What Does WD Mean in Golf? (Solved!)

Following golf, especially competitive tournaments, is incredibly satisfying and enjoyable, as these are some of the most exciting and interesting events any sport can offer.

However, sometimes, it can also feel a bit overwhelming and even confusing, especially if you’re relatively new to the game.

Golf features quite a bit of terminology and, for outsiders, it’s sometimes difficult to decipher what some phrases mean, especially since there are a lot of abbreviations in use.

Learning about the meaning of these terms will help you understand the game better and make following a golf game or tournament much more enjoyable.

One of the abbreviations that you may come across quite often while watching golf is WD, which, in some cases, can appear next to the player’s name.

Below, I’ll explain what does WD mean in golf and when and why it’s used.

What Does WD Mean in Golf?

In competitive golf tournaments, the abbreviation WD stands for “withdrawal”. This means that the players whose status is marked WD withdrew from the tournament.

In every tournament, the default status of every player is “active”, so any change in status has its own designation, with WD indicating that the player has started the round, but withdrew while it was still in progress.

When a player withdraws from the tournament, their score can still show on the leaderboard and may be used for other tournaments in that round, if applicable.

Why Do Players Withdraw from Golf Tournaments?

Golfer playing golf on a sunny day.

A player withdrawal can happen for various reasons, personal or other, and, in some cases, can result in penalties to the player.

Players can withdraw from the tournament by their own decision or due to the inability to play because of injury, illness, or some other emergency.

They can also be removed by the governing body due to some technicality.

On the pro tour, player withdrawals are especially significant as they impact the standings, sponsorships, hosts, TV schedule, spectators, and other players as well.

Therefore, a player withdrawing from the PGA Tour event must provide valid reasons for doing so.

I will list and explain the most common reasons for player withdrawal below.


The most common reason why players withdraw from golf tournaments is medical injury.

While golf is not a contact sport and injuries don’t happen nearly as often as in some other major sports, they still do occur occasionally.

Commonly, players may have back issues, or the reason for withdrawal may be a twisted ankle or wrist.

In some cases, a player may be able to play through the pain and finish the round before receiving the treatment, but sometimes the injury is so serious, that they have to withdraw immediately.


Illness is another medical reason that may force golfers to withdraw from tournaments.

As you may have experienced yourself, getting around the golf course and making shots, while having a fever, stomach virus, or some other illness, is extremely unpleasant.

Depending on how serious the issue is, playing with illness is often practically impossible.

During a round, players move around a lot, not to mention the concentration and mental focus they need to play well.

All this is very hard to do when a player is feeling ill, which is why they will often opt to withdraw from the tournament.

Family Emergency

Even though we often view top athletes as superheroes, they are regular people just like the rest of us, and certain life events can have a great influence on how they will perform.

While this doesn’t happen very often, sometimes players will withdraw from the tournament due to family emergencies that they need to deal with.

This can happen due to something positive, like a birth of a child, but unfortunately, sometimes players are forced to withdraw from the tournament because of some bad news they receive, such as the death of a family member.

Issues with the Game

The most unpopular reason for withdrawal from the tournament, at least among the fans, is when the player leaves because their game is off.

Of course, this is never stated as the reason, as players who play very badly and can’t seem to get going, will often report health or other issues as a reason for withdrawal.

It’s fair to say that this is very unsportsmanlike as issues with the game need to be fought through on the golf course, and if the player has a bad day, they have to bear with it and accept the bad score for that round.

What are the Other Tournament Status Options?

Besides WD, you will often get to see other indications of the player’s status at the tournament.

Here are the most common ones:

  • DQ (Disqualified) – When DQ appears next to the player’s name, it means that there was a serious breach of golf rules and the player has received a disqualification penalty. In this case, all scores the player has achieved until the point of disqualification will be removed.
  • NS (No Show) – This abbreviation indicates that the player has failed to show up for the start of the round.
  • NC (No Card) – In some cases, a player will finish the round but won’t hand in their scores. Therefore, their scores won’t appear on any individual leaderboards.
  • DNF (Did Not Finish) – This designation is used to mark the player’s status when they started a certain round but didn’t finish it. It’s very similar to WD and just like in the case of withdrawal, the player’s scores will only count for pair, foursome, or team competitions.


Golf players are generally very competitive and enjoy going against other players and trying to post the best closer.

However, in comes cases, due to various reasons, they’re not able to finish the round and have to withdraw.

When that happens, the player’s status will be marked with WD, which, logically, stands for withdrawal.

Typically. a player will withdraw due to medical issues or some kind of emergency.

Whatever the reason, every withdrawal has serious consequences for the entire tournament and, depending on the cause, on the player’s career and their standing in the golfing world.

John Miller
John Miller

Hello, I’m John, a 58 year old passionate golf player and the owner of this website. I hope my article could help to answer your questions.

Mike Adams Golf