|If you golf for fun and profit, you owe it to yourself to work on your cheating skills. (.)|
First of all, to cheat well on the golf course, you must be a good liar. You cannot be one without the other. You must be without ethics, morals or higher principles. The truth may set you free, but lying will get you further in life and golf gambling as long as you're not caught. It helps if you're a Republican, but many Democrats are adept as well, i.e. Bill Clinton. Well, Clinton is a bad example, because he got caught. Independents, all high and mighty, don't lie, but then again, they have absolutely no power in Washington.
You should be able to pass at least 80 percent of any and all polygraph tests you take. Polygraph tests don't catch lies - they measure stress. Great liars scoff at polygraph tests. Great liars don't break a sweat when they lie, they can look you in the eye, tell you a whopper all the while looking like Opie Taylor. Study soap operas, the "Andy Griffith Show" and the U.S. Congress.
"Truth is beautiful, without doubt, but so are lies" - Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet
Great liars are born, but environment plays a part. Learn from the tactics of CEOs, used car salesmen, and anyone being audited by the IRS. Remember that time your ex-girlfriend said: "It's not you, it's me." Use that.
I've found that it helps when, on those occasions you golf by yourself, to cheat on your scorecard. There's no one watching for one thing. And it is imperative you have the ability to tell yourself you shot a 75 instead of a 94 and believe it. You must be able to lie to yourself before you can lie to others, to look yourself in the mirror and say, "there stands one handsome dude."
"One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived." - Machiavelli, author
You've probably had some experience with this. For instance, you aren't really six feet, like you tell your wife, are you? You're more like 5-9. And you don't really weigh 170 pounds, do you? More like 210. And you really weren't looking after a sick friend til 3 a.m. Saturday morning, were you? More like Last Call at Big Betty's Bosom Bar.
In golf, cheating ranges from the fundamental lie - "that was a birdie back there, not a par" to the subtle and sophisticated - "I'm pretty sure that was a 4 back there. But, you can write down a 5 if you insist."
"In order to preserve your self-respect, it is sometimes necessary to lie and cheat." - Robert Byrne, author and billiards champion
Okay, now that you've got the lying part down, cheating is easy.
• Stepping on your competitor's ball, rendering it unplayable. You must get there first, obviously, and be subtle about it. Once you've found it, stomp on it while peering into the sky as if looking for wild geese.
• Pre-program your cell phone to ring in the middle of your rival's backswing. Make sure you cell has one of those incredibly, annoyingly cute rings.
"Do unto others as you would not have them do unto you." - Tim McDonald, prophet
• Illegal golf clubs are always useful. I have a wedge with a clubface covered with rubber. The salesman told me with a grin it didn't "exactly conform to USGA rules," which is why I love it, despite the fact it is impossible to clean.
• Marking your ball. When you mark your ball for a putt, always move it a minimum of three to four inches closer to the hole. This can be accomplished with sleight of hand (keep a ball hidden up your sleeve). Having an accomplice with a whoopee cushion helps here.
• If you hit in the woods, wander around for a while, then walk out to the edge of the fairway, pre-tossing your ball to a good spot. Slap your head, point to your ball and exclaim, "I'll be damned, there it is. Must have hit a tree and kicked back. Hey, I'd rather be lucky than good." This will have them laughing so hard they won't even notice.
• There's nothing more embarrassing than a total whiff. If you do happen to whiff, stay calm and act like you were taking a practice swing. Do it once more for effect.
• Call an unplayable lie in a water hazard. You still get a one-stroke penalty, but it's good practice.
And remember the words of Susannah Centlivre, English playwright: "Tis my opinion every man cheats in his own way, and he is only honest who is not discovered."
January 18, 2006
Veteran golf writer Tim McDonald keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation.
I've been slumming it out on cheap public courses my entire life. At one point, aren't I entitled as a lifelong golfer to finally enjoy the fruits of my suffering on a well conditioned, thoughtfully designed private course from one of the game's premier architects?
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