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Scrambles- Do you assume winners cheat?

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

Had a great day at Red Sky Ranch yesterday- perfect weather on a beautiful and well maintained golf course playing with 3 good players from Keystone.

 

The foursome in front of us had 3 hacks and a decent player (who I would NOT have traded for anyone in our group).  When we caught them on a tee box after about 7 holes, they said they were -2 and asked how we were doing.  After we told them we were -5, one of their guys didn't say much, but I interpreted what he said as an implication that we must be cheating.  

 

He was a stranger, bad golfer and drunk, so I don't really care what he thought, BUT there were 4 of my supervisors from Vail Ski School playing, so I wouldn't want them thinking that we cheated.

 

Do you assume that teams that go low in a scramble cheat?

post #2 of 40

Not necessarily.

 

A team with 4 good players will absolutely go low.......usually easily sub-60.   You just don't find 4 good golfers willing to actually play in one of those damn things very often though.   :-P

post #3 of 40
Me and 3 of my friends shot a completely legit 58 with no muligans and no string. None of us are real good but all solid. If someone has a hot putter you can go low. We honestly could have been -16 easy just kinda choked on the last 4 holes
post #4 of 40

A scramble is basically organized cheating, string and mulligans etc. Kind of depends on the tournament but you can buy your way to a win in most I've attended. Last one I was at actually had people on every green selling mulligans. A guy in our group bought one after another until he made a birdie putt just so we wouldn't have to score par, though later in the round we did. Kid you not he must have redid the putt 12 times. I think we turned in a 54 and we lost by 4. I'd never seen mulligans for putts.

post #5 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post
 

A scramble is basically organized cheating, string and mulligans etc. Kind of depends on the tournament but you can buy your way to a win in most I've attended. Last one I was at actually had people on every green selling mulligans. A guy in our group bought one after another until he made a birdie putt just so we wouldn't have to score par, though later in the round we did. Kid you not he must have redid the putt 12 times. I think we turned in a 54 and we lost by 4. I'd never seen mulligans for putts.

 

Funny, the scrambles I've played in don't allow any of those things. As for assuming that people who go low cheated it depend on if I know them or not. If I don't know them I don't assume anything, but if I do know them and they shoot a lot lower than anything they would be capable of, yeah I'll assume they cheated. Not that it matters, if they cheated they already decided they don't care what others think.

post #6 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post
 

A scramble is basically organized cheating, string and mulligans etc. Kind of depends on the tournament but you can buy your way to a win in most I've attended. Last one I was at actually had people on every green selling mulligans. A guy in our group bought one after another until he made a birdie putt just so we wouldn't have to score par, though later in the round we did. Kid you not he must have redid the putt 12 times. I think we turned in a 54 and we lost by 4. I'd never seen mulligans for putts.

 

 

If you look at it this way. If your run the probabilities on it from the perspective of average GIR's of all four players. Even if you average 5 greens in regulation by each player in the group, your going to hit 8 more greens as a group of 4.

 

Each individual player might only hit 5 greens in regulation for the whole round. If you play a scramble, they will average 13 greens in regulation. If you get 4 scratch golfers, they will probably only miss 1 or 2 greens the whole day with out mulligans.

post #7 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post
 

 

 

If you look at it this way. If your run the probabilities on it from the perspective of average GIR's of all four players. Even if you average 5 greens in regulation by each player in the group, your going to hit 8 more greens as a group of 4.

 

Each individual player might only hit 5 greens in regulation for the whole round. If you play a scramble, they will average 13 greens in regulation. If you get 4 scratch golfers, they will probably only miss 1 or 2 greens the whole day with out mulligans.

 

This is a good example. I mean my group in the scramble made it around 18 without making worse than a par on any hole and we were all bogey+ golfers. When you have 4 shots from the best position each time it's not hard to really score well. Even with Saevel25, Slice, and myself we could get around 18 in way under par because one of the 3 of us can be counted on to hit at least a decent shot.

post #8 of 40

The only time I assume people are cheating is when the scenario you describe happens ... and then afterwards I find out that the group in front of us won at -13 or something.  But for the most part, nah, I don't put much thought into it.

