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To fluff or not to fluff?

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 

I have only been playing this great game for three years now, I did not start until I was fifty years old.  Only regret I have is that I did not start when I was young.  However there is one thing that bothers me about the players in my area, they will not play the ball as it lies.  I would say that 90 percent of the players that I have played with will improve their lie before hitting the ball, some will move it from under trees and bushes.  Some play so called winter rules year round.  Every time I question them about it I hear the same old excuse, "we are not pros" or "we don't play for money".  I don't care, cheating is cheating even if you are only cheating yourself.  What I think has drawn me to this game is the fact that golf is the hardest sport I have experienced in my life, I do not believe I will live long enough to master it.  It is supposed to be hard, it is supposed to be challenging, if you don't hit the ball out of deep rough, then you will never learn how to, same for trees, bushes, etc, etc.  I was just wondering if this is something unique to the area that I live in or is it commonplace everywhere, and if it is, why???

post #2 of 66

It is commonplace. Why? Ego.

 

It's embarrassing to play much worse than your partners (even if they are legitimately better players than you, played longer than you, practiced more, and better than you, and/or have natural talent that they have tapped that you haven't) and it's also likely that your partner fluffs as well (Everybody does it! Why put myself at a disadvantage?!)

 

I agree with you, though. It's ridiculous to cheat, and anyone who does these types of things, to include gimme putts, is mostly cheating themselves. It's a shame. Hard for me to judge their play, as I have yet to break 110, and everyone I play with is in the 90's for the most part, or better. It is true that I have a long way to go in my golf game, however, I do believe that since I play my ball as it lies (or take the 1 stroke unplayable penalty) and I putt everything out, I will be a better player in a few years than all of my playing partners, and anyone near my skill level who cheats.

 

All the shitty lies I hit out of, and embarrassing baby putts I miss now will make me better in time. 

 

If I didn't count my score properly, and didn't play the ball as it lies and didn't putt everything out -hell, I may have 'broken 100' by now. But it would have been BS, and I would have known it. 


Good on you for playing honest, and if we keep with it,  I'll bet we'll be better players for it in the long run.

post #3 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernBuckeye View Post

I have only been playing this great game for three years now, I did not start until I was fifty years old.  Only regret I have is that I did not start when I was young.  However there is one thing that bothers me about the players in my area, they will not play the ball as it lies.  I would say that 90 percent of the players that I have played with will improve their lie before hitting the ball, some will move it from under trees and bushes.  Some play so called winter rules year round.  Every time I question them about it I hear the same old excuse, "we are not pros" or "we don't play for money".  I don't care, cheating is cheating even if you are only cheating yourself.  What I think has drawn me to this game is the fact that golf is the hardest sport I have experienced in my life, I do not believe I will live long enough to master it.  It is supposed to be hard, it is supposed to be challenging, if you don't hit the ball out of deep rough, then you will never learn how to, same for trees, bushes, etc, etc.  I was just wondering if this is something unique to the area that I live in or is it commonplace everywhere, and if it is, why???

 

Personally I play it down.  No improving the lie.  But unless I am playing in a competition or playing a match against someone I really don't care what they do.  People fool themselves in all kinds of ways in life and I don't feel like I need to let it upset me nor make me the enforcer. 

post #4 of 66

Part of the fun of the game is hitting shots from bad lies. I never fix my lie because that's against the rules! I hit an unbelievable drive the other day on the #1 handicap hole. Got to my ball - it's in an unfilled divot. That's a hard shot. I had to just wedge it out of there and just keep moving.

 

Also, I'm not a good putter. I do OK from mid range, but the short ones I yip them all over the place. My playing partners never give my those - even from 1 foot!

 

Quit cheating! Your score will go up for awhile, then it will go down and you'll be able to score well in tournaments.

post #5 of 66

I have no problem at all with people who fluff if they are higher handicappers.  If I am not in competition then they can't fluff if it improves their fun of the game.  However, if it is competition or for money then play by the rules. 

