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JDC calligraphers keep golf tradition alive

A pair of scorekeepers at the John Deere Classic are using calligraphy to keep fans informed and golf tradition alive.

Amidst the keyboards and iPhones in Deere Run’s Media Center, a few things are still done the old-fashioned way. Calligraphy scorekeeper Phil Toussaint uses the decorative handwriting to post golfer’s scores on signs that cover the whole front wall.

“Everything is digital, but it adds a little character to the golf tournament. Years ago, nothing was electronic, obviously, and the only source for scores was the handwritten scoreboard,” said Toussaint.

Over the course of a tournament, Toussaint will print close to 28,000 letters and numbers.

“When it comes down to the score, somebody will ask you who’s leading the tournament. I couldn’t even tell ya. You’re totally brain numb, because all you think is threes, fours, fives, and sixes,” said Toussaint.

Outside the clubhouse, Ray Stansberry fills in another giant scoreboard as an official PGA Tour calligrapher.

“I tell people I’m an adult that never gave up my crayons,” said Stansberry.

For more than 50 years, the calligraphy board has been a PGA Tour tradition. And for passing fans, the board is a chance to get all scoring updates in a single glance.

“Your hand doesn’t get numb, your brain does,” laughed Toussaint.

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