothing is more irritating than to hear this con that its players are pure and chivalrous while all other athletes are immoral scoundrels. "

 

http://www.npr.org/2013/06/05/188630711/take-golf-out-of-the-rough-into-the-21st-century

post #2 of 28

I disagree, and the author makes several factual mistakes, including stating that adding up your score is required.

 

At the end of the day you'll always have a pencil handy, and a scorecard is pretty much immune to dead batteries, hacking, bugs, or other technical issues. What if someone is paired with a scorekeeper who hates them? Or really likes them? You don't think there'd be a controversy? And nowhere NEAR "every" golf stroke is captured by television, and that certainly isn't true at every level of the game.

 

Additionally, virtually every other game features people trying to cheat as much as they can legally get away with, so 

 

Never mind the simple practical reasons - signing your scorecard creates a definitive point in time in which you attest to your score, and despite his claims to the contrary, I think there's still something to be said for signing to say "this is what I shot today." Only you might know if your ball moved a little or you double-hit a shot out of the trees somewhere.

 

Keeping a scorecard is not that difficult. The upside is tremendous, and the practical reasons for a scorecard outweigh doing it electronically.

post #3 of 28

It's the type of drivel I've come to expect from Frank Deford.  Frank should write for soap operas where drama and scandal are appreciated. 

post #4 of 28

And pencils work in the rain.

post #5 of 28

His point is more about golf stubbornly clinging to ancient traditions instead of moving into the 21st or even 20th century. I have no issue with keeping score on a scorecard as it's familiar but requiring the pro's to do this when there are scores of officials following them is anachronistic.

 

In regards to you and I, how many times have we played in the rain while walking and without going to extraordinary measures, found our scorecards unreadable at the end of the round? Granted, whipping out a smartphone to record your score is even more hassle in these conditions.
 

post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 

I think the way it works now is fine but I wonder if you score electronically, how that would affect Tiger Woods's last two drops or anyone else's for that matter. I guess the scorer can write a number based on a golfer's actions and can verify with the caddie, so scoring electronically wouldn't mitigate the Augusta drop situation at all.

 

I get so annoyed when announcers and writers gush when they mention someone calling a penalty on him/herself. When a tennis player overrules a call that goes his/her way, announcers don't make a big deal of how "honest" the player was. 

post #7 of 28

The only time that every stroke is electronically recorded on TV is when the US Open goes to a Monday playoff. To suggest that the practice of keeping one's own score is a shibboleth is preposterous, ludicrous, and asinine. 

post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchott View Post

His point is more about golf stubbornly clinging to ancient traditions instead of moving into the 21st or even 20th century. I have no issue with keeping score on a scorecard as it's familiar but requiring the pro's to do this when there are scores of officials following them is anachronistic.

 

In regards to you and I, how many times have we played in the rain while walking and without going to extraordinary measures, found our scorecards unreadable at the end of the round? Granted, whipping out a smartphone to record your score is even more hassle in these conditions.
 

Or washed your shorts after the round with the scorecard in the back pocket!  Did that on Monday.

post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchott View Post

I have no issue with keeping score on a scorecard as it's familiar but requiring the pro's to do this when there are scores of officials following them is anachronistic.

 

As we've seen, even in majors with small fields (The Masters), there are NOT "scores of officials" following the players.

 

Yes, they have volunteers oftentimes following players to help with ShotLink and things like that, but if you watch ShotLink, you'd quickly see how often they screw up.

post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

Yes, they have volunteers oftentimes following players to help with ShotLink and things like that, but if you watch ShotLink, you'd quickly see how often they screw up.

 

Just go to any PGA Tournament and watch the volunteers in action. Bottom line, they are volunteers so you get what you pay for. Some are really sharp and some are just there doing their best. 

post #11 of 28

I got no problem with players keeping their own score, but I think the draconian measures for signing an 'incorrect scorecard' should be done away with. The most famous example was, of course, the 1968 Masters when the entire world saw DeVicenzo make a 3 on 17 but he signed for a 4. No reason to just simply 'correct the math,' so to speak instead of either making the higher score stand or DQ if the score was lower. The assumption is cheating in the case of the lower score; that's quite a penalty on what simply could have been bad math or carelessness.

