Scratch golfer

Posted by James Briggs on September 17, 2005

In Reply to: Scratch golfer posted by E G Le Maitre on September 17, 2005

: I know that the term "scratch golfer" describes a person who's golf handicap is zero. I am unable to discover why the word "scratch" was chosen or when and where it was first used. Any help or guidance appreciated.

I think this is an allusion to the 'scratch'in the ground that used to be used to start a foot race. Often,in order to make the race more interesting, the really good runners would have to start behind the scratch; the poor ones could start in front; the ones that were neither better or worse than average could start on the scratch. At the end of the race the result could be very close.