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It is our duty to report the sighting of cheats in golf courses

GOLF By Vincent Wang'ombe | January 17th 2020
South African Toto Thimba emerges from the par-four 17th? bunker on his way to claiming Karen Masters 2019 at 25-under 262 at Karen Golf & Country Club in Nairobi County, June 30, 2019 [Mose Sammy, Standard]

There are few things as enjoyable and wholesome as a good round of golf with amiable people.

It is a tonic for the body and mind. A good round for me does not necessarily involve birdies and eagles, although these do help to add to the delight, it just needs to have reasonable golf shots on a good golf course and in good company.

We all go to the golf course for different reasons and more recently, it is becoming obvious that for some, winning golf prizes is the only reason that they play.

There is nothing wrong in being competitive and wanting to win. Beware, however, the golf locust who is out devour prizes and will win even if it means that he or she does so creatively.

I have always maintained that the game of golf is the easiest to cheat at and if it were not for the fact that the game is played by ladies and gentlemen, the game would be dominated by those who could get away with the vice.

There are quite a number of tricks used by golf cheats and some are very well known like marking the ball with a “follow-through”.

This is when, in a bid to gain a few inches, the golfer will mark his ball and push it an inch or two ahead. The other way is by placing the ball-marker several inches from the ball and then replacing the ball in a more favourable spot.

Some golfers will, in a bid to simplify the marking of the ball, inadvertently cheat. I am referring to those who use leaves, twigs, stones and other natural objects to mark the position of their golf balls.

In such cases, the ball is not adequately marked and the player incurs a one stroke penalty.

A golf locust may use this to gain an advantage by replacing the ball in the wrong place to try and gain an advantage.

The most common way of cheating remains in giving the wrong scores or manipulation of handicaps to get an unfair advantage.

These are the people who will play several shots on a particular hole and then boldly announce that they had a bogey.

They will sell their soul just to get a toaster or a dinner set as a prize at the end of the competition.

There are good golfers who see this and they don’t say a word. They are out to enjoy their game and will not want to spend a few minutes teaching the golf locust how to count properly.

They will sign the card of the golf locust knowing very well that the fellow made a few extra shots on the course, than what is actually on the card that bears both their signatures.

Some markers probably sign wrong scores to avoid getting into an argument.

Unfortunately, both players should be disqualified in such a cases. The marker who knowingly signs for a wrong score is as guilty as the golf cheat.

The marker can choose not to sign a card that they believe is wrong.

The marker who disagrees with the scores must then inform the competition committee the details of the incidence.

As one Cabinet Secretary said, it is very important to inform government officials of any sighting of locust.

In the same way, golf locust must be reported to the competition committee.If not, they shall devour the contents of the prize tables across all golf courses.

Wang’ombe is the General Manager of Kenya Open Golf Limited

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