I've just seen something I can't recall seeing in the generally friendly confines of club golf -- what appears to have been a blatant case of sandbagging, cheating or remarkable golf.
A buddy of mine invited me to play in a one-day member guest at his club, which shall remain nameless. I was one of three guests and, along with my buddy, our foursome competed as one of 18 teams in a modified Stableford format.
Using your handicap for net scores, pars were worth one point, birdies two points, eagles three points, bogeys and worse counted for zippo. Each green even had a second, much more difficult hole location, where point values were doubled. Of course, it all came down to legitimate handicaps and the honest accounting by each team.
At the turn, hoping to gauge our success or lack thereof, we asked one of the assistant pros what it took to win this thing? High 60s, sometimes 70 points, he told us. Our team didn't play great and we went on to finish with a total of 53 points, putting us back in the pack. Plenty of teams finished in the mid-50s, the 60s and even the low 70s.
To the astonishment of most everybody, the winning team finished with 98 points -- 19 points ahead of the second-place team's 79 points. In other words, most of the teams were bunched together, except for the winning team.
As we all watched the results get posted, the doubt set in and the eye-rolling began. This foursome of middle-aged, soft-bellied, non-athletic looking guys had almost lapped the field? Was anybody buying that? No.
The pro was helpless to do anything, unless he wanted to publicly question the integrity of the member and his guests. But everybody else let their feelings be known.
At the awards ceremony and dinner, when the names of the winning team and their winning score were announced and they made their way up for their pick from the prize table, they must have been embarrassed to be greeted by snickers, hoots and hisses. One guy in the back even did that thing that where you cough, while under your breath you're yelling, "BULL----!"
Except for the prizes, those guys got exactly what they deserved.