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Sure the pencil is the best club in his bag. But there's an art to it.
Sure the pencil is the best club in his bag. But there's an art to it. (Brandon Tucker/TravelGolf)

Tried and true ways to cheat on the golf course

Tim McDonaldBy Tim McDonald,

Yes, you've cheated on the golf course. You know you have. Don't even try to tell me you haven't.

Cheating is both science and art, and takes a man or woman of advanced intellect, without the loathsome burden of morals, to do it well.

I myself cheat at golf all the time - and have won a lot of money and lowered my handicap as a result. I've found the following methods to be efficient, if practiced:

• You've heard the expression "the pencil is the best club in his bag," usually uttered with quiet admiration. But, there's an art to it. For example, wait until your partner has a bad time on a long par-5, and you see him staring back at the hole after putting out, mentally calculating his strokes. He's vulnerable now - pounce. Take advantage of his despair and mental confusion.

You can sometimes even get away with a two-stroke cheat here. If he looks at your scorecard in disbelief, you can come back with: "You're thinking about yourself, partner. That was you who took two to get out of the rough. You must have been in the woods when I hit that 220-yard 5-iron on the green."

He may sulk, but he hasn't caught you. Not many people can remember that many strokes, especially if they're wrapped up in their own misery.

• If you're keeping score and have a bad hole, don't write anything down for a couple holes, then go back and write in a four when you actually had a five. Don't get too greedy and write four when you actually had a seven - your partners, being cheap civilians, remember your really bad holes and will call you on it.

• Improving your lie is a great way to cheat. In fact, I can't remember the last time I had a bad lie. Again, there's an art to this and you have to pick your spots.

If you're in the rough and you know you're probably going to have a bad lie, walk over to your ball while your partner is lining up his shot. Wait until he's about mid-swing and kick your ball to a better lie. He and the other players will be watching your partner's ball and most likely won't notice.

You might want to take a few practice kicks, kicking debris out of the way, so when you actually do kick your ball, they'll think you're still kicking junk out of the way. Practice this in front of a mirror.

• When faced with a bad lie, yell "fore" then move your ball to a nice, soft tuft of grass, sitting high and pretty, while your partners are cowering. Don't do this more than once a round.

As an alternative, pretend to bend over and pick a "pretty flower," then move your ball where you want it. Keep fresh daisies in your pocket.

• Mulligans. A lot of groups give themselves mulligans on the first tee if they didn't have a chance to warm up. This ruse can only be done if one of your partners actually uses his mulligan on the first tee and you don't.

Wait until you screw up later on, then nonchalantly say "mulligan time." When one of your goody two-shoes partners says "hey, mulligans on the first tee only," act offended and say, "Oh, I guess only certain people get mulligans - how do you live with yourself, man?"

• Keep a fake USGA rules book on you at all times. It can be a blank notebook, or a book of Hungarian recipes, but when in doubt, haul it out and make a ruling in your favor. "Dude, look - it says three club lengths, not one. It's right here, in black and white."

If somebody asks you to see it, again, look offended and say "It hurts you don't trust me, man. Look, I'll just do whatever you say." They may or may not call you on it, but you won't be any worse off than before.

• Throw off your rivals when they're putting. Again, be judicious and don't use this too much, only when there's money on the line. Make sure you're in his line of vision, without being obvious about it.

On his take-back, pretend you're swatting a wasp out of your face, just enough to get his attention. If somebody calls you a jerk, say, "Oh, I'm supposed to get stung? I'm allergic to insect bites, Mr. I-Don't-Care. I could die. Is that what you want?" You can stomp off for added effect, but use discretion.

I have a million of these. These are just a few, basic examples, a few hors d-oeuvres, to get you started. I plan to do a semi-occasional, when-I-feel-like-it series on the best ways to cheat on a golf course. Send suggestions if you want, because cheaters always prosper.

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.

Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • ugly

    bill wrote on: Jun 19, 2010

    size of tim mcdonalds forehead.the cheating prick


  • golf

    jackie wrote on: Jun 19, 2010

    you are a dirty cheating arse.


