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Cheating in the Club Championship


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3 hours ago, North Butte said:

I simply don't traffic in hearsay or things that I think might have happened behind my back when I wasn't looking. Not in real life, certainly not in golf.

 

 

 

Then act on what you yourself would have witnessed in my example. ie. You witnessed 2 groups talking about having witnessed an infraction. Report what you observed to the committee and let them talk with the witnesses.

 

I don't particularly care who brings it to the attention of the committee as long as the committee is notified of something to begin an investigation and the field has a chance to be protected.

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He cheated, then lied to your face about it.   You should have reported him and gotten him DQed.  He already had his chance at redemption when you tried to confirm his score as a 6.   Yes, h

As long as he didn't win the tournament by a stroke I believe you handled the situation really well. 16 years old is still really young and he has a lot of time to come to the realization that cheatin

6 year old, handled properly, but 16 should have called them out.  By 16 if haven't learned integrity, no tellin' how they'll end up later in life.  Play with integrity and by the rules or play by you

55 minutes ago, Sawgrass said:

If you are saying that the OP was at fault for not always watching each player in his group, I heartily disagree.  People have other things to do, like playing/moving along briskly.

 

26 minutes ago, manku said:

Yeah...there is virtually no way that you can watch a competitor 24/7...this player probably cheats whenever he realizes that no one is watching (I know golfers like that).

 

 

So...if we put these two statement together, you're saying that we should simply accept that a certain amount of cheating is going to happen in every competitive golf event? For such a rules guy, @Sawgrass, I find this an intellectually difficult position for you to maintain.

 

I've never found it difficult to monitor my fellow competitors during tournament play. It is an added responsibility that comes with the territory. I'm not going to sign a score card unless I have witnessed and accounted for every stroke on it - whether it is my own or my fellow competitor's. 

Edited by jholz

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51 minutes ago, jholz said:

So...if we put these two statement together, you're saying that we should simply accept that a certain amount of cheating is going to happen in every competitive golf event? For such a rules guy, @Sawgrass, I find this an intellectually difficult position for you to maintain.

 

You put words in my mouth, then challenge them?

 

I said nothing about "accepting" cheating.  I simply said that a competitor's obligation to watch other players is limited.  The only requirement is that a player not knowingly skip challenging a cheat's score.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, HatsForBats said:

 

Then act on what you yourself would have witnessed in my example. ie. You witnessed 2 groups talking about having witnessed an infraction. Report what you observed to the committee and let them talk with the witnesses.

 

I don't particularly care who brings it to the attention of the committee as long as the committee is notified of something to begin an investigation and the field has a chance to be protected.

 

Overhearing 2 groups talking about [fill in the blank] is the very definition of "hearsay". 

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1 minute ago, North Butte said:

 

Overhearing 2 groups talking about [fill in the blank] is the very definition of "hearsay". 

 

If when you get to scoring and everyone's talking about what happened on #6, then you probably don't have much to add, but if it seems the Committee is in the dark, then I'm sure they'd appreciate a heads up.

Knowledge of the Rules is part of the applied skill set which a player must use to play a round of competitive golf.

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2 minutes ago, Sawgrass said:

You put words in my mouth, then challenge them?

 

I said nothing about "accepting" cheating.  I simply said that a competitor's obligation to watch other players is limited.  The only requirement is that a player not knowingly skip challenging a cheat's score.  

 

 

 

Hey @Sawgrass, I hope you recognize how much respect I have for your knowledge of the rules and experience in the game. I'm not trying to be a richard (not WRX Richard - who is a fine individual, but rather the kind of richard that is part of the male reproductive anatomy).

 

But...the words are coming out of your mouth at this point. You are describing essentially the same scenario that I outlined in my previous post.

 

Now, I am assuming that the "Club Championship" described in the OP's post is like most of the low-level competitions that I have participated in - a competition that doesn't have a rules official following every group on the course to monitor play and enforce rules.

