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Pope Of Slope

A 'sandbagger'- WHO ARE YOU ACCUSIN'?

Golf Digest, October, 1999, page 30

"Observations from a 'sandbagger'"

Note: The following dispatch was e-mailed to our offices via (the Web site of former USGA handicap guru Dean Knuth) in response to an article on handicap cheats:

I've been accused of being a sandbagger many times, but what I seem to notice is that club golfers tend to take mulligans liberally, concede many putts, and "roll the ball" pretty much everywhere. I play the ball "down" every time, even when in a footprint in the bunker or a sand-filled divot hole. I also take drops as the rules allow, not on some imaginary "line of sight." I never, ever concede putts.

My rounds are played under the Rules of Golf and are therefore more difficult than those in some club tournaments, which often allow lift, clean and place in the fairway.

I've shot very low net rounds, like 64 at a place with a 69.4 Course Rating, and rarely shoot much higher than a couple of strokes over the Course Rating. Does that make me a sandbagger? By most definitions, yes. Does that make me a cheater? That is highly offensive. I see the issue of sandbagging as mainly a problem of in-house tournaments, where members want to have fun while they play, and not worry about the stress of a rainy day, a bad lie or missed kick-in putt. To you whiners, I say play golf to establish your handicap. Enter all your scores, even those rounds when you had a bad day. Then you would be much more competitive. Do not accuse me of cheating, because you regularly cheat the game when you play by your "rules" and I do not.

A 'sandbagger'

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