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I busted a cheater in a tournament....BUT


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It ruined my entire round.
I was in a tournament this morning and on the 3rd hole I caught one of my competitors bumping his ball from behind a tree to give himself a clear shot at the green. I saw him look around at the other players in our group to see if they were watching and then scoop it over a few feet with his club. Then he went ahead and played his next shot to the green. I was on the other side of the fairway so I played my shot and then on the way to the green I said something to him.

I said, "Hey Jim, this is awkward for me but I did pay a bit of money to play in this tournament and there's a good bit of money and prizes on the line so could you just play your ball down like everybody else".

Then he says, "oh I didn't know I had to have you guys come over...I was just taking relief from some roots".

I say, "well Jim there's 2 problems with that....1 is that you don't get relief from roots and 2 is you don't take relief by bumping the ball with your club....you have to take a proper drop"

Then he says, "well if I do happen to win any money I'll just donate it back into the pot"

I said, "it's not about the money dude...it's about me out here trying to play golf and I don't want to be worried about what you're doing with your ball. Just have some integrity and play by the rules like everyone else."

So he continues to play the hole and I mention to him that by the rules he needs to replace his ball in the original position, take a penalty stroke for illegally moving his ball and play the hole....instead, he and one of the other competitors in the group decide that he'll just add a penalty stroke to his score for the hole. I told them that was not legal but they said that's what they were going to do and they asked if I could just forget about it because """"he felt really bad""""

At that point I couldn't concentrate....I was so upset and shocked that I was totally out of my game. I suppose that's a mental weakness on my part but I was shocked that I had to tell a 40 year old man not to cheat at golf and then was even more upset that they didn't correct the problem correctly. I just couldn't shake it...I wasn't having fun anymore and it totally took me out of my game. He should've just DQ'd himself and left but for them to just carry on like it never happened drove me nuts.

I played through to the turn and withdrew after 9 holes. I just couldn't be in the same group as that guy anymore and wasn't having any fun (and that's why we play this game right?)

Any pointers on how to handle a situation like this??? Did I handle it correctly or could I have done something better??? I hated that I couldn't concentrate after it happened but I was literally shaking after confronting the guy the first time....it was very awkward for me and I never could get a rythm back after that. It pisses me off that I even have to worry about while playing in a tournament.

Pointers??? Comments??? How can I handle this if it happens again??? How can I prevent it from throwing off my own game???

Thanks.
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The only problem with waiting is that once he holes out his only option is to be DQ'd. If I confront him right away at least he has the option of replacing his ball with a penalty stroke and playing from the original position.

 

We don't have any officials or marshals at this tournament....it's just your average local muni, men's club tournament.

 

The thing that really bummed me out was that it ruined my round of golf. I went from having a good time to being shocked that somebody was cheating out there and I had to confront him.

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You should at the very least let the tournament director know. I think you handled it well but to let it take you out of your game? The great thing about this game is it's you against the course, I don't let how others play affect me especially in a tournament, I have enough to worry about and if I were faced with your situation I would have done the same thing and confronted the individual and then carried on letting someone know after the round if it wasn't corrected. Just my .02 cents. :yahoo:

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I know man...I didn't want it to effect my game but it did. Just by confronting him it made me feel awkward....you know, blood pressure rises a bit and then it was just wierd the rest of the time and I couldn't get into the game.

 

It was just a small time men's club tourney so I guess I wasn't as in tune as I would've been if it was a bigger event. Once it happened and the guy was acting like it was no big deal I just couldn't play in the same group as him anymore.

 

I did let the tournament chairman know what happened before I left so at least the guy won't take any of the money or prizes....I'm the one who's out my green fee and entry fee. Oh well...maybe I'll be more prepared if it happens again in the future.

 

It's just too bad that there are people out there that are willing to cheat to save a stroke.

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First, let me say that I think you handled it correctly. Some people just don't believe that the rules apply to them and that's just part of life. It's unfortunate that you let the situation ruin your day, but I think it would have ruined mine as well.

 

That said, I do have a suggestion for the next time you find yourself in that type of bad situation. Take your cellphone with you and call the pro-shop and ask for a marshall. Do it right then and there before you start the next hole.

 

Most people won't have a problem with it if you get a specific ruling. If you see something you think isn't right, just make it a point to ask.

 

The reality is, 99% of golfers wouldn't knowingly cheat. Notice that I say "knowingly". I believe that alot of people commit penalties all the time just because I don't understand all the rules correctly. I know whenever I have a question, I make it a point to ask. I've had to DQ myself more than a couple of times because I just assumed I understood a rule.

