Thursday, June 11, 2015

Ask Linda #1081-Cheating when marking on green


I play occasionally with a fellow who marks his ball with a large poker chip. He slides the chip under his ball gaining 1 to 2 inches. When it is his turn to putt, he then places his ball 1 to 3 inches in front of the chip. He gains 2-5 inches with this “technique.”

Others have witnessed this. He is clever and doesn’t always do this. He chooses his opportunities carefully.

How might I confront this practice?
Lou from Snellville, Georgia 

Dear Lou,

I am going to assume that either this player is a friend or you cannot avoid playing with him. Otherwise, my recommendation would be to avoid him on the golf course.

This player is a cheater. Since he doesn’t do it every time, it would seem he clearly knows what he’s doing. You can warn him about it prior to your next round, or you can wait until it happens again. In either case, you need to explain that he is not replacing the ball on the correct spot on the green. If he fails to correct the error before he hits the ball, he is playing from a wrong place and incurs a two-stroke penalty.

Take the high road and point out the error before he hits the ball. Try to make it sound like you are saving him from two penalty strokes, rather than accusing him of cheating. Perhaps he will stop the practice when he realizes he is being watched.

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