What Does WD Mean In Golf?

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One of the standard terms you will see on golf tournament scoreboards is WD. But what does WD mean in golf?

WD means “withdrawn” in golf terms. If a player drops out of a tournament or round of golf before it’s complete, they will not get an official score. Instead, their score will be listed as WD. If they are withdrawn, they will remain on the leaderboard of a tournament, but they will not place in the tournament or round.

This article has everything you need about WD in golf, including what it is and some examples of it. We’ll also explain other terms similar to WD that you will often see in the same golfing context. 

What Does WD Mean In Golf
What Does WD Mean?

What Does WD Mean in Golf

WD in golf means withdrawn from the event. The most common time you will see WD is when a player withdraws in the middle of a tournament or a golf event that is being officially scored.

For example, PGA tournaments usually have one to two players on average who have withdrawn. 

You will see the term WD in place of the player’s score or position in the tournament. And, if you are looking at the leaderboard for a tournament, any players that have withdrawn will still be listed. However, they will be at listed at the very bottom of the leaderboard list. 

Not all tournaments or rounds of competitive golf games have a player withdraw, but you will know if anyone has withdrawn by looking for the WD on the scoreboard. They will still be listed, albeit at the end.

Another place you might see the WD acronym in for certain golf committees or golf leagues. WD still means withdrawn, but instead of withdrawing from the tournament or round, the person has withdrawn from the league or committee.

For example, the USGA has a handicap system where they assign players a handicap based on the recent rounds they have played. If a player does not fulfill the qualifications for the handicap system, they will be withdrawn from the system by the USGA. In this case, the player will be listed as WD. 

Examples of WD in Golf

The most common reason why a player will withdraw from a round or tournament is a medical issue. If they feel unwell after a few holes or in between tournament rounds, they can withdraw. You would see the acronym WD as their “score” in the event.

However, withdrawing is not always as easy as announcing that you want to withdraw. In fact, the PGA Tour requires players to provide proof of a medical issue if they withdraw in the middle of a round. 

If a PGA player withdraws between round within the same tournament, they will not have to provide medical proof, even if they state medical issues as the reason for withdrawing. However, the media and fans may speculate about the withdrawal without medical evidence, especially if the player is struggling with their game.

But, since the PGA tournaments are so competitive, and being part of the tour is an achievement that these players work towards for their whole lives, there is usually a good reason for withdrawing from a tournament. Even if they do not release the reason to the public.

Another reason some golfers withdraw from a tournament is that they have been playing poorly lately. While this might not be a good reason to withdraw, it is a common reason.

If a player has been playing especially poorly in their practice rounds or had some horrendous warm-up shots at the range, they may feel compelled to withdraw. Whether or not this is a good reason to withdraw or not is a matter of personal opinion. 

Golfers know how quickly a bad round can turn into a good round, and vice versa. However, if a player is not feeling confident, they may decide to withdraw instead of finishing the course. Dropping out of a round that will only make the player look bad or feel more frustrated with their game could be the best option. 

Withdrawn Meaning In Golf
What Does Withdrawn Mean?

What Does DQ Mean in Golf?

DQ is another common abbreviation you will see in golf. DQ means a player was “disqualified.” There are many reasons why a player could be disqualified from a competitive golf tournament. For example, some rule violations are grounds for automatic disqualification. 

The player will not be able to complete the tournament if they are disqualified, even if more rounds remain. 

Here are a few common ways in which golfers get disqualified or DQ’d from a golf tournament:

  • Showing up late to your tee time: You have to be ready to tee off at your assigned time and should always try to be at the first tee a full ten minutes before your starting time. 
  • Lying about your handicap: Claiming your handicap is higher than it actually is results in an unfair advantage. This is referred to as sandbagging.
  • Turning in an incorrect scorecard: You must verify that the score on your scorecard is correct and signed before submitting it to the event officials. If the score on your scorecard is lower than your actual score, you will be disqualified. If the score is higher, you will be given the higher score from your scorecard.
  • Illegal equipment: You might be disqualified if you use clubs or balls that the tournament committee prohibits. Carrying too many clubs in your bag is on such example. 

These are not the only ways to get a DQ mark. Some golf tournaments will more strict and have more rules that could result in disqualification as compared to other events. 

However, some tournaments are more relaxed with their rules. Tournaments for kids and teens who are still learning the game may be more hesitant to DQ a player. Some of these causes for disqualification will be replaced with penalty strokes or even just an explanation of the rule the player broke. 

What Does NS Mean in Golf?

Another abbreviation is NS, which means “no-show.” Not showing up for a round is not grounds for disqualification. And it is different from WD since the player never started the tournament or match. 

So, if a player does not show up to a tournament or fails to check in on time, they would be marked as NS. If you have a tournament, give yourself plenty of time to get to the course, check in, and warm up. You do not want to be marked as a no-show.

A similar abbreviation that you might confuse with NS is NC, which means no card. If a player does not turn in their scorecard after a round, their individual score will not count. But it could still count for group scoring. 

What Do WD DQ NS Mean
WD – DQ – NS

Summary of Golf Terms on a Leaderboard

There are a few terms that you learned about above. Let’s summarize them, so you know what they mean next time you see them on a golf tournament leaderboard. 

  • WD: Withdraw. A player has decided not to continue playing in a tournament. Golfers can WD for a variety of reasons, but typically players withdraw for medical reasons and injuries. 
  • DQ: Disqualified. A player who breaks the rules during a golf tournament will be disqualified. A DQ could prevent them from playing in future tournaments, depending on how severe the infraction is. 
  • NS: No show. A player never showed up or checked in for the round or tournament and therefore is not playing. 

Final Thoughts

WD means that a player has withdrawn from a golf tournament. They can withdraw at any time during a tournament, that includes in the middle of a round or between rounds if there are multiple rounds in the event. Similar abbreviations you may see on the scorecard during a tournament include DQ, which means a player was disqualified, and NS, which means a player did not show up.

Looking for more information on common golf abbreviation? See our recent article on what MC means in golf, and another post that explains what GIR means in golf. And you’ll definitely want to see our resource covering our favorite funny golf terms!

David Shelly
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