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Readers Respond: Golf Cheating - What's the Worst Rulebreaking You've Seen?

Responses: 69


Strict adherance to the rules differs among golfers, and differs according to circumstance. Many bend or break the rules when playing a friendly round with a regular group, but those same golfers likely adhere to the rules - and the honor system - in a tournament or more formal setting.

Then there are those golfers who can't help themselves - who claim to be honest but bring out the ol' foot wedge when they think nobody is looking. And who deny it when caught. Yeah, those guys. Here's your chance to tattle. What is the worst golf cheating you've witnessed? (Please don't use real, full names - just what they did.)

Cheating your Friends

At our small club we have only about 70 members & only 17-20 people play tournaments. When you ask why others why don't play tournaments they say it's because of all the cheaters, schemers, and downright liars. After being at this club for 5 years now and trying to help improve this, I agree. The cheating that I've seen is openly displayed and if you call the person on their mishap, what follows is a social war where he/she does everything they can to try to convince others at the club of what a mean person you are. I've seen everything from moving the ball incorrectly on the green, to fluffing the ball in the rough, to refusing to put in low scores, to trying to exclude certain better players from tournaments, to.....well you get the idea, not enough room to list it all here. And the obvious evidence is that it's the same people that win net events over and over again which is a statistical impossibility per the USGA. To club pros & committee members I say clean it up!
—Guest Sandbagger Alert

huge stroke shaver

I play high school golf and we golf with different members of the team every practice to shake things up. I suspected a guy I was playing with was cheating so I started watching him and keeping his score. He would drop at least a stroke or two every hole, and at the worst I had him at FOUR strokes more than what he told me, I will watch him like a hawk in matches.
—Guest Noob

Cheaters Best Interest

I belong to a private course where players form groups of players so they can make their own league rules to benefit themselves. They can't win by adhering to the rules of golf so they change the rules to what they call are the right rules. The club Professional turns a deaf ear and works generating revenue for the club and could care less for the golfer himself. A poor example for the golf industry IMO.
—Guest Guest Bob

forever changed

The guy that started me in golf was one of my best friends from junior high school. In the beginning, he always beat me. But as I got better, eventually our scores were closer, however, I never seemed to win. Then the classic: scores tied, teeing off at 18, par 5 with the green right at the club house outside deck and a full crowd of people waiting for us. My tee shot - long, a little right in the deep rough; his tee shot - same as mine only WAY right. It's getting dark, twilight in fact. We find my ball, easy, his we don't find. Then I turn around and watch him pull one out of his pocket and drop. I freaked out and he blew it off, told me I was seeing things. I could never play golf with him again after that. And, of course, he won again on 18 with a 4.
—Guest dismayed

I can't believe I did it

Played in a society outing last Saturday. I had 35 points coming to the last and hit a nice enough drive but a bit to the right. Anyway, our group was quite slow and there was a build up back on the tee so I was ushering my two playing partners along to hurry them up. I outdrove them both by about 60-70 yards but when I reached where I thought my ball was, I couldn't find it. I threw another one down, and two shots later I was about 2 inches from the pin. Everything inside me was saying to scratch the hole but I ashamedly said 4 and ended up finishing 2nd in the tournament because of it. Nobody saw what happened but I'm sick to my stomach with what I did. The society are a great group of lads and now I can't even look them in the eye.
—Guest Nororymcilroy

College honor

I played with a guy today who yanked two tee shots left on a par 5 into some heavy grass and sticks . He shot 38 on the front and I felt that if I didn't follow him he was going to just drop a ball and claim it as his own . The kid proceeded to call me out on my character for following him . He stayed mad for the rest of the time and afterwards he yelled at me and my team mates from his bus. I still think he would've cheated based alone on the fact that he got so emotional by being followed.
—Guest Str8shooter

Using two golf balls

I caught a player with a ball exactly marked as the one he hit on the tee, at least he changed the ball 3 times in the round.
—Guest Vichokill


