What’s that? Cheat you say? Well I never!
Oh really? Have you ever taken a Mulligan? Ever decide to drop a ball near where you lost one, rather than hit a provisional from the tee? Or, maybe you’ve granted yourself a gimme putt (even if it was “just on the lip”) without your fellow players’ consent?
Some of you may not have considered the aforementioned a golf cheat, but trust me – they are not in accordance with the USGA rules. Yet, they happen all the time out on the course, don’t they? “Oh don’t worry about it Bob, it’s the first drive of the day. Go ahead and take a Mulligan.” Or: “Hmmm, I think my ball might be lost. Well, I’ll just drop one over here.”
Many of us don’t even give these phrases a second thought. Yet according to the USGA, they constitute cheating. But here’s the thing: For those of us who play this game for recreation only, there’s a really big difference between rule-breaking and flat-out cheating (bare with me for a second here):
1. Rule Breaking
So you take a first-tee Mulligan…big deal. Maybe on one hole you don’t feel like walking back to the tee to hit a provisional – instead, you take a stroke and drop a ball as if you were in a lateral water hazard…if I were playing with you, I wouldn’t complain. And perhaps you lip-out and pick-up, rather than tapping the last putt in – It wouldn’t be any skin off my back. This isn’t the tour – we’re here to have fun.
So now that we’ve established the difference between rule-breakers and cheaters, I guess we should also consider the possibility some golfers neither cheat nor break any of the rules. Not cheating I can understand, but never breaking any of the rules? If these folks really do exist, then I hope they either (a) play golf for a living; or (b) are in therapy.
Time to take the poll and tell us if you’re a rule breaker, cheater or all-around goody two-shoes…