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Cheating in tournament

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6 minutes ago, b101 said:

Never heard of anything like this - I think you've managed to (unfortunately) find a bad league. Don't assume that it's all like that, honestly, there's lots better out there!

It's pretty common around here, at least. I don't know of a league that really enforces the rules in my area. I asked around when I really go disappointed with how lax my league was. Everyone basically indicated that their other leagues were pretty similar. Of course, it may be that I just happen to be in a place where there aren't many people who take playing golf in league very seriously. There isn't even any benefits to cheating to get low scores because we don't have any payouts for places at the end of the season. The only thing we have is a skins game which I don't get into anymore because of how people improve their lie.

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8 minutes ago, Nutsmacker said:

Yea, I guess its not an allegation because it was a fact.  However, because I had no supporting proof...it was an allegation.  Which is why I wish had another player to back me up.  

 

The other thing I thought about as I was driving home was how he had one of those giant poker chip markers....so he was essentially moving the ball forward about 3 1/2 ball lengths closer to the hole.  That certainly makes your 5 footers a tad bit easier.  

Which actually brings in another question...why do people use the giant poker chip markers?  I always thought it would be best to use something as a mark that would try to be as flat and small as possible(like a dime) in case someone hit a putt that was going to make contact with the marker(by accident)

It might have more of a mental effect? The math doesn’t add up that it actually makes it easier?

Many seniors use pennies, and don’t remember nor can see where they’ve left them. I see them still there after a group of them. Have no idea where they played from. I collected 8 pennies one round. 😂

 

7 minutes ago, Jeremie Boop said:

It's pretty common around here, at least. I don't know of a league that really enforces the rules in my area. I asked around when I really go disappointed with how lax my league was. Everyone basically indicated that their other leagues were pretty similar. Of course, it may be that I just happen to be in a place where there aren't many people who take playing golf in league very seriously. There isn't even any benefits to cheating to get low scores because we don't have any payouts for places at the end of the season. The only thing we have is a skins game which I don't get into anymore because of how people improve their lie.

It’s more common during a tournament than in one on one matches, but I’ve seen people move balls out of divots during the normal season even when playing for money.

OTOH, they might have agreed to allow such things before hand?

Edited by Lihu

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23 minutes ago, b101 said:

Never heard of anything like this - I think you've managed to (unfortunately) find a bad league. Don't assume that it's all like that, honestly, there's lots better out there!

I've played in three leagues and all three were like @Jeremie Boop explained.   I subbed in a league Tuesday.   I hit my first drive way left and was ready to hit a provisional when the league official told me "we don't play by the rules, heck most guys don't know the rules".   

It's more common than you'd think.

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28 minutes ago, Nutsmacker said:

Like I mentioned, it was a very perplexing situation.  I mentioned it to the player, the director, and didn't sign the card.  However, they still entered his score into the system.  I think the prize for 2nd place was a 50 dollar gift card to a golf shop or something.  It was not thousands of dollars...not that it should make much of a difference in how you conduct yourself on the course.  

I was not happy at all with what transpired but I wasn't sure what else to do besides telling the other players as they walked into turn in their cards.  There weren't a bunch of rules officials riding around on the course.  The staff was essentially the director and a person registering the players.  I really wish there was a 3rd player in my group.  It would have made the situation easier I think if I had another player backing up my allegations.  My question was more about what else could/should have I done considering the circumstances.  Essentially, what would you have done?  I feel really bad about the whole thing.  It made me question playing in those type of events ever again.  I used to be just a weekend player with my friends and never play serious events.  I made an effort to try and start doing this in the last 2 years and now I am seeing the ugly side of tournament golf.  I played in a summer league last year and witnessed a lot of the same kind of shenanigans.  In the league, the organizers would try to address it...but it would never stick.  There were lots of "gimmes" being taken, drops instead of re-teeing up when OB off the tee box, etc.  A couple of us would bring this up and nothing would be done about it.  

 

You did the right thing. Ive been playing with college players in state and national level tournaments for over a decade and I've heard of younger players doing some shady shit, but never seen it personally in competition. In the end, its not your responsibility to worry about policing another player while you're competing as well. Take care of your own game first and dont let another players actions weigh on you. Unless they're angry at all the birdies you may be dropping. Then just point and laugh. 

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That's a tough situation when you only have you as a witness to a breach of the rules, and obviously the parents aren't going to go against their kid (maybe they would, but most likely not).  If you had one more person in the group, then it would have been a different story, but the director of the tourney still should have taken your concerns and done something about them.  Without another witness, there is really nothing else you could have done besides demanding to the director that the person be dealt with, especially since they placed. 