 

If you don't have outside regulation of the rules, and the individual player's responsibility to monitor fellow competitors is limited, then who or what maintains the integrity of the competition?

 

If your answer is "individual honor and the traditions of the game" well...I'm sorry, but you've described a system where a certain amount of cheating is guaranteed. 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, jholz said:

 

Hey @Sawgrass, I hope you recognize how much respect I have for your knowledge of the rules and experience in the game. I'm not trying to be a richard (not WRX Richard - who is a fine individual, but rather the kind of richard that is part of the male reproductive anatomy).

 

But...the words are coming out of your mouth at this point. You are describing essentially the same scenario that I outlined in my previous post.

 

Now, I am assuming that the "Club Championship" described in the OP's post is like most of the low-level competitions that I have participated in - a competition that doesn't have a rules official following every group on the course to monitor play and enforce rules.

 

If you don't have outside regulation of the rules, and the individual player's responsibility to monitor fellow competitors is limited, then who or what maintains the integrity of the competition?

 

If your answer is "individual honor and the traditions of the game" well...I'm sorry, but you've described a system where a certain amount of cheating is guaranteed. 

 

 

Jholz, no worries, no offense taken.

 

At all levels of golf from Club Championships to PGA Tour events, the most profoundly useful method of avoiding cheating is asking players not to cheat as is done in rule 1.2a.  

 

Even in the many US Open qualifiers I've reffed, there are not enough refs to have every group individually monitored.

 

Does cheating occur?  Yes, even on the PGA Tour.  Does this mean the people with whom you are playing must aggressively keep an eye on you?  I don't think so.  In fact, you'd have to have someone walk with every player and with every player's caddie to make sure nothing evil was happening.  

 

As I've said earlier in this thread, IMO the OP should have involved the committee.  Because he happened to notice a competitor's ball's position change without explanation.  (Not because of any obligation to watch every move the offending player made.)

 

While it's imperfect, I like the fact that we generally trust each other.

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11 minutes ago, jholz said:

If your answer is "individual honor and the traditions of the game" well...I'm sorry, but you've described a system where a certain amount of cheating is guaranteed. 

 

 

That is all that the ruling bodies require.

1.2 Standards of Player Conduct

a. Conduct Expected of All Players

All players are expected to play in the spirit of the game by:

  • Acting with integrity – for example, by following the Rules, applying all penalties, and being honest in all aspects of play.

There is no penalty under the Rules for failing to act in this way, except that the Committee may disqualify a player for acting contrary to the spirit of the game if it finds that the player has committed serious misconduct.

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1 hour ago, Sawgrass said:

Jholz, no worries, no offense taken.

 

At all levels of golf from Club Championships to PGA Tour events, the most profoundly useful method of avoiding cheating is asking players not to cheat as is done in rule 1.2a.  

 

Even in the many US Open qualifiers I've reffed, there are not enough refs to have every group individually monitored.

 

Does cheating occur?  Yes, even on the PGA Tour.  Does this mean the people with whom you are playing must aggressively keep an eye on you?  I don't think so.  In fact, you'd have to have someone walk with every player and with every player's caddie to make sure nothing evil was happening.  

 

As I've said earlier in this thread, IMO the OP should have involved the committee.  Because he happened to notice a competitor's ball's position change without explanation.  (Not because of any obligation to watch every move the offending player made.)

 

While it's imperfect, I like the fact that we generally trust each other.

 

Yeah, I guess this is what I was trying to get everyone to admit here.

 

I've personally witnessed cheating on the PGA Tour (Barbasol Championship 2015), and I would argue that cheating occurs in all competitive golf. Those who cheat are probably (most certainly) in the minority, but they are always out there. As a result, I have to say that Rule 1.2 is rather laughable, as is the assertion that golf, and golfers, are somehow special and have a higher level of integrity than the general population. Golfers are human beings and imperfect. We should treat them as such. 

