If you have ever been to a professional golf tournament, you know how much fun they can be to watch.
Professional golf tournaments are a very unique sporting experience.
Instead of being loud and rowdy, you get to be quiet and enjoy watching the tournament unfold.
There is a ton of action happening at a golf tournament in many different places.
As you travel from one hole to the next, it can be hard to keep track of all the players and where they stand.
That is where a standard bearer comes into play!
What Is a Standard Bearer in Golf?
A standard bearer is a person who walks around with a mobile scoreboard during a golf tournament.
The standard bearer will be holding a sign with the scores of the group they are walking with.
Most of the time, the score the standard bearer will show is the players’ scores for the tournament.
For instance, if the tournament is on its third day and a player is six under par for the tournament, the sign will show a red six.
When the player is even, the numbers are usually green and above par is normally black.
This, of course, can change from one tournament to the next, but this tends to be the standard color combination.
The standard bearer needs to pay attention to the group they are walking with.
They will have to adjust the scores after each hole to make sure they are displaying appropriate information for spectators to see.
Years ago, there were no electronic scoreboards at golf events.
This made it quite difficult for people to know where the tournament stood.
Standard bearers helped the tournament spectators to see what was going on in the event.
How Can You Become a Standard Bearer?
Most of the standard bearers you see on the golf course are volunteers.
Many of them have done this for years, and they enjoy the process and getting to meet and see professional golfers.
The standard bearer’s job is not really all that difficult.
If you wanted to try to become a standard bearer, you would have to be in decent physical condition, understand golf scoring, and attend a brief demonstration about proper protocol.
The standard bearer has to be able to walk the entire golf course carrying their sign.
This is why physical conditioning is essential prior to signing up for the event.
What Is a Walking Scorer?
For many professional golf tournaments, there is a walking scorer in addition to a standard bearer.
The walking scorer is responsible for keeping track of the score of the group.
The standard bearer and the walking scorer will consult at the end of each hole and decide if the board needs to be changed.
No changes will be made on the board until all putts are in the hole completely.
Usually, between the walking scorer and the standard bearer, there should not be any discrepancies on the scoring, but if there is, they can call over an official to help.
The walking scorer and the standard bearer will stay with their group for the entire day.
Each morning, the standard bearer will report and get their group assignment for that day.
Since the group changes every day based on how everyone scores, the standard bearer cannot stay with the same group on days three and four of the tournament.
Is it Hard to Get a Standard Bearer Position?
When it comes to local amateur events, they will probably be looking for more volunteers to be standard bearers.
For events like a US Open, chances are it will be much harder to get the position.
Sometimes there will be a lottery, and other times, it could be a situation where there is a waiting list.
If you want to try your hand at the standard bearer position, try looking for a Champions Tour event or Korn Ferry event.
These do not usually get the same publicity or attention, and therefore, there are traditionally more available positions when it comes to volunteering.
Are Standard Bearers Still Necessary?
With the way golf has evolved, and things like electronic scoreboards and live results on cell phones have changed the game, many wonder if the standard bearer is still necessary.
The truth is the standard bearer is probably not still necessary, however, it is a tradition that will likely not go away.
The walking scorer will probably stay in the group for a long time because this is what helps to communicate accurate scores across the field.
While the walking scorer is out there collecting information, it may as well be shared with people who are enjoying the tournament on that hole.
For a golf purist who has loved the game from the start, it will be a sad day when traditions like the standard bearer start to go away.