When my friends and I play on Sunday mornings, we use our Sunday Morning Group scorecard, which Jim created for us with a desktop publishing program that he uses in his job. Among other features, it lists our local rules, such as “You get an extra stroke if you wear shorts after November 1” and “No one gets a stroke on a par 3.” Some of the older guys complain about the par-3 rule, but what can we do? It’s printed right on the card.
This year, Hacker (real name) had the idea of celebrating golf’s four majors, on each major’s final day, by using not our own Sunday scorecard but the scorecard from whatever course the major was being played on. So during our regular game this weekend we used the scorecard of the Ocean Course at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, where the PGA Championship was held. (You can download the Ocean Course card yourself, from either of the links in this paragraph.)
The main effect of using another course’s scorecard on your own course is that most of the handicap strokes fall in unfamiliar places. This impacts one of our local rules, because (for example) although our sixteenth hole is ordinarily a par 3 (meaning that no one gets a stroke on it), on the Ocean Course it’s a par 5 with a stroke index of 4 (meaning that anyone receiving 4 or more strokes that day gets a pop).
We compounded the impact by using a best-ball feature that I introduced a few years ago, called All Birdies. In All Birdies, all under-par scores on any hole count. On the sixteenth hole, for example, I had a 2 and my three teammates had net 2s. Since Kiawah’s sixteenth is a par 5, our four 2s counted as albatrosses and our team went -12 on that hole alone. That wasn’t enough to win, unfortunately, but we felt pretty tough for a while. (The winning team was Tim’s, at -31. Theirs is the top card on the pile in the photo below.)