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OP, you were put into a miserable situation. Sadly, there are those who abuse the rules and disgrace the honor of the game. You handled the situation in a very professional manner, I think, and I respect the fact that you reported the beach. I would have handled it differently, though. It doesn't mean that my way was what you should have done  - its just how I would have reacted. 

The first time I thought that I witnessed him doing this I would have told him that it looked like he marked incorrectly, explained what I thought that I had seen, and informed him that I was not exactly certain that this is what he had done but that it was an improper mark (if that is actually what had happened). If he denied the improper mark I would have apologized, explained that I must have made the mistake and dropped the subject (for the time being). 

The second time he performed the improper mark, I would have suggested - before he putted - that he replace the ball in the correct spot and that I was certain this time that he had marked improperly. Had he refused, I would have requested that a tournament official be called to our group. If he did indeed continue and putt out from the wrong spot, I would have continued play while continuing to request an official from the tournament meet up with our group after each infraction.

The first time he did this, it may have been a mistake. The second time, and all subsequent occurrences would have been blatant cheating (especially after I called him on each instance and requested each time that he replace correctly before putting out).

It probably would not have been a very enjoyable round of golf for either of us, but at the end I would have known that he was a blatant cheater and he would have known that I knew he was a cheater and that I was just as blatant in my defense of the field. (And he most likely would not have finished 2nd, unless he had absolutely no conscience whatsoever and could endure my correcting him for every beach of the rule.)

The fact that his parents were there would have made no difference to me. 

League play is a completely different matter. Lots of leagues take great liberties with the rules and you just have to accept that if you choose to play these kinds of rounds. 

Edited by Hardluckster

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Interestingly his 'defence' of saying you had gone 'Lexi Thompson on him' is revealing and could have possibly trapped him into an indefensible position had he repeated this later (or admitted to saying it) . 

1. If he knows about that case, then he is almost certainly aware of ball marking procedures, as should also be implied by his handicap.

2. Managing to quote such a relevant example of the same rule being applied makes the curious mind wonder if the defence was pre-prepared 

3. Very few. if any, people ever contended that LT didn't break a rule , but rather that the infringement was very minor, called late and called in by a viewer. But not that she didn't actually break a rule. 

Of course, it would require the tournament official cared enough to investigate the matter , but this sort of comment could have allowed an opportunity to probe the competitor. 

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3 hours ago, Nutsmacker said:

Which actually brings in another question...why do people use the giant poker chip markers?  I always thought it would be best to use something as a mark that would try to be as flat and small as possible(like a dime) in case someone hit a putt that was going to make contact with the marker(by accident)

I keep one of those poker chips in my pocket and a small coin as well.  When I'm near-ish the hole (say anything inside of 15 or so feet or close to somebody elses line) I use the coin, but when I'm far away or nowhere near another's line I'll use the poker chip.  It started when I'd mark with a coin, and then as I was standing on another part of the green, I'd look to try and read my putt from that angle and I couldn't see the marker. 😉


My takeaway (and I think the general consensus) is:

  1. You handled it pretty well.  You said something to the player, and you said something to the organizer, and you didn't sign his card.
  2. Perhaps you could have been more forceful, but realistically, since it was just you two, nothing else could have happened afterwards.  (Hopefully, at least the organizer will take the information into consideration if/when that same player is involved in something similar in the future.
  3. You shouldn't let this cloud your idea of what tournament golf is like.  There are always going to be people like that, but by and large, competitive golf is fun and most people are honest.

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Just now, Golfingdad said:

My takeaway (and I think the general consensus) is:

  1. You handled it pretty well.  You said something to the player, and you said something to the organizer, and you didn't sign his card.
  2. Perhaps you could have been more forceful, but realistically, since it was just you two, nothing else could have happened afterwards.  (Hopefully, at least the organizer will take the information into consideration if/when that same player is involved in something similar in the future.
  3. You shouldn't let this cloud your idea of what tournament golf is like.  There are always going to be people like that, but by and large, competitive golf is fun and most people are honest.

In general, I agree with @Golfingdad.  I'd like to believe I would have been more forceful the first time it occurred, but I've never been in anything like that situation, so I really can't say for sure.  And really, when you get to the end you end up in a "he said he said" situation, and quite possibly nothing changes.  I personally dislike taking my phone to the course, but having a video to show what he was doing might have been a good thing to show to the tournament official after the round.  Heck, even the possibility that you might use a video ("Let me just take a video to show them at the end, let the officials decide if that's OK") could have "encouraged" him to play it straight.  

But most important, don't let this push you away from competing.  There are lots and lots of fine honorable people in the golfing world, good players, fun to play with (and against), don't give up your chance to meet them.