 

Keep your chin up and don't let it bother you, but I realize that's much easier said than done.

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I know man...I didn't want it to effect my game but it did. Just by confronting him it made me feel awkward....you know, blood pressure rises a bit and then it was just wierd the rest of the time and I couldn't get into the game.

 

It was just a small time men's club tourney so I guess I wasn't as in tune as I would've been if it was a bigger event. Once it happened and the guy was acting like it was no big deal I just couldn't play in the same group as him anymore.

 

I did let the tournament chairman know what happened before I left so at least the guy won't take any of the money or prizes....I'm the one who's out my green fee and entry fee. Oh well...maybe I'll be more prepared if it happens again in the future.

 

It's just too bad that there are people out there that are willing to cheat to save a stroke.

 

Just take pride in that you play the game the way it was intended. :yahoo:

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I'll just add my 2¢ and say that I also think you handled it correctly. It could have come to blows (I've witnessed that before) and you took the high road.

 

As far as it taking you out of your game, I can't help you there. I've might have let it get to me on the next couple of holes. Maybe.... :yahoo: But then again, I'm not afraid of any type of confrontation so it wouldn't have bothered me in the least to tell him he was cheating. My advice, don't let another person dictate your emotions and well-being. :yahoo:

 

You handled it well though. :bad:

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Correct me if I am wrong but both players (the cheater and the guy who agreed to add the stroke penalty) should have been DQ'd for waiving the rules of golf. I am pretty sure that should have happened.

 

You're absolutely right.

 

The Rule: 1-3: Players must not agree to exclude the operation of any rule or to waive any penalty incurred.

The Penalty: Disqualification of competitors concerned in stroke play and disqualification of both sides in a match.

 

You can read about the rules most golfers break here>>Here

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You handled it exactly how you should have. I have had the same situation before and it is very strange the effect it has on me. It does take me out of my game. I have come to the conclusion that if you are in these tournaments, the sheet we get when we check in says that it is the players responsibility to know the rules. We are fortunate that we have marshals who are the rules guys roaming the course in the tournaments I play so I usually put it to the player in the form of a question, Like, "I am not positive so we probably need to ask a rules official, but I believe the drop you took back there was illegal so why don't we ask to make sure so it won't effect your score too much?"

That way, I have pointed out the violation and taken the responsibility off of my shoulders. If he doesn't seek the proper answer to correct the infraction at that time then I ask the next marshal we see and make sure he is there to hear me ask. And then the marshal will tell him that he needs to take x strokes or he's DQ'd etc.

What I find is tough is when the person wants to argue about it. That's when it gets really awkward.

You did the right thing, hold your head up high and know you play the game with integrity and in the end he will pay for breaking the rules.

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I think you handled it very well. I understand that it takes you out of your game and I don't know how to have that not happen. Perhaps if you were more difinitive with what you saw and what you were going to do, it may have made it easier for you to "conclude" the incident. What I mean is, if I was in the situation, I would probably say something like:

 

-I saw you move the ball, that's not legal. I assume you miss-understood some kind of rule.

 

When they insist that they will add a penalty sroke instead of doing the right thing I would be inclinded to tell him (and the other player that was agreeing) something like:

 

-The only option is to return the ball and replay with a penalty. Agreeing to not take that action as a playing partner is also a penalty, both resulting in DQ. If you don't take that action, it's your choice. At the end of the round I'll report what I've seen and said and let the tournament officials make the appropriate decisions and rulings. You can work it out with them.

 

The only minor difference in how I'm saying it is for my peace of mind. If I lay out the options and the consequences I can mentally "close" the converstaion since their decision will drive what happens. Then the tournament folks can deal with him. I'd be more likely to put it in the back of my mind and move forward (I think).

 

Don't know though, it's just a guess.

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I appreciate all of the positive feedback. It was supposed to just be a fun Men's Club event...you know, more for the social aspect than anything else but after the incident I didn't feel very social anymore. I just can't believe the guy who got busted was still ok with playing in our group.....that's what was bothering me the most is that he was acting like nothing happened and every time he would say "oh nice shot or great putt" it made me want to tell him just to shut up and not talk to me. I felt like he cheated more than just me and the other players...I felt like he cheated every honest golfer in the game.

 

I guess I have a hard time understanding why someone would cheat....I just don't get it. We've all had our bad breaks and bad lies....it's part of golf and you just roll with the punches and take your bogies or whatever. I just couldn't believe that a grown man would do that just to save a stroke.

 

Oh well....I'm bummed that I let it effect my game so much but maybe I'll be more prepared if it ever happens again.

 

Cheers to all of you who play the game honorably and within the rules. :yahoo:

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That's only a tough situation when the other person makes it that way.

