Monday, February 8, 2010

Your Cheatin' Heart Will Make You Weep

No, this is not about Tiger or those who stray from the nest. It is about  golfers who do not play by the rules. The ones who cheat. The ones who see no fault in improving their lie or score. This sort of thing irritates the hell out me.

My bite is worse than my bark. That is, when I encounter someone cheating the game of golf while playing with me. Now, do not get me wrong, there is a place for a mulligan in a friendly, no wager, no score golf outing. Just not when playing in club tournaments or even a $5 Nassau. Actually, it should never be permitted or tolerated. In a tournament or a round with a wager, I do call out someone who improves their position or score by being less than honest. Tough to do, but for the golfer who plays the game the honorable way, it is a must. If not, we enable the cheater to disregard us and the game.

Usually a friendly, cordial, and non threatening reminder will re-focus someone to their correct score. No problem with these types. It's the repeat offenders that get me going. The ones who must win at all costs. No room for them with me, and excluded from any type of wagering with me.  A lot of golf friendships have been ruined or terminated when the go-by-the-rules player calls out another golfer for certain misdeeds and rules infractions.

Two of my favorite all time golfers are my son, Tucker (left), and my son-in-law, Billy. Both whom have broken 100 just once. They count every stroke, relish every par, respect the game, and it's legacy. No one was more excited than me, when they shared their record breaking scores. I just knew in my heart these benchmark scores were valid and helped make golf the special game it is. Milestone scores can only be celebrated by those who play the right way.

So, I ask, which is more meaningful: Someone who shoots 79 including a couple of foot wedges, or the golfer who breaks 100 for the first time and counts all the strokes, including whiffs? Give me the whiffer who counts them all.

Please comment on how you handle the cheatin' wannabe golfers you face from time to time.


Vince Spence said...

Wow, Coach, Great post...

Later in this comment, I'll explain my "cheatin' heart", but, meanwhile, I'll talk about what I usually see when playing.

In my experience, 'improving the lie' is by far the most frequent instance of cheating in golf. Whether they just flat out move the ball OR, using what they feel are the rules of golf, try to obtain relief of some type, like the gigantic boulder Tiger was able to get moved for him.

Secondly, I think not knowing the rules for hazards and OB lowers scores in many, many instances. Robert Allenby attempted to do it last week, but the officials failed to agree with him.

Thirdly, as I have been guilty of this, allowing others to concede putts to you (me) in casual matches, whether it be 3 inches or 3 feet. Mea maxima culpa. The old "Gimme" or "It's In The Leather" routine.

All three together could take a score someone 'thinks' he shot and add 5-7 strokes to it easily.

I think between the two of us, Coach, we could write a series on 'inaccurate score keeping'...

Heather said...

I have SO many stories about this subject.

Some golfers don't care about their scores or ever bother to enter them. They may be "Weekend Warriors" or gals who enjoy "Girlfriend's Golf."

These folks never have any intention of competing at any level. For those folks, I say cheat away. Enjoy time with your buds on the course and create some great memories. If you don't want to hit off a root, don't. But these folks also loose any kind of bragging rights about breaking 100.

When there is any kind of competition going on, cheating is completely NOT COOL. I've played with gals who massively cheated during a member-member tourney. My partner and I were unsuccessful in getting these gals to admit to their real scores. We told the pros and they didn't care because they were in last place. IMHO, these gals shouldn't be allowed to compete in the even again.

Folks need to remember in tourneys that it's illegal to sign an incorrect scorecard. SO you better make sure your score AND your opponent's is accurate.

Since several of my golfing gal pals and I compete, we stick to the rules and putt everything out.

Tucker said...

people are cheating themselves first when they cheat on the golf course!

HTRAUMA said...

I call cheaters to the carpet. It takes the competitive spirit out of your game and makes the 19th hole beer flat and the conversation boring. I have a steady group of favorite opponents and we repect the personal drive the game pulls out of us. Great site will be back!!

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