 

This is why we exchange scorecards (ideally) and I have to attest to my fellow competitor's score with my signature. If I have integrity (which I do), then I am going to make sure that I sign an accurate score card. How can I do that if I'm not watching every shot my fellow competitor takes? That's why I'm ultra vigilant about watching every shot my fellow competitor makes. It's not about their integrity, but my own. 

 

At least in my opinion, this is a type of integrity that makes all of us better - not the kind that leaves room for us to be our worst selves - such as Rule 1.2. And ultimately, the OP's story shows us the shortcomings of Rule 1.2 and the assumptions that we make about golf. All I'm looking for is some consistency. Either accept that cheating happens and stop whining when it does, or start doing something to prevent it. I don't see the middle ground as a tenable position. 

Edited by jholz

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I assume if someone puts their mind to it they can get away with cheating at golf, although it will usually catch up with them eventually.

 

If I see someone breaking a rule I will point that fact out. But I am not going out of my way to play Rules Cop and I'm not going to watch other players like a hawk instead of concentrating on my own game. It's not worth it.

 

And I am certainly not going to run around trying to determine after the fact whether somebody else might have seen something but not reporting it, blah, blah, blah. You have to be joking.

 

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29 minutes ago, jholz said:

I have to say that Rule 1.2 is rather laughable

Not so.  1.2 puts us all on notice that unlike in other sports where taking liberties with the rules is encouraged (pretending you tagged someone when you know you didn't in baseball as an example) in golf you are not allowed to do that.  

 

It certainly isn't foolproof, but it sets a great tone for the majority of players to follow.

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50 minutes ago, Sawgrass said:

Not so.  1.2 puts us all on notice that unlike in other sports where taking liberties with the rules is encouraged (pretending you tagged someone when you know you didn't in baseball as an example) in golf you are not allowed to do that.  

 

It certainly isn't foolproof, but it sets a great tone for the majority of players to follow.

 

From your point of view, sure, I can agree with that. It is a beautiful ideal, and perhaps does have a true impact on the majority of players. Yet, I cannot get around the fact that it leaves room for cheating. When paired with an attitude that my responsibility to protect the field is limited only to times when it is convenient, well then you've got conditions that pretty much ensures cheating is going to occur.

 

Honestly, I find it hard to believe that my opinion concerning marking a fellow competitor is, seemingly, so far out of the norm. It is an ethnic and practice drummed into me at every level of competition I have participated in - from HS golf, to my weekly men's league, to the USGA qualifiers I have played in.

 

Perhaps the muni circuit I was brought up in differs from the rarified air and unimpeachable ethics of the country club set.

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8 minutes ago, jholz said:

 

From your point of view, sure, I can agree with that. It is a beautiful ideal, and perhaps does have a true impact on the majority of players. Yet, I cannot get around the fact that it leaves room for cheating. When paired with an attitude that my responsibility to protect the field is limited only to times when it is convenient, well then you've got conditions that pretty much ensures cheating is going to occur.

 

Honestly, I find it hard to believe that my opinion concerning marking a fellow competitor is, seemingly, so far out of the norm. It is an ethnic and practice drummed into me at every level of competition I have participated in - from HS golf, to my weekly men's league, to the USGA qualifiers I have played in.

 

Perhaps the muni circuit I was brought up in differs from the rarified air and unimpeachable ethics of the country club set.

I'll also add, when playing in "money" games, most competitors are keeping an eye on their opponent.

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5 hours ago, Sawgrass said:

Not so.  1.2 puts us all on notice that unlike in other sports where taking liberties with the rules is encouraged (pretending you tagged someone when you know you didn't in baseball as an example) in golf you are not allowed to do that.  

 

It certainly isn't foolproof, but it sets a great tone for the majority of players to follow.

Agree. And defence against those misbehaving is also bolstered by 20.1c(2), that if we see anything hinky with other players breaching rules, we should promptly raise that with the other player, marker, referee or Committee.