 

I expect the winning team to have at least a marginally low "really?!?! How'd they do that?!?!" type of score, and also expect that that team will not be my team, and in almost every scramble I've played in, I've been 100% right. ;)

 

But I also can see it as a pretty easy possibility.  The last few scrambles I've played in have been myself (10 cap or so), my brother (20), and my dad and father in law (both about 25 to 30)  In other words, not at all a good team.  And on a good day, the four of us have turned in something like -6 with no bogies.  If that group can do that, imagine what 4 decent golfers could do?  -12 to -14, even without mulligans and string, seems perfectly reasonable to me.

post #9 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post
 

Had a great day at Red Sky Ranch yesterday- perfect weather on a beautiful and well maintained golf course playing with 3 good players from Keystone.

 

The foursome in front of us had 3 hacks and a decent player (who I would NOT have traded for anyone in our group).  When we caught them on a tee box after about 7 holes, they said they were -2 and asked how we were doing.  After we told them we were -5, one of their guys didn't say much, but I interpreted what he said as an implication that we must be cheating.  

 

He was a stranger, bad golfer and drunk, so I don't really care what he thought, BUT there were 4 of my supervisors from Vail Ski School playing, so I wouldn't want them thinking that we cheated.

 

Do you assume that teams that go low in a scramble cheat?

 

Bad golfers tend to only play with bad golfers, that's why some people are so amazed when they hear someone say they hit it 300 or shoot in the 70's.  In their own little golf world that just doesn't exist except on tv.  So that guy probably thought he was hot stuff sitting at -2 and when you said -5 he compares that to what he sees as possible for himself and his playing partners and has to dismiss it.

 

I don't assume they're cheating unless I know the people and know they couldn't possibly shoot that.  I was on a team once that shot a mediocre -6 on the front 9 but got hot and shot -10 on the back.  If someone's getting hot in all areas of the game (one guy's sinking putts, others getting hot with irons or the driver) anything can happen.

post #10 of 40

In short yes. I only play in these things for charity events so I don't care. The guys in my group will usually cheat also but its usually just taking an extra mulligan that you didn't "buy" which already negates anything you do out there. The only time I ever played in what I would consider a "real" tournament that was a scramble format was a 3-man event and you had two groups together policing each other. Mulligans were allowed but they were strictly limited per player and you had to declare them and the other team kept track. In that event I did not assume cheating by the winner and not surprisingly we didn't see any ridiculous scores.

 

I'm not saying there is always cheating in scrambles and I know that 4 good golfers can go crazy low but I just assume there will be pencil whipping, accept it and have fun.

post #11 of 40

I assume it because Ive seen it happen all too often.  I used to play in a work scramble every year and the same people who play golf once a year always won all the prizes.  When the only time you play golf is for a work scramble and you are claiming to be driving the ball 280+, hitting it within a foot of the pin and sinking putts from 20+ feet; something doesnt add up.

post #12 of 40

In a scramble where you can buy mulligans, then yes, I do assume that people cheat. Notice, I didn't just say the winners. I would hazard a guess that when mulligans are involved, a sizeable percentage of the groups will have cheated when all is said and done. It's just too easy to blur the lines, or "forget" how many mulligans you have used, especially when copious amounts of beer are involved.