 

I fluff often for the simple reason that I still struggle to make consistent ball striking even with a fluffed ball. So if I struggle to hit it consistently well with a good lie why would I continue to try to hit it with a bad lie?  It is a progression sport so as I get better I will play it as it lies more often. 

post #6 of 66
I do play winter rules in winter. I play in the Sandhills of Florida on a mediocre course so when I hit a drive that's in the marked fairway, I shouldn't be punished with a bad lie because they missed a spot overseeing or some drunk guy tried to slide his cart and my ball is now lying in his rut. I play the bad behind the tree, bush, and inanimate object lies and if my ball is a foot OB I take the penalty. I play by the course rules and in summer I play out of some pretty nasty roughs so I feel my conscious is clean haha

On the putts; if the traffic on the course is getting stuffy, my group and I will take putts within the leather but only if we are holding the pace up. I have a pretty legit putting game so I don't mind finishing my putts.

I guess the whole thing comes down to how you personally take the game and determining how you want to play depending on what your objective is. Having a beer or two with my buddies, I'm fine with whatever they want to play. Practice rounds to better myself, I try to play legit to get a true outlook on my score.
post #7 of 66

The only lies I improve are when they are on gravel or something right beside the cart path and I'm playing for fun. I'm not putting a huge ding in an expensive club over that so I'll bump it over a few feet and get after it. Other than that, play it where it lays. 

post #8 of 66

I guess the thing I find humorous is why people get caught up with how others play the game.  If it isn't unnecessarily slowing your play, a money game, or a competition, I do not see why it matters.  Play your game and let others play theirs.
 

post #9 of 66

I think it's not that people care so much about how others play. Rather, it's that some people choose not to even try to play by the clearly stated rules of the game, and yet profess to be at a certain skill level, when in truth, their skill level is not what is claimed.


If the people who fluff and take gimmies and such added the strokes to their score, few people would take issue. 

 

It's not so much that people ignore the rules in casual play. It's that they often have the audacity to claim that their scores and handicap are accurate whilst doing so. 

 

If you fluff, good for you. But your score is truthfully meaningless to anyone who doesn't. As long as that's understood, there's no problem. 

 

Also, I won't call any of my playing partners out on it, since it doesn't effect me.

 

But the question the OP had was 'Is this commonplace, and if so, why?' I have my theory (Ego), and offered it to help the OP answer his question.

 

Additionally, I want to clarify, I'm not so much into bringing the fluffers down as I am into lifting the honest players up. e.g. 'Good on the honest players!'

I stop short of saying 'Shame on the fluffers/gimme takers', as I recognize that we all have our different reasons for playing golf, and our own ethical codes. 

 

Do I think fluffing is wrong? Yes. Does it affect me? Nope. Do I make a big deal about it ever? Also, nope.

 

Hit em straight! (and fix em' if you don't!) c2_beer.gif

post #10 of 66

As far as I'm concerned, the only rules in golf are those that are agreed upon by the players.  If my friend and I play and we decide that fluffing the ball or taking 3 mulligans a side is legit, then it's legit. 

 

If you play in a tournament or are posting rounds for a handicap then you agree to play by the official and complete rules.  Casual rounds can be played however . .I can ask my opponent what club he just hit, I can fluff my lie, I can kick the ball out of a sandtrap if I want to.  As long as we both play by the same rules, it's fair and there is no cheating.  Now, if I were taking mulligans and fluffing and then bragging to my buddies about my fake low scores . .then that would be pretty lame.  But, assuming you are just playing for fun, I see no harm in fluffing . .in fact, I often wish the group ahead of me would fluff thier lies so we could maybe finish the round before we die of old age.

post #11 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmazingWhacker View Post

As far as I'm concerned, the only rules in golf are those that are agreed upon by the players.  If my friend and I play and we decide that fluffing the ball or taking 3 mulligans a side is legit, then it's legit. 

 

If you play in a tournament or are posting rounds for a handicap then you agree to play by the official and complete rules.  Casual rounds can be played however . .I can ask my opponent what club he just hit, I can fluff my lie, I can kick the ball out of a sandtrap if I want to.  As long as we both play by the same rules, it's fair and there is no cheating.  Now, if I were taking mulligans and fluffing and then bragging to my buddies about my fake low scores . .then that would be pretty lame.  But, assuming you are just playing for fun, I see no harm in fluffing . .in fact, I often wish the group ahead of me would fluff thier lies so we could maybe finish the round before we die of old age.