 

Yes, I get the nobility & accountability of signing a card - it's like a contract. But...have you ever read every word of a contract before you signed it?

 

Just inject some common sense into the process. All I'm saying.

post #12 of 28

only in golf could you sign a card for wrong score, have it accepted - lose championship AND have so many people think it is a great system, we use technology from the 1600's and are proud of it to monitor the billion $ industry that is professional golf..but we take phone calls from some clown watching in HD slow motion to see if a dimple moved...and think it is good.

 

golf rules are crazy.

post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by zipazoid View Post

I got no problem with players keeping their own score, but I think the draconian measures for signing an 'incorrect scorecard' should be done away with. The most famous example was, of course, the 1968 Masters when the entire world saw DeVicenzo make a 3 on 17 but he signed for a 4. No reason to just simply 'correct the math,' so to speak instead of either making the higher score stand or DQ if the score was lower. The assumption is cheating in the case of the lower score; that's quite a penalty on what simply could have been bad math or carelessness.

 

Yes, I get the nobility & accountability of signing a card - it's like a contract. But...have you ever read every word of a contract before you signed it?

 

Just inject some common sense into the process. All I'm saying.

Unless you treat counting as the math, math has nothing to do with it.  Players are not responsible for the addition of the hole scores, only the hole scores themselves.

 

And the rules are made to apply to all situations, not just the ones that are covered by TV.  And frankly I feel a lot worse for a player who incurs an inadvertent and unknowing penalty, signs a wrong scorecard, and gets DQed than I do for a guy who can't be bothered to check to see if his score was recorded correctly when there were no such complications.  Roberto's own characterization of his actions was spot on, IMO.  A pro who is "simply . . . careless" about his score deserves what he gets.

post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

A pro who is "simply . . . careless" about his score deserves what he gets.

 

So disagree.

 

So with this logic, if say, Carmelo Anthony thinks he scored 32 points but he really scored 34, he should get credit for 32?

 

They're there to play golf to its highest level, not add. Let someone else do that.

post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by zipazoid View Post
So disagree.

 

So with this logic, if say, Carmelo Anthony thinks he scored 32 points but he really scored 34, he should get credit for 32?

 

They're there to play golf to its highest level, not add. Let someone else do that.

You really want to compare basketball where the action is high speed and chaotic to golf?  If a pro golfer and their caddie can't keep track of how many shots he/she took during a hole then there's some serious issues there.  

post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by zipazoid View Post

 

So disagree.

 

So with this logic, if say, Carmelo Anthony thinks he scored 32 points but he really scored 34, he should get credit for 32?

 

They're there to play golf to its highest level, not add. Let someone else do that.

 

 

YET AGAIN, they do not need to add, all they need to do is get the hole scores correct.  And comparing golf to basketball is simply ludicrous.  

post #17 of 28
They do have to add...at least the number of strokes for any given hole. But you never know if a scorer will be in place to catch Kevin Na's numerous whiffs and chops out of the trees. So it's usually simple, can be occasionally complex, and difficult to fully oversee when you have 70 individual games going on simultaneously. I do agree with the notion that an honest error which can be easily corrected on the scoreboard shouldn't disqualify someone.
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

 

 

YET AGAIN, they do not need to add, all they need to do is get the hole scores correct.  And comparing golf to basketball is simply ludicrous.  

 

Yes they do need to add, and if their math is wrong, they get DQ'd. There's 18 numbers on that card that need tallied, which doesn't sound like a big deal, and 99 percent of the time will be tallied correctly. But only in golf, if in that one percent where they are tallied incorrectly does the player get credited with the erroneous score (if it's higher) or DQ's (if it's lower). 

 

Re comparing basketball to golf, don't miss my point. All I'm saying is, in other sports the players aren't obligated and required to keep the score, and further, if should the player come up with a different number than reality, that number doesn't become fact. 

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