The Rules of Golf—or more specifically, the cloud of ambiguity that hovers over them—regularly make their way into the news for the wrong reasons. While the game’s regulations reared their ugly head at the Oregon high school golf tournament, it was actually the scorecard, not rule book, that caused the confusion.
According to the Oregonian, 12 players at Quail Valley Golf Course in Banks, Oregon were disqualified on Monday for playing from the wrong tee box. The tournament competitors were instructed to play from the course’s blue tees. However, the scorecard given to players listed the Quail Valley’s 13th hole at 172 yards. The blue markers were 40 yards back, with another set of tees situated at the 172-yard plate. The first four threesomes—all from the same three schools—trusted the scorecard and played from the plate, only to be informed later they should have played from the blue.
Officials caught wind of the matter and were able to warn the fifth group, along with every group that followed. But the rules committee decided that the 12 players who had already passed through the 13th “played” a different course than the rest of the field, and were thus disqualified.
OSAA executive director Peter Weber told the Oregonian that players should have known to play from the blue tees.
“It is the first bullet point on the rules sheet,” Weber said.
Though the players are allowed back for the second round of the competition on Tuesday, they are out of the individual event, as well as their teams.