Q. We have a problem at our weekly ladies play day and club tournaments with players who can’t seem to count the strokes they take on a hole. This is an ongoing concern since some of these women always get paired together and seem to win every week. Is there anything we can do about this? — S.P.
A. Golf is a game of honor and you shouldn’t have to spend your whole game trying to count someone else’s score. Unfortunately, you have a responsibility to protect the field, and if you are paired with this group and are the marker for one of them, you will have to certify their scores at the end of the round. Your women’s association can help by not pairing these players together or by putting a strong player with them who’s not afraid to confront them and correct the mistakes made on the score.
The club can also help by assigning a marker to score for these players during club tournaments. You can always refuse to sign their score cards if you know the score is wrong, but you’ll have to advise the tournament committee of the facts and why you are doing this. If these things don’t help correct the problem, you may have to prohibit them from playing in your organized play until they learn how to count.
Q. I played in a tournament last week and was penalized four strokes for starting the round with more that 14 clubs. I declared my extra driver out of play by turning it upside down in my bag before starting the round. I told my fellow competitors what I was doing and no one said a thing about it being a rules violation. What should I have done with that extra club? — Sam Tolliver
A. Before starting the round you needed to remove the extra driver and leave it at the starter table. You cannot declare the club out of play by turning it upside down or putting it on the floor of your golf cart. If you did this you would be starting the round with more than 14 clubs and would receive two penalty strokes for every hole you carried the extra club, with a maximum penalty of four strokes.
Sue May is a U.S. Open rules official. Address your rules questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.