Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Ask Linda #702-Devious tactics
I hope all is well. I have recently been asked by a player who was playing match play and lost on the 2nd playoff hole because he didn't put his ball back in the correct place on the green after moving it on his opponent’s request. The opponent noticed he put it back in the wrong place but said nothing and waited for the breach to occur and then claimed the hole.
A heated discussion ensued and names like "Bobby Jones" came out and fairness as well as etiquette. I advised him it is player beware and his opponent was within his rights to do what he did but it did upset a lot of people.
Under the Rules, the player lost the hole. It was his responsibility to remember that he moved his ball, and that he would have to replace it before completing the hole.
Section I of the rulebook talks about the spirit of the game. It states that players are expected to demonstrate “courtesy and sportsmanship at all times, irrespective of how competitive they may be.” The player who withheld the information demonstrated neither courtesy nor sportsmanship.
As a player, I feel it is my duty and obligation to point out potential rules violations before they happen. Deliberately withholding information so that your opponent will violate a Rule and lose a match is such an egregious act of bad sportsmanship and so foreign to the spirit of the game that I prefer not to contemplate it.
If the offending player is unaware that such shenanigans are not tolerated by the golfing community, perhaps a simple explanation will put him on the right track. If his natural disposition is “win at all costs,” he might want to try another sport.
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