Completely fair. As long as, as you mentioned, the scores aren't taken to be meaningful beyond the competition between you two.

post #12 of 66
Hey guys, I'm from Western Australia, when I play at my local course, they have a rule that you get a preferred lie, but only when your inside the marked fairway. It's the same at a couple of other courses, but at the really flash courses its play as you lie. I run the moto" if you cheat in golf your only cheating yourself". I'm not very good, handicap is 31 but I play every shot where it is and take my penalties( most of the time heaps in a round) when I have too, even though my playing mates don't. I figure if I keep doing the right thing and play as she lays ill only benefit from it in the long run. Dam I love golf!
post #13 of 66
If you want to use an official handicap and compare yourself to others, don't cheat.

If you just want to play golf, do whatever you want.
post #14 of 66
Thread Starter 

It is still supposed to be a game where integrity means something.  That is why pro's on television will call a rules official over and call a penalty stroke on themselves when they know that they have done something wrong.  They may have just cost themselves thousands of dollars but they still do it, some of you will say that they have to with so many cameras on them, but I believe if they were dishonest it would not matter what others think and they would try to get by with it anyhow.  Don't kid yourself and say that you only play for fun not competition, if that were true there would be no need for score cards.  I do not care if people fluff, they are the ones who have to deal with it in their minds, the only problem I have with it is the person you play with tells you he beat you by two strokes after you have watched him not take four penalty strokes.  My friends and I are highly competitive and I guess that is why I take exception to it.  I do play with some people who play strickly by the rules and some of them beat the pants off of me, I do not try to get around it, I will keep trying and practicing untill hopefully one day I can catch up to them.  I may be bringing the forum wrath down on my head but I can tell by a couple of responses that they know it is wrong and they are trying to justify it.

post #15 of 66

It's common because a lot of weekend golfers don't really care about following the rules word for word. They are playing just to have fun and if improving their lie makes it more fun, have at it! How many people out there take mulligans? Mulligans aren't exactly within the rules, ha! So what if they are cheating themselves? If cheating yourself makes the game more fun, then why not cheat yourself a little bit? It doesn't matter to anyone else anyway. The whole point is just to have some fun anyway. My dad is 65 and improves his lie all the time. Doesn't bother me because he's having more fun that way. Of course I know his score is not realistic, but that doesn't really matter either. There isn't any competition so the score being accurate really isn't all that important.
 

post #16 of 66

I started playing golf on my own a couple of years ago so I could get good enough to play with a group of friends who mostly had handicaps around 15. I eventually got to the point where my handicap was under 36 and I decided to start playing with them. I always followed the rules to determine my handicap, no mulligans, no improving lie or position, etc.

 

The first time I played with these guys, I could tell they were better than me, but not 20 strokes. I then realized that they were improving their lies, taking mulligans, long gimme putts, etc. I estimated that it improved their score by around 5 strokes per round.  Most of them are probably really around 20 handicaps.

 

But they all do it, so for them it works out fairly when they play each other. I continue to follow the rules when I play and am at a 28 HCP now. I see room for improvement in my short game and putting, and when I drop another few strokes, I'll be playing close to them. My handicap will stay higher, though, and I get strokes from them, so I don't really care.  We all play for fun and that's the way they enjoy the game. They will be at a disadvantage when they play in tournaments and have to actually follow the rules, but for recreational golf, I don't care what other people do.

post #17 of 66

If it will speed up the game for high handicap players, I'm all for it.  This year I played on a small course where it took 3 1/2 hours to play 9 holes.  I agree it shouldn't be done if you are worried about your USGA handicap.

post #18 of 66

I don't have any problem with it, as long as you aren't competing or submitting the score for your handicap, then it's cheating.  Why does anyone care if it doesn't affect them?  Don't give me the sanctity of the game argument.  A couple buddies playing a casual weekend round can play however they want if they all agree.  If it makes the game more enjoyable and keeps the pace of play up then hey I'm all for it.  I won't play that way myself, but others can.

 

 

The only thing I would add, is that I hate the guys who fluff and take 2-3 foot gimmes and who knows how many mulligans/missed penalties, then try to tell me they're a single digit capper.  (Not official of course, just score -72). 

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