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9 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

In general, I agree with @Golfingdad.  I'd like to believe I would have been more forceful the first time it occurred, but I've never been in anything like that situation, so I really can't say for sure.  And really, when you get to the end you end up in a "he said he said" situation, and quite possibly nothing changes.  I personally dislike taking my phone to the course, but having a video to show what he was doing might have been a good thing to show to the tournament official after the round.  Heck, even the possibility that you might use a video ("Let me just take a video to show them at the end, let the officials decide if that's OK") could have "encouraged" him to play it straight.  

But most important, don't let this push you away from competing.  There are lots and lots of fine honorable people in the golfing world, good players, fun to play with (and against), don't give up your chance to meet them.

Taking a video was the thing that I wish I did.  I play in two different organized "tours" and I am definitely considering pulling out of the one that this incident occurred in.  I am just suspicious about how much this type of thing happens because its not the first tourney that the individual played in....so others have either seen this cheating tactic before and did nothing or were OK with it and probably took their own liberties with the rules.  

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I'm pretty sure he was taught how to mark a ball correctly.Been different if he placed ball back behind chip but he clearly wanted 2 inches shorter putt for some reason.He should've been dq.

4 hours ago, Nutsmacker said:

Yea, I guess its not an allegation because it was a fact.  However, because I had no supporting proof...it was an allegation.  Which is why I wish had another player to back me up.  

 

The other thing I thought about as I was driving home was how he had one of those giant poker chip markers....so he was essentially moving the ball forward about 3 1/2 ball lengths closer to the hole.  That certainly makes your 5 footers a tad bit easier.  

Which actually brings in another question...why do people use the giant poker chip markers?  I always thought it would be best to use something as a mark that would try to be as flat and small as possible(like a dime) in case someone hit a putt that was going to make contact with the marker(by accident)

The purpose of the giant poker chip is to be able to see it from other side of hole so u can read the break.Kinda hard to see a small coin from 30-40 ft away.

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@Nutsmacker,

You did the right thing. I would have told the committee as well and said I cannot sign his score card because of the breach of rules. If the guy made a stink, I would then let the guys who finished behind him know that he broke the rules.

One thing I would have done differently is to mention it to him when I saw him do it the first time. I would be polite about it and say something along the lines, "I noticed you inadvertently marked your ball in front of the ball, then replaced in front again."  This would have let him know you saw it the first time and maybe he would have stopped.

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Tough spot these cheaters put us in.  I give the OP credit for at least doing something.

I'm personally not good at calling people on cheating.  I'm trying to get better at it.  Sometimes I call someone on it, but sometimes I just don't care enough to confront them.  I know it is my job as marker to protect the field, but it happens way too often for me to want to feel like a police officer.  One time the guy even came from way back to win a 40-50 player invitational tournament, and I didn't say anything when it happened early in the second of three rounds.  I do feel bad about that one.  Something illegal seems to happen in my group every 6 to 10 tournament rounds.  It just happens way too often.

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57 minutes ago, SG11118 said:

Tough spot these cheaters put us in.  I give the OP credit for at least doing something.

I'm personally not good at calling people on cheating.  I'm trying to get better at it.  Sometimes I call someone on it, but sometimes I just don't care enough to confront them.  I know it is my job as marker to protect the field, but it happens way too often for me to want to feel like a police officer.  One time the guy even came from way back to win a 40-50 player invitational tournament, and I didn't say anything when it happened early in the second of three rounds.  I do feel bad about that one.  Something illegal seems to happen in my group every 6 to 10 tournament rounds.  It just happens way too often.

I always assume that rules infractions are done accidentally and without intent, unless further actions prove otherwise. 

I always approach players with an attitude that they have made a mistake, not that they have cheated - and I will always bring infractions to light before they have been committed, if possible, to avoid any penalty on the other player. 

I also understand that some people have a difficult time confronting people on rules infractions. I am not trying to be judgmental toward that viewpoint - I really do understand that we are all wired differently. 

Having said all of that, when players knowingly break rules in my presence I have no problem calling them on it. Always as politely as possible, but also as firmly as necessary. If people don't care to cheat in front of me, I have no problem letting them know that I know that they are cheating. It is at times uncomfortable, but I always try to remember that there are many honest people out there playing by the rules. I feel that if I allow a fellow competitor to cheat, I'm in essence helping to cheat those honest golfers in the field. 

As an addendum, I will say that usually once someone knows that you are going to stand up for the field and play by the rules, problems almost always cease. The vast majority of the golfing population, I think (and hope), is honest. 

