Golf Cheaters

Why do people cheat at golf? One would think that if you are just a “weekend” golfer there would be no reason to cheat. You are not playing for anything and, in theory, are only cheating yourself.

But as we often discuss on this blog, the reason why people cheat is that they want to steal self-esteem from others. It is to make themselves feel better about themselves by making you feel a little worse, as if it is a zero-sum game.

Now if you are a player who is merely learning or are a beginner then feel free to cheat a bit, if it means moving your ball to a better lie or something. I have no problem with that. But what I object to are those who have the gall to cheat and then brag about their score. By bragging to me they are saying essentially that they are better than you. And as bad as that is, at least if you actually accomplished what you are bragging about it can be forgiven. But when you did it by knowingly cheating then you end up as my target here.

I really am not clear what the calculus is in their little brains. They know deep down in their head that they are cheating and that when they say “I shot an 88” what they are really saying is “I am a low-down fucking cheater who is trying to bullshit you into thinking I shot an 88 when I actually shot 95.” They know it for sure. And yet they still do it and still brag about it, which boggles my mind.

It is sad that anyone would feel so badly about themselves and have such a dire need to grab just a little more self-esteem that they would not only lie to themselves but lie to you. And they know that we don’t believe them and they know that we know they are cheaters. So what exactly is going on?

They are quite literally bullshitting themselves to the point that they want to convince themselves that what they are saying is true. If they get into the habit of telling others that they broke 90 then they will believe it, as fact. So you and I are merely just sounding boards for them to bounce the bullshit off so that they will feel better about their game because they can break some arbitrary yard mark.

For those who don’t really play too much here are the most basic ways guys cheat:

  1. Your best wood is your pencil – This is when guys shave strokes off their score. They say “give me a five” after they shot an eight. This is a favorite of many since it is easy.
  2. Use of hand and foot wedges – Golfers generally have two wedges in their bags, a pitching wedge for short shots and a sand wedge that is used out of the sand. But the best club for most cheaters is the hand or foot wedge, wherein they simply kick or move their ball to make it easier to shoot. The best part is that they don’t even count that stroke.
  3. “Gimme” putts – It is one thing to have a ball that is one inch from the cup. Pick it up and count the stroke if you want. But that does not mean you can pick up a five-foot putt. Yet guys routinely do this, as if they are professionals that can make a five-footer 100% of the time. Of course they are probably only about 40% likely to make it and even pros do not make it 100% of the time. The best part is that many of these guys pick up the ball but do not even count it as a stroke! If you want to pick up a putt and not even count it as a stroke why play golf?
  4. Failing to count penalties – There are many penalties in golf, but a common one is that if you lose a ball or have an unplayable lie then you have to drop your ball and take a penalty (for the most part). But many players just ignore that penalty stroke. For many players this is more than once or twice in a round.
  5. Mulligans – A mulligan is a shot that you take as a do-over and if you do better you ignore the first one. So basically you take your worst shot and ignore it. This is the most pernicious type of cheating because it is almost always a lot more than one stroke you are taking off. When you lose a ball into the woods and ignore it you are really taking two strokes (since you would have a penalty) plus all the others it would take to actually get in the hole from the far worse spot where your first ball landed. So a simple mulligan can mean three or four strokes or even more.

Again, I have no problem with golfers who want to do these things to make it easier because they are only out to have fun or they are learning. This is no problem for me. What I am sick of are those who want to brag to me about how great they are or about how they broke 90 or 100 on some very tough course. If you did anything listed above then you didn’t break 90 or 100.

It is sad that even in a weekend activity such as golf that some men are so pathetic and have such a rot in their soul that they will knowingly and willingly bullshit everyone knowing no one believes them. They are so desperate to feel a little bit better about themselves that they will lie to everyone, including themselves and even will lie about lying to themselves! I should just feel pity for them and perhaps many of you reading this say “what is the BFD?”

It is a BFD because the person that does this generally has many other areas where they will steal a little bit or otherwise cheat. It could be cheating God. It could be shady accountants and businessmen (and is it any surprise that golf is a metaphor for business). It could be lawyers overbilling clients, or guys cheating on their wives or any of 100 other ways to cheat our fellow man. Cheaters are cheaters and I will guarantee you that someone who cheats at golf cheats in plenty of other spots and it is no coincidence that many of the worst cheaters I have played with are lawyers. Cheating in golf = cheating in life and about that you can be 100% sure.


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