 

In a traditional scramble, I don't assume that the people cheat, but I don't ever go into those events expecting to win. The only scramble event that I take somewhat seriously is an annual event with a group of families from my parent's neighborhood. It's invitation only and it's flighted, so that the groups are paired roughly evenly by skill. Plus, the teams are shuffled every year, so you play with a whole new group of people each time. It goes without saying that cheating wouldn't just be bad form, it would be a bad idea, as word would make it's way back to the group fairly quickly in such a format.

post #13 of 40

From my experience, there is a line I can draw.  You players that are shooting low 60s and some high 50s are usually legit because they have a 4 man team of scratch players or better.  Usually they are local college players that want to come out and win the money.  It's usually the middle flights that cheat.  They know they aren't good enough to win the entire thing, so they sandbag.  I find that more people sandbag to win money than cheat to go lower.  If you cheat to go low, you will get caught if you win if anyone around there knows you.

post #14 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutter View Post
 

 

Bad golfers tend to only play with bad golfers, that's why some people are so amazed when they hear someone say they hit it 300 or shoot in the 70's.  In their own little golf world that just doesn't exist except on tv.  So that guy probably thought he was hot stuff sitting at -2 and when you said -5 he compares that to what he sees as possible for himself and his playing partners and has to dismiss it.

 

 

Good analysis.  It is funny how clueless some people are- I have been paired with bad golfers, not broken 80 and have them ask why I am not playing on TV.  Conversely, I have played a few rounds just over par with bad players and have them ask if my handicap is in the 12-14 range?  

 

I don't hit a lot of TV worthy shots, but I did have one on 18- we were 275 out and the first two on our team hit because they knew they couldn't reach.  I wasn't convinced I could reach either, but waited until the guys were walking off the green to hit.  I nailed a perfect 3 w that ended up 3 feet for eagle.  I clearly saw two of the guys, including the guy who didn't believe we were -5, turn around and watch the ball roll up to the hole.

 

They were still on the 1st tee when we got there and I asked him if he had seen my shot just to reinforce the fact that we were capable of some good golf.  He claimed not to have seen the shot.  A definite jerk IMO.    

post #15 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post
 

Good analysis.  

 

I don't hit a lot of TV worthy shots, but I did have one on 18- we were 275 out and the first two on our team hit because they knew they couldn't reach.  I wasn't convinced I could reach either, but waited until the guys were walking off the green to hit.  I nailed a perfect 3 w that ended up 3 feet for eagle.  I clearly saw two of the guys, including the guy who didn't believe we were -5, turn around and watch the ball roll up to the hole.

 

They were still on the 1st tee when we got there and I asked him if he had seen my shot just to reinforce the fact that we were capable of some good golf.  He claimed not to have seen the shot.  A definite jerk IMO.    

 

That's a smashed 3-wood there, if you can't celebrate with someone else after they hit a great shot you're not really a golfer.  We're all fans first and players second.

post #16 of 40

Can't say I've ever been to a scramble where it would be worthwhile to cheat any more than is allowed. Most are fundraising events and the entire purpose of things like buying mulligans is to support the cause not screw someone out of a prize. I spend more money with entry fees drinking than I ever get back in lame prizes. Not that I would turn down another golf shirt. The only tournaments with a decent purse I've seen are typically private club events. The top prize for the member guest shootout at my parents club is 20k. The only thing I try to win in a scramble is longest drive and closest to the hole.

post #17 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post
 

Can't say I've ever been to a scramble where it would be worthwhile to cheat any more than is allowed. Most are fundraising events and the entire purpose of things like buying mulligans is to support the cause not screw someone out of a prize. I spend more money with entry fees drinking than I ever get back in lame prizes. Not that I would turn down another golf shirt. The only tournaments with a decent purse I've seen are typically private club events. The top prize for the member guest shootout at my parents club is 20k. The only thing I try to win in a scramble is longest drive and closest to the hole.

 

Haha exactly

post #18 of 40

I played in a 2 man scramble last week. the greens were like lightning, pins were all hard and we played from the tips. my handicap was a 10 and my partners was a 16 and we shot 2 over. the winner was 6 under ( 2 4 handicappers) so its believable for a 4 man to shoot low with out cheating. heck the last 4 man I played in we were 15 under and one of the guys would only putt lol.

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