Never Have I Ever...
By mustang6560 on 2/9/12
Never Have I Ever, like golf, is a game played by gentlemen. And just like golf, Never Have I Ever requires its players to be honest and act with integrity. So now's the time to clean out the skeleton's in your golf closet and answer this week's question.
Never, have I ever, called someone out on the golf course for cheating.
I've never accused a playing partner of cheating on the golf course. However, I almost did at the World Am last fall. One of the guys in my group hit underneath a leafy bush near the green and to address the ball, he lined up and he backed into the bush essentially moving it out of the way. It didn't look right buy the guy riding in my cart said it was legal so I didn't bother making a stink about it.
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photo by sillygwailo
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I called a guy out at a Golf Channel AmTour major. He hit his drive way to the right on a soggy hole and apparently it "embedded" in the ground in the rough. He didn't notify either of us (3 in the group total) before removing the ball and "checking it" and Placing it back where it was. Rule 12-2 clearly states that before lifting a ball for identification that you must notify your playing partners (this was a tournament round afterall -- and a major no less). We brought it up to the "marshal" (read - guy who thinks he knows about golf and got a free shirt for riding around in the cart) and he said there was no breach, even after seeing the rule book. He got away with it, but i still felt good for calling him out on it. He went bogey, triple, double, bogey on the last 4 holes, so Karma got him anyway.
Added --- just so i'm clear, we caught him in the act of lifting and wiping the ball to "identify it" so that's how we knew about the embedding or whatever of the ball> We were clear across the fairway, probably 60 yards from him when this was all taking place.
I've calmly corrected a playing partner who claimed to have shot a lower score on a hole than he actually did because of not counting the proper penalty strokes. It was no big deal because we weren't playing for money but I did point out to him how shooting a respectable score is a lot harder when you count every stroke.
I did play in a tournament once where my group all teed off from the middle tees and then on the second hole we found out that the senior members of the group were entitled to play from a more forward set of tees. The rules official who told us that also told us that since we had already teed off from one set of tees that changing tees would not be permissible. Those senior players in the group promptly moved to those forward tees for the remainder of the tournament. I didn't say anything about it, but one of those guys did end up winning the senior flight.
I have been known to pick up 2 footers on the third or fourth putt. It bugs a guy I occasionally play with. (This is a someone who can spend 30 seconds hitting a 2 footer while 2 foursomes are on the tee box.) My buddy always says something about me not holing it out and implies that I am cheating. After he starts telling me how to score my round, I start calling his infractions as they occur. (Yes, this is childish behavior. Maybe I need a good therapist, maybe a stiff drink?) I have called him for double hitting balls in thick grass, grounding a club and testing conditions in bunkers, repairing ball marks on the fringe or fairway in his line prior to hitting and regularly hitting from in front of the tee box markers. The two of us don't golf together as much as we used to. Go figure...
I won't say anything unless asked during casual play. In a tournament, you have to say something when you see a possible breach. A few times someone has replied to the question, "What did you get" with a number that does not seem right, I typically ask the player, prior to teeing off on the next hole, to run through the shots they took. Usually it was an inadvertant mis-count. I did have a bit of a dust up once in a Match Play tournament. My opponent hit a ball over a water hazard, struck a tree outside the hazard and then rebounded back into the hazard. He was all set to drop to the side of the pound in a favorable position when I pointed out the point the ball LAST crossed the hazard was well over to the other side. Using that point and the hole as a line put him behind woods and brush, forcing him to puch out to the fairway. He was not too happy.
I call my brother out all the time, usually so he knows when we play doubles stuff that we both dont get screwed.
In templay practice, one of our teammates, who i was playing against severely miscounted either a penalty, or tried to one-up me by assuming i didn't see a duff shot... i asked my partner in practice, and he kinda blew it off, so I didn't say anything.
In teamplay, or tournaments, I would probably do it... but I hate doing it... I feel like a complete prat, but I never like confrontation... along the lines of "i'll beat you on the course not with a pencil" but I guess it depends.
Maybe i'll harden up :)
@gpickin: I hear you. That is why it is important to watch your competitors and be ready to say something before they screw the pooch. If someone's ball is inside a hazard line but very playable, I often mention, "oh, you are technically inside the hazard - be careful" letting him know, hopefully, that if he grounds his club he will have a problem. A lot of the guys in our tournaments have very little idea how the rules work so I try to assist them in not making things worse with taking an incorrect drop, etc... If someone manages to mangle the rules I just tell them that I think a breach occurred, what the breach was and what the penalty should be. I leave it to him to assess the penalty properly or dispute it when we are done.
I think it really depends on the setting and what's at stake. I haven't been in a tournament at quite the level of Birdie of bkuehn, but have played in men's clubs and leagues. The league last year was VERY casual, and I just learned not to question any play (dropping from OB and such). The men's club is more formal, but I'll still see the improper hazard drop, etc. I don't say anything because it's just not worth it to me.
In terms of correcting someone's score, I normally wouldn't do that either. If you want to cheat me out of $25 bucks, go ahead and live with that. You've lost my respect but I don't have time for the confrontation.
However, I did reach my limit with a friend last year. I typically don't care with this person as he is new, and really is not at the point where's he's competing anywhere or even could legitimately. He's able to put together a good hole, but will have a fair share of blow ups, and is very lax with the rules at this point for pace of play. One round we were using a cart with an electronic scorecard. We played a par 5 and somehow he said he got a 5. I had just missed a five footer for par, and I know that he didn't even beat me with my bogie. It took a lot for me to say something, but I rehashed his shots with him and marked down the appropriate 7. He proceeded to shave off a stroke on the next hole. Honestly, I don't think he is doing this on purpose. I think he's creating this delusion of a better score because he wants to be a better player. I may need to correct him so he doesn't get embarrassed by someone who will be a jerk about it.
Kurt the Knife says:
Since I'm a newbie, I never mind when someone reminds me of a rule detail I missed or failed to apply.
Takes a while to get 'em all in ur head.
I introduced a guy to the game, a couple years ago so he's still pretty new. He's what I call a club house golfer. I'm pretty sure he only plays to tell people his score, even though it's rarely that good. A buddy and me counted his strokes for the first 5 holes one time when we played, he shaved 1 stroke off each score. We were about to play for something, team drinks, and we called him out saying, "you can play, but only if you count all your strokes." He just mumbled to himself in anger and didn't play with us.
Tim Horan says:
I have... in big style. Playing a guy for the second time at a neutral club I could not believe that the 21 handicap could take out the middle of the fairway consistantly, knock down flags and single putt his way around two rounds. On the 12th tee I took out my cell and phoned his club to query his handicap sure enough he was a 9 handicap. He walked off and out of the comp.
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