So I was playing yeasturday and a 16 handicap shot 76. Yeah, really? 76 by someone who always 'scoops' the golf ball. I played with him and it was like this. Every hole "what did you play?" I ask. "Par" "you mean bogey?" "oh, yes I do" so if someone is not careful then he just gets a -1 on every hole.
—Guest Just a guest

When I'm Not Around

So I'm on JV golf team (trying for varsity this year) and my "friend" a year younger than me is trying out. I can see why with the scores hes shooting! This kid is in 8th grade and tries to tell me that he shoots no worse than a 40 on nine holes from the varsity tees. Yet whenever I play with him he manages to shoot in the 50s and beyond on 9! Not to mention his dad gets him a new set of clubs every year, yet he still manages to do horrible! Makes me mad..
—Guest FutureGreenJacketOwner

busted and still lied about it

"Charlie" is by far the best player in our after work 9-hole league. During the playoffs it was AS on the ninth tee. "Charlie" tees off into the deep rough. All the other 3 are down the middle more or less. "Charlie" is looking for his ball much closer to the green than where we saw it go in and it was a much better lie in the area he searched. All of a sudden he says "I found it" almost simultaneously a guy 25 yards back in the really deep grass calls out he had found "Charlie's" ball. Hhhhmmmm? "Charlie" is adamant that he has found his ball although the ball found by the other guy was marked EXACTLY the same as "Charlie" marks his ball. Same brand, same 3 dots in a triangle on the side. A freak coincidence? "Charlie" proceeded to play the ball he found and ended up losing the playoffs. We know the truth "Charlie." We all know the truth.
—Guest someone who knows

C-Flight Champion

During our club championship each year, we flight the tournament. A couple of years ago, my friend was at the top of the C-Flight after the first day. On the second day, he was trailing the leader by a couple of shots when the leader hit his tee shot into some very tall grass. He hit a provisional in the fairway and all the members of the group went to look for the first ball that he had hit. While they were looking for the ball, my friend later told me that he noticed the ball while he was helping look for it and stepped on it pushing it further into the ground and making it nearly impossible to find. The leader didn't find the ball and ended up playing his second ball. While my buddy did take the lead after that hole, he would eventually lose to the gentleman whose ball he stepped on. I told him this was the worst example of sportsmanship I had ever seen. He justified it by saying anyone else would have done the same thing. The prize for winning C-Flight - a trophy.
—Guest Happy Hooker 2

'Champion Golfer'

He cannot help himself, he always handicaps his so called mates so he can give them the NAGA and this year he won the "CHAMPION GOLFER" title that he presented to himself.
—Guest Rich River

Never in the HOLE!

I like the guys who play 18 holes and never once put the ball in the hole. Every hole they pick up their ball or knock it away if its within 7 feet or so. And to top it off, they take several what they call mulligans. Oh, and I almost forgot, they move their ball 2 or 3 times before each shot to improve their lie. And then of course, they shoot somewhere in low 80s. I can't understand how anyone can play a full round of golf and never hole out once. I thought that was the main objective of the game.
—Guest Big Drive 1

The 'eagle' has landed

Played in a senior medal. A guy better than me with a low handicap hit 3 balls out of bounds off the first tee, all clearly OB. Then he threw his club at the bag and says he NR's but is still going to play. Walks up to next to the green, drops a ball and claims it is his first ball. Then chipped in. Claimed an eagle 2.
—Guest meep

PAT Test cheater

To get your card as a professional, you must pass the PAT ( Playing Ability Test) by completing 36 holes under 10 over. I was taking my PAT with three other guys. On the third hole, a guy hits his shot out-of-bounds and into a yard adjacent to the course. He does not play a provisional and goes into the yard and finds his ball. In the yard, there is a cement walkway to the back door of the house. The guy claims that since the walkway impedes his stance - he is able to take relief and then walks about 15 yards and drops his ball in bounds. We told him to play a provisional or WD. Nice try!

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