What does WD mean in golf: Why Is It Important For Golfers?

What does WD mean in golf?

Knowing the golf terms is significant to understand the game effectively. Many people who watch golf might have encountered the term WD while scrolling through the golf leaderboard. It is mostly used in tournament play. What exactly does it mean? And why is it important? Let us understand.

I. What does WD mean in golf?

In golf WD stands for Withdrawn. It refers to when the player decides to withdraw from a golf tournament before its completion. There are various reasons behind making this decision. It could be a personal problem or a problem with the tournament itself.

When the golfer withdraws, the term WD is added to their names on the leaderboard to show that they have withdrawn from the tournament. A golfer can decide to withdraw before the tournament or during any of the rounds of play. Understanding the WD is important for getting the complete picture of golf tournaments and competitions.  

II. Reasons for WD in golf

There can be many reasons behind declaring WD. Here’s a few of many reasons:

1. Injury

Injury is the most common and legitimate reason to announce WD by the golfers during the tournament. Golf can be an intense sport with continuous swing motion which can strain various muscles and joints leading to injuries like wrist and back problems. In such cases it is a sensible option to opt for.

Golfers who took WD for Injury: Tiger Woods announced WD at the 2023 and Hideki Matsuyama withdrew from the Dell Match Play Tournament due to their injuries. 

2. Illness

Getting sick and playing golf can be difficult. Illness can be sudden or ongoing which can affect the golfer’s performance during the tournament. There are a lot of movements involved and the player has to be mentally fit to play golf. In such circumstances it is important for the players to prioritise their health and seek medical attention. 

Golfers who took WD for Illness: We have seen players like John Rahm and Rory Mcllory falling ill during the tournament and as a result they had to withdraw. 

3. Personal or Family Emergencies

Sometimes there can be sudden family emergencies or personal issues which can arise. Such situations can be caused by sudden death of family members, partners going into labour or their child being sick. These circumstances demand for immediate and undivided attention of the player.

Golfers who took WD for Personal or Family Emergencies: Hunter Mahan, even leading after 36 holes, had to withdraw due to his wife going into labour during the tournament. 

4. Equipment issues

It is a rare occurrence but a player’s equipment can also be a reason for WD and usually happens due to flight delay or lost luggage at the airport. Moreover, issues with club, grips or broken equipment can extremely affect the performance of the player. Even the tiniest equipment malfunction can hinder a player’s capability to compete at the highest level and could result in taking WD decisions.

III. When can a player With Draw?

A participant may opt out of a tournament either before or during it. A player can withdraw from any circuit for any reason, before the commitment deadline, which is often the Friday before the event begins.

IV. WD Procedures in Tournaments

Once a golfer wishes to withdraw from the tournament, it is essential that they must report personally to the tournament director before leaving the golf course. The tournament director will guide the official withdrawal process, which may involve filling out a form or notifying them in written form. It is essential that the WD is informed in a timely manner to avoid any penalties or issues.

V. Is WD used by your golf club?

It is common for any country club with an appropriate tournament management procedure, such as that found on the PGA Tour, to take WD cases as they occur. In order to accomplish this, the tournament committee had to examine a player’s withdrawal request and determine whether there were good reasons for the player to withdraw.

However, an alternate scenario in which a committee requests that a player resign from the competition on their own, for a number of reasons.

VI. Why Is It An Issue When A Golfer WD’s From An Event?

Compared to other professional athletes, golfers have a very different type of career. Pulling out of an event can affect the player individually and they are not part of a team. 

Here are few issues that golfers can face:

  • Player’s performance and ranking: On multiple levels, WDs can have a significant impact on a player’s performance. Psychologically, it can result in low confidence in the golfers which can affect their future performances. This drop in performance can have an impact on their standing in official golf rankings as well as rankings within specific tournaments.
  • Sponsors: In general, the tournament’s sponsor and host have an established strategy in place about who will play with whom and how they will promote the event. Even though these situations are often beyond the control of a single individual, the sponsors and host are quite disappointed when something of this sort occurs.
  • Player’s reputation: Withdrawals that are frequent or unexplained can raise questions about commitment and resilience, potentially affecting a player’s image within the golf community and among fans. 
  • Other players: Other players who attempted to enter the event should also be taken into consideration.A golf tournament has a difficult cut, and hundreds or even thousands of people attempt to make it.

Since there are only a limited number of spots available, those who are accepted must make the most of their position and the chance it presents to demonstrate their skills. A professional is unfairly taking a player’s place if they just quit a tournament after a poor round.


Thus, seeing a WD is fairly common on a professional golf board. The player may have various reasons behind declaring a WD. However, keen golf fans have to respect the decision of the golfer. 


1. Does a golfer get paid if they withdraw?

When a golfer withdraws from a tournament, they are not paid unless the tournament offers prize money for simply participating. In general, After the final round of play, the money for an event is distributed to all players who completed the entire event. That is why most golfers aim to complete all the holes of an event.

2. Are PGA Tour Golfers Allowed To Withdraw From a Tournament?

Yes, PGA tour golfers are allowed to withdraw from a tournament. 

3. Does a WD count as a missed cut?

No, a WD is not the same as a missed cut because a WD is voluntary whereas a missed cut occurs when a player performs poorly enough to miss the cut.

4. How does a golfer’s withdrawal affect their earnings?

It does affect the golfer’s earnings. If the player has not completed at least half of scheduled rounds, they won’t be eligible for any portion of the tournament’s prize money.  

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