  • golf

    jackie wrote on: Jun 19, 2010

    you are a dirty cheating arse.


  • golf

    kieran wrote on: Feb 19, 2010

    this can be a great laugh.have you ever been in a bunker with a high lip.all you do is place another ball in front of your real ball.take a normal bunker shot.the golf ball you placed down should shoot into the lip and your real ball will rocket into the air spinning like crazy


  • Hey

    Justin Baker wrote on: Jan 21, 2009

    Cheating is really bad dont do it write back at justinbaker@rocketmail.com


  • distracting a mark

    harleyM.D. wrote on: Aug 13, 2006

    I practice in the triangle but went to medical school in Charleston. Playing golf with dookies is a professional/social necessity. So, when with a group of these self absorbed Mr. Knowitalls I will casually mention I know who is dropping hammer on coach K's daughter.
    Failing that, I keep a fart machine in my bag that is operated remotely.
    Loud, fat and juicy gets 'em every time.


  • The Long Ball

    Toro Bollas wrote on: Sep 30, 2005

    The amazing power of Chapstick????!!!!


      • RE: The Long Ball

        craig canfield m.d. wrote on: Aug 13, 2006

        Yes, Chapstick is quite the equalizer. Just for grins i will bet an opponent my 3 wood TourMade will out drive his R7.
        Works almost every time. Drinks only, of course.


  • cheating ways

    john pilch wrote on: Sep 7, 2005

    Sounds similiar to the players at my brothers club, Have you ever walked over a patch of dry pan looking over to see your opponent find his ball at the same time you found his ball at the o.b.line, ob?


  • cheating

    yankeebelle wrote on: Sep 7, 2005

    this works great......tee your ball up anywhere using a green lifesaver...except the sand...Once you hit the ball the evidence is gone!


      • RE: cheating

        craig canfield m.d. wrote on: Aug 13, 2006

        Know the color of the sand before you play the tract. Buy the lifesaver that closest resembles the color of that sand. Up 'n down.


  • Golf

    UnrineTrouble wrote on: Aug 25, 2005

    Gentleman Only Ladies Forbidden. I knew that acronym standing for something. Especially when a women wants to make a serious comment on the game of golf


  • Someone unpucker ole Sandy!

    Hoyt Decker wrote on: Aug 25, 2005

    Jeez, Sandy, Christmas may be four months away but I'd say it's never too early to put a sense of humor on your wish list. :-0


  • Cheating

    Sandy Thomas wrote on: Aug 25, 2005

    Golf used to be called a "Gentleman's Game". It's the only sport the athlete calls a penalty on himself. The article, labeled "humorous" stoops to a mud level concept of personal integrity.
    When you cheat at golf you are lying.
    Betting for dollars then cheating, is becoming a thief, (including a bogus high handicaps). Intergrity is a personal issue when we think that lying, cheating and stealing are an appropiate source of humor. Is this how you would like your business to be run? Or would you do business with this type of leadership in a company?


      • RE: Cheating

        Alex Lopez wrote on: Aug 25, 2005

        Ohhh Come on! When you are playing golf with friends it may be fun especially when yu know your good buddies are doing the same thing. I have cheated myself only to tell all afterwards on the 19th hole for a laugh. Now, when you are playing seriously then it would be taboo. Come on people. I thought sports were fun as well!? If you take golf seriously all the time then it would be a boring game as most people thought it was.


          • RE: RE: Cheating

            Carl Stone wrote on: Jun 25, 2007

            I thought there were only 18 holes on a golf course.


              • RE: RE: RE: Cheating

                Mike wrote on: May 14, 2010

                Are you serious????


                  • RE: RE: RE: RE: Cheating

                    tim mcdonald wrote on: Sep 29, 2010

                    Only someone with the sexually ambiguous name of "Sandy" would make such stupid comments. Bet you're a blast at parties, Mr. or Mrs. Stick-in-the-mud.


Comments Leave a comment