Beware of the man whose golf pencil has an eraser, as anyone can take five strokes off their game, if they cheat in golf. Golf is all about having fun, except when you are in a tournament, but in either case players should not break the rules, as that would make them cheaters. Some golfers are forgetful and they erase strokes in their mind, this type of player will take three shots getting out of a bunker and then claim that he made a bogey on the hole. Golf is much more than just a game as it is a noble sport where good manners and proper behavior are required. Golf can shape a person’s character, because it is a Gentleman’s Game that is played by Gentleman who follow etiquette.
You must count your score correctly! Using the common courtesy of shouting ‘Fore’ should be one of the first lessons a golfer must learn. Never claim a drop that you are not entitled to. You cannot improve your lie (position of the ball), as a golf ball should be played where it lands without any change to the overall situation. Evaluate your pace of play and be prepared to play when it’s your turn to hit the ball. Never hold-up play, looking for a lost ball. If you insist on delaying wave the players behind you to go through. Walk fast to your ball and be ready to play. Fix your ball marks on the green and replace your diviots. Never talk when someone is addressing the ball and always be aware of the ball position of everyone in your group and never walk in someone’s line of play on the putting green. Learn the little things like the proper placement of the flagstick, and tapping down spike marks after you are finished with the hole.
In golf, a gimme is a shot that the other players agree can count automatically without being played. It is meant to speed up play when a player has only a very short putt left, the other players may grant a gimme (i.e., one stroke is counted), but the ball does not need to be putted. Usually golfers use the ‘Inside the Leather’ rule to determine the distance of a golf ball to the hole is close enough to the hole for a gimme. Inside the leather is not an exact measurement (because not all putters are the same length) and this rule is something that is only done in casual games between friends, as gimme putts aren’t allowed in regulation play. I have seen some golf cheaters pick up their ball when it was clearly outside of the leather and say, “That was good, wasn’t it?” At this point it is water under the bridge.
Sometimes you might run across the cheating ball-dropper, who hit a wayward shot and he is carefully watching to see if any of his playing partners will notice him placing down a new ball in the general vicinity of where his lost ball should be. This cheating ball-dropper might use the old pant-leg trick, where he has a hole in his pocket that lets his new ball fall through and go down his leg and then go out the bottom of his pants. I am always amazed when I hear them say, “Wow, I just found my ball! It must have taken a great kick for me and I actually have a pretty decent lie.”
In golf, the word ‘sandbagger’ is a derogatory term that is applied to golfers who cheat by pretending to be worse than they really are. A sandbagger will misrepresent his playing ability in order to get more strokes than he deserves. A sandbagger is a golfer who intentionally inflates his score in order to raise his handicap index, so that when tournament time comes around he’ll get more strokes. The sandbagger cheats by pretending to be a worse golfer than he really is, and any golfer who misleads others about his ability level, and claims to be worse than he actually is, in order to gain in some way such as to win a bet would be a sandbagger.
As if there are not already enough rules in golf, there are some golfers who actually like to make up their own rules, and they do this as a way of rationalizing their cheating. You might hear these cheaters say something like, “That rule is so unfair! Nobody should have to follow that stupid rule!”, and then they proceed to make up their own rules. They might even have the audacity to brag about how they made up their own rule. If a golfer doesn’t know the rules well enough to recognize it when he breaks one, would that even be considered cheating, or does cheating need to involve intent? Every golfer needs to know the rules, because everyone is required to follow them, and ignorance is never an excuse for breaking the rules.
Written for this week’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt Cheating from Linda G. Hill.