Tuesday, July 15, 2008

NY Times Report : Golfers Cheat...A Lot


It's worth a minute or five of your time to pound through this article by Bill Pennington of the New York Times.

Pennington and the NY Times did a study on the propensity of cheating in golf, and found some startling numbers.

In a recent online poll of more than 7,000 golfers, 70 percent said they cheated on the course. A 2002 survey of 400 top business executives reported that 82 percent admitted to cheating at golf. Around the same time, PGA Tour caddies were questioned about cheating, and 26 percent said they had seen players cheat on tour.

At first, I thought "Holy hell, 70 PERCENT, that is INSANE." After settling down and finishing the article, I concurred. Bad and recreational golfers cheat at golf. It's a rule all by itself.

See, I play pretty decent golf. I follow the rules and try to get around the course in and around par but take the lumps of a bad shot out of bounds or a error in the lake. It's just as much a part of the game as golf tees and an ice-cold Arnold Palmer (drink not golfer). The rules are what make golf so individualistic and I would never want to take away from the honor.

The thing is, bad golfers and recreational golfers have no idea of the rules. They couldn't tell you the proper penalty strokes of a ball sailing over those white stakes because frankly, most don't even know the proper procedure for a ball finishing on a cart path. The rules of golf are extensive, just ask the AJGA.

I play with golfers of all types of skill level and never have I once been upset (unless we're playing a match of some sort) when they want to take a second ball off the tee or grab the putt as it's rolling by the hole even when it's going to be three-feet back for that double-bogey. It's how they approach the game.

If more people knew the rules of golf, they'd be better at this. After thinking about it, 70 percent seems a little low to me.

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