 

I've seen all manner of rule breaking in tournaments, from casual cigar box events to USGA qualifying. Granted, it's been more rare in the latter, but I've seen a few whoppers. I think as I've gotten older I've grown less inclined to call the guy who's going to shoot 94 for violating the one ball condition after hitting three in the lake, but I've seen a few other situations where things were just not kosher.

 

If the other player had any character at all, he'd have bent over backward letting you know that you were right.

 

This is one of those things you just have to chalk up to experience. I understand how you felt, but you did the right thing. Players who cheat at tournament golf are the worst kind of rats, because it's supposed to be a measure of your character to know the rules and abide by them. But trust me, there are players in every tournament who honestly do believe in their own mind that they have to cheat to have any chance of beating the other players who are cheating. Sort of a dog eat dog justification for bad behavior.

 

It can be difficult to get past that via a rules official as well, because a cheater is never inclined to own up to their cheating. Tough to do, but the field depends on everyone's honesty, including those who have to call foul.

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Personally, I wouldn't have gotten so upset. As you've said, it was just a fun little tournament, a social outing. This wasn't the Open or Masters so if the guy took a stroke penalty, good enough. Could have done the same by simply declaring an unplayable so I don't see the big deal. These sorts of things happen all the time in fun little amateur tourneys. Just go out and have fun; that's what it's really all about for us recreational players.

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I hate to be the bearer of bad news but, he would get a penalty for moving his ball then another two strokes for playing from that location without replacing it in the origional location. Also, since your fellow competetors agreed to waive these rules and just have him take a penalty stroke they became disqualified. Next time find a rules official and have him diagnose the situation. I would hope that anyone over the age of 20 would be honest enough to play the game with integrity, but occasionally you will get some bad apples in the group, you just have to stick to your guns and be better than everyone else.

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I always hate the lost ball problem in a competition if a provisional was not hit as the ball appeared safe. You walk 250 yards, look 5 minutes, then are supposed to walk back into another group and tee it up.

 

It pisses off too many people, your group and groups behind, so I have DQed myself in club matches rather than piss everyone off. I really do believe this rule should be changed to stoke rather than stroke and distance with a best guess of where the ball was lost.

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I think you handled it very well.

 

Last year, in a semi final match of the club championship, I ran into a guy who hit his tee shot into the wall defining the out of bounds line. It was propped up between two rocks. He was under the belief that he could play it as an unplayable lie, drop and hit 3. I was pretty sure that he was indeed OB and had to re-tee. He said he would play it as three and when we got in, if it was not correct he would forfeit the hole.

 

My question here is this: Since I allowed it to happen, am I guilty of a violation? I did not ever expressly give my go ahead that it was the right thing to do.

 

As it were, we were all square going to this hole, number 17. He made a 6 anyways, while I made par, winning the hole, so it did not really matter. Upon getting into the pro shop, I was told that he was indeed out of bounds and should have re-teed, but since I won the hole and the match, it made no difference. Even if he believed he could have re-teed and then holed out from the fiarway, since he took the qwrong course of action, it was not an error on my part unless he had gone to re-tee and I told him to take the unplayable drop.

 

When are playing partners liable for someone else's mistake like that?

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Thanks "rapper"....I actually thought about not saying anything at first. I thought about the fact that it was just a cheesy social tourney and it might not be worth the trouble but then I thought about the rest of the players and that it was my duty to them to ensure he was playing within the rules.

 

Then about the stroke deal....well that might have seemed fair enough punishment but it wasn't according to the rules of golf and who are we to just make up a penalty for someone. That's no different than people who find their ball OB and decide to just "take a drop" instead of re-hitting the shot.

 

I carry a rule book in my bag for that very reason....so it's not me against you....I just open up the page in the rule book and let them read it themselves.

 

The guy was very apologetic after a couple of holes but I just couldn't let it go. I think I was in shock...this was the first time I've ever caught someone cheating in tournament play so I was in a bit of shock. I think the experience will help me get over it next time.

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It is unfortunate that these things happen but they do. And I know how uncomfortable it can make you feel. Just last weekend I had a competitor in a two day amateur event (I had his scorecard as well) hit a tee shot into the woods where it could be possibly found and then proceed to hit two more balls off the tee without clearly declaring them as provisionals. I quietly waited to see what he would do (remember it is his responsibility to declare the provisionals - not my duty to remind him to do so). When he reached and found the first ball I had to let him know that he shouldn't play that ball as it was the incorrect ball and not in play. I then told him that in fact his third ball (fifth off the tee) was the one actually in play. He made a nine and eventually lost the event by 3.

