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Rub of the Green

May 16, 2009

Rub of the Green: Ringer Scores and Blind Bogies added to golf’s fun

TERRE HAUTE — Several decades in the past, there were a couple of golf competitions that players enjoyed. These events were always open to players of all abilities and entry fees were minimal.

I’m referring to “Ringer Scores” and “Blind Bogies.” To play in a Ringer you might have put up a dollar or two and sign your name on a score sheet which was usually placed on a wall in the pro shop.

To begin, you simply put up the score you made on each hole. In subsequent rounds each time you bettered the score you made the time before on a hole, you erased that score and replaced it with the lower current score. There was no limit to the number of rounds an individual played during the time period the Ringer ran. Often a new event would begin each month.

The honor system was usually utilized, but if necessary, a stipulation could be made that a scorecard should be submitted for each round and it should be attested by another player entered in the Ringer competition.

Blind Bogey tournaments were organized to give all participants an even chance to share in the prize money or merchandise. Each month during the summer Quaker Maid Company sponsored a Blind Bogey for their golfing employees. There may have been a inexpensive entry fee, but most of the tournament expenses were borne by the company as well as a meal at the conclusion of play.

The objective in a Blind Bogey was to shoot a net score somewhere between 70 and 80 strokes. For example, if your usual score was 90 you might pick a 15-handicap. That would leave you with a 75 net and allow you to play a little better or worse than your target score. If your net score was outside the 70 to 80 range, you were not eligible to be in the drawing for a prize.

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