To hear John Huggan tell it, it’s pretty common:
You may not want to hear this, but golf at every level is rife with cheating. Well, OK, rife may be too strong a word. But it’s out there, at every level of the game up to and including the professional level, where the temptation to transgress is obviously increased by the often huge financial rewards available.
You’ll never read the names of those involved though. Officialdom doesn’t want you to know who they are (and the legal implications of publicly exposing the culprits don’t help either). Some, in fact, are really quite famous. One multiple major champion, by way of example, is a notorious cheat and the subject of any number of head-shaking locker room tales. Ryder Cup players are not immune either. At least one is tainted forever by his serial cheating. And there are others, many of whom have won events through the most dubious of methods.
It’s hard to tell exactly how accurate his assessment is. We all know of the rumors about Vijay Singh, and there’s a scandal surrounding Elliot Saltman and some shady activities on the European Challenge Tour (the equivalent of the Nationwide here in the US).
With that much money on the line, pros will take every advantage they can get – whether it is the grooves on their wedge, or the putter on their belly. And with the money that’s on the line, it’s not terribly surprising to hear that there’s quite a bit of rule bending going on. We know that it’s happening on the LPGA.
Maybe we all sort of assume that it’s taking place and that’s why we’re so impressed when somebody does something like Brian Davis.
[Illustration from mensgolftips.com]
Derek @ 72strokes.com