 

He was not too happy but as I told him - knowing the rule is his responsibility. I played with this kid before and he has had some "interesting situations" that have been questioned at events so I figured this might be a good lesson - I wasn't trying to be an a s s.

 

It made for an uncomfortable rest of the round (happened on the 4th hole) but since I had already taken a two stroke penalty for hitting the wrong ball on the first hole (identification issue) he knew I was aware of the rules. He was a little more humble than your guy and actually was astounded that nobody had noticed that before. Nobody had ever told him how to declare a provisional (20 year old).

 

 

I am sure it was a hard lesson for him but he will always remember it to declare his provisionals from now on.

 

So too will the guy you called the rules violation on - maybe the next time he will think before he acts!!

 

Too bad it ruined your day.

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Correct me if I am wrong but both players (the cheater and the guy who agreed to add the stroke penalty) should have been DQ'd for waiving the rules of golf. I am pretty sure that should have happened.

 

You're absolutely right.

 

The Rule: 1-3: Players must not agree to exclude the operation of any rule or to waive any penalty incurred.

The Penalty: Disqualification of competitors concerned in stroke play and disqualification of both sides in a match.

 

You can read about the rules most golfers break here>>Here

 

I think this rule applies to match play only and not stroke play. I believe the guy who started this thread was playing in a stroke play tournament, so I'm not sure this rule would apply.

 

I think he handled the situation as I would have. I see how he may have been off his game as it is never easy to point a finger at someone for cheating. He did his job by trying to protect the rest of the field against a cheater. Protecting the field against rules violations is something we all have to do when playing stroke play events.

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I would of let him know he was in violation of the rules of golf. If he and the other guy decided it was OK to "just add a stroke" I would have just played on. Then after he signed the scorecard I would have brought it to the attention of the tournament director and had the guy disqualified for signing and incorrect score card.

 

Once you brought it to his attention it is his repsonsibility to go back and make the proper drop and correctly play the hole. If he chooses to "just modify" the card that is cheating. You owe it to yourself and the other players in the tourney to follow the correct procedure. This way you know that you did the best you could do.

 

People cheat in golf and in every arena of life where there is competition. Its just the nature of people. Don't let that bother you and make you quit next time. Just stay with what you are doing. They always lose in the end

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Thanks again everyone. Now that I've had time to cool off I'm glad I handled it the way I did but now I'm upset with myself for letting it ruin my round.

 

It's sad to hear all of the stories about cheaters. The Club Pro at my course said that our Men's club used to have a huge problem with cheaters until they started doing all blind draws for every tournament. I guess they used to allow members to pick their own teams and then guys were just going crazy out there.

 

He said that he can't even post scores until everyone has turned in their scorecard because they would have guys come in and take a look at the leaderboard and then go back out and re-adjust their own scorecard.

 

I just don't get it but now I'll be more aware that there are cheaters out there and I won't be so surprised next time I bust one.

 

Good luck.

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Correct me if I am wrong but both players (the cheater and the guy who agreed to add the stroke penalty) should have been DQ'd for waiving the rules of golf. I am pretty sure that should have happened.

 

 

Absolutly correct. This is the first thing that popped into my mind as I read the initial post.

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Correct me if I am wrong but both players (the cheater and the guy who agreed to add the stroke penalty) should have been DQ'd for waiving the rules of golf. I am pretty sure that should have happened.

 

You're absolutely right.

 

The Rule: 1-3: Players must not agree to exclude the operation of any rule or to waive any penalty incurred.

The Penalty: Disqualification of competitors concerned in stroke play and disqualification of both sides in a match.

 

You can read about the rules most golfers break here>>Here

 

I think this rule applies to match play only and not stroke play. I believe the guy who started this thread was playing in a stroke play tournament, so I'm not sure this rule would apply.

 

I think he handled the situation as I would have. I see how he may have been off his game as it is never easy to point a finger at someone for cheating. He did his job by trying to protect the rest of the field against a cheater. Protecting the field against rules violations is something we all have to do when playing stroke play events.

 

The Penalty: Disqualification of competitors concerned in stroke play and disqualification of both sides in a match.

 

If you'll notice it gives the penalty in both stroke and match play.

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I really do believe this rule should be changed to stoke rather than stroke and distance with a best guess of where the ball was lost.

Imagine you and I are playing against each other. I hit my ball in thick rough near some big trees (which are OB). I say the ball is lost but in bounds. You say it's in the trees and OB.

 

Where do I hit next?

 

There's a good reason why lost ball = stroke and distance. The above may not be it, but I think it's a big part of it.

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