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On 8/19/2020 at 2:40 PM, nkk5019 said:

but he has a reputation as a cheater and my friend and I were forewarned accordingly by other members and staff

 

you did not handle it the right way. you took the easy way out. this kid already has a reputation as a cheater. as soon as someone corroborated your suspicious you should have gone to the committee. you did this kid no favors by letting him off the hook and you failed in your duty to protect the field. you can't expect this kid to man up if you're not willing to man up. it's not too late to say something. 

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Since he already had a reputation of cheating I would of asked him again after the round what he made on that hole and if he lied again I would of told him to DQ himself, or I will tell the rules committee. At 16 years old and already with a track record I would not lose any sleep.

 

In regards to watching my competitors golf I am always keeping a blind eye on my competitor and how many shots they take. However, if he is on the right side of the fairway and I am on the left side of the fairway a good distance apart I will head to my golf ball to prepare for my shot. You would have to be within 5 feet of the guy for the entire round to make sure he followed the rules correctly and did not cheat. That it was leads to 5.5 hour rounds.. No thanks! 

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18 hours ago, North Butte said:

 

Overhearing 2 groups talking about [fill in the blank] is the very definition of "hearsay". 

 

No, if you reported it as the kid cheated because you overheard the witnesses saying the kid cheated and/or the committee tried to use your statement to 'convict' the kid then that would be hearsay. Simply advising the committee that 2 groups are saying they witnessed someone cheating is not dealing in hearsay. It's just letting the proper authority know that something may need to be investigated.

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I pretty much stopped playing tournament golf after college (35 years ago .... got burned out after the junior/high school/college/state am circuit). Played in an event last weekend to help out a buddy whose partner had blown out his back. On the first couple of holes, one of the hackers  playing with us gave us a score (net event) and I remember thinking "really? I wasn't watching, but doesn't sound right". Since I didn't have any real data, I ignored it. On the third hole, same guy hits his third shot into a penalty area. Horrible lie. Hits it. Hits it again. Finally hacks it out onto the green. Three putts. 

 

I made birdie from a foot. My partner three-putts for 6. Hack's partner makes 7. Hack announces "I made 6".

 

I just looked him in the eye and said "no you didn't. Three into PA. Three FROM PA. Three putts. That's nine". He went all white. ?

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Since he already has a reputation, the source and level of this cheating in the past would be at play in my response. If there was proof this had happened in a tournament prior, maybe a heavier response is needed to quell the cheating. If this was rumor from a casual round where he improved his lie or played an OB drive as a lateral hazard to expedite play, then I think it was handled properly. It's fine to have your own rules or agreements among friends or playing groups, but not when its a tournament or club championship, etc. 

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IMO you should at least report the instance to your club to provide yet another example of him cheating and hopefully the club would then decide to take stronger action. Maybe ban him from the next tournament or something. He needs to learn that there is a consequence for this - and you just gave him an example that there was no consequence for his action.

 

He may have felt guilty and remorseful in the moment when he knew you had him, but if he was brazen enough to cheat & directly lie to you about it, he will probably do it again the next opportunity he has. This will affect his future or the future of others around him (high school or college teammates) so he needs to learn the lesson now.

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I can see both sides. On the one hand getting him DQ'd would probably be a lesson he'd never forget and hopefully correct the behavior...i mean it would actually have to unless he switched clubs because everyone would be on him every round he played from now on. I have seen this happen to people caught cheating in tournaments, people still talk about it 10 years later when that person is in any event. 

 

But i don't have issues with how the OP handled it either. I think many 16 year olds do stupid things and learn from them. He knows he got caught and spared embarassment, maybe that will correct the behavior too. I did very dumb things when i was a teenager, had a temper etc...I was a far different person 10 years later. Him cheating at 16 doesn't mean he will be a loser his whole life. Maybe this is something that will stick with him

 

 

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I think 15 lashes with his own Tour Sticks would suffice.

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