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Another case where someone tries to do the right thing but doesn't get any support due to "spineless don't want any conflict" people.  

In a completely unrelated scenario where I have a parking lot that is shared with multiple businesses in our building. We have signs up for parking only for our patrons because it gets pretty full at times. Well people park in our lot that using another business. When I see them try to do this, I try to catch them and ask them to move their car. I hate it. I feel like the bad guy even though it is clearly posted (sometimes they park right in front of the sign). I get the sigh and eye roll even though they are idiots. My point is, why should we (op too) feel bad about pointing out cheating behavior. I think you did fine and should not have cared if this cheater was mad or that mommy and daddy were watching. I'm sure they know already. 

Edited by Valleygolfer

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22 hours ago, Nutsmacker said:

I was recently playing in a local semi-public stroke play tournament.  The third person that was to play in my group didn't show up so it was just myself and another younger college graduate playing together.  He was a 2 handicap and I presumed an accomplished player because of his handicap.  Seemed like a nice guy and his parents were there walking the course with him.   Anyhow, on about the 6th or 7th hole I noticed something on the green.  He marked his ball with his poker chip marker in front of the ball.  I went ahead and finished out my putt and noticed he put the ball in front of the marker.  I didn't say anything right away because I was not sure if I was hallucinating because it was hot.  We played on and it was clear that was his thing.  I noticed it 3 more times and I finally just mentioned that it was not the correct way to mark the ball.  He got pretty pissed off at me saying that I was going all "lexi thompson" on him.  Frankly, I was kind of embarrassed because his parents were there.  I did not want to make a scene.  I just mentioned it to him.  I didn't start screaming that he was cheating.  I honestly was willing to accept that he never learned the proper way to mark a ball.  I mentioned it to the tournament organizer and the guy frankly wanted nothing to do with the whole situation.  

I must say, that I am rather turned off in even playing in an event again after witnessing such an affair.  I assume that when playing with others that have low handicaps that they are all playing by the book when playing in an individual tournament.  What is the course of action one should take in this scenario?  I felt really perplexed on how to handle the whole situation with the parents there, etc.  It left a very sour taste in my mouth.  

I'd have immediately told him "No, I'm not going Lexi Thompson, I'm going Rules of Golf on you."  If a person wants to play tournament golf, then better to learn the lesson in a small event like this rather than in a more important competition.  If he continues this practice, you won't be the last person to call him on it.

8 hours ago, Nutsmacker said:

Like I mentioned, it was a very perplexing situation.  I mentioned it to the player, the director, and didn't sign the card.  However, they still entered his score into the system.  I think the prize for 2nd place was a 50 dollar gift card to a golf shop or something.  It was not thousands of dollars...not that it should make much of a difference in how you conduct yourself on the course.  

I was not happy at all with what transpired but I wasn't sure what else to do besides telling the other players as they walked into turn in their cards.  There weren't a bunch of rules officials riding around on the course.  The staff was essentially the director and a person registering the players.  I really wish there was a 3rd player in my group.  It would have made the situation easier I think if I had another player backing up my allegations.  My question was more about what else could/should have I done considering the circumstances.  Essentially, what would you have done?  I feel really bad about the whole thing.  It made me question playing in those type of events ever again.  I used to be just a weekend player with my friends and never play serious events.  I made an effort to try and start doing this in the last 2 years and now I am seeing the ugly side of tournament golf.  I played in a summer league last year and witnessed a lot of the same kind of shenanigans.  In the league, the organizers would try to address it...but it would never stick.  There were lots of "gimmes" being taken, drops instead of re-teeing up when OB off the tee box, etc.  A couple of us would bring this up and nothing would be done about it.  

 

I'd have been pretty insistent, and if the organizer or committee refused to do anything, I might very well go public about it.  I'd certainly never play in another event run by him.

This is wrong, the kid cheated another player out of his rightful place in the tournament, and the director colluded with him after the fact.  It doesn't matter that it was just a couple of inches each time - he was deliberately breaking a rule, and then because he so glibly played that Lexi card, he made it clear that he knew that it was wrong.  The fact that his parents were there is irrelevant - in fact a responsible parent would have backed you when it was demonstrated that his actions contravened a rule. 

Each time he placed his ball incorrectly, it should have been a 2 stroke penalty.  If he 2 putted and marked before each putt, then he'd be looking at up to 4 penalty strokes per hole.  That would have been a significant lesson taught.  Instead he will likely continue the practice until someone takes the proper action and imposes the penalty.

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23 hours ago, Lihu said:

 I didn't even sign his card.   I think he ended up getting 2nd.

How on earth did the committee accept the card?? If the card is not attested he is DQ!! (6-6)

 

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