• Website poll attracted over 200 responses
• bunkered Facebook page alight with comments, too
The vast majority of club golfers have witnessed a fellow player cheating on the course, bunkered.co.uk has learned.
A poll conducted on this website earlier in week discovered that 94% of respondents have seen somebody deliberately breaking the rules on at least one occasion.
The survey attracted over 200 votes and followed last weekend’s announcement by the PGA Tour China that its current money leader, Xin Jun Zhang, has been hit with a six-month suspension after he was found to have signed for incorrect scores on two separate occasions in the last five months.
This was the second high-profile incident of alleged cheating in professional golf in the last 12 months, prompting us to ask readers if the matter has become a problem at grassroots level.
As well as the emphatic poll result, our Facebook page was also besieged by comments on the issue.
Scott Robertson wrote: “Being a greenkeeper, it is amazing what you see people doing. There are far too many people out there blatantly cheating!”
“The results of our poll are worrying to say the least." - Bryce Ritchie, bunkered.co.uk editor
Another reader, Angela Hughes, added: “Yes a few teams/players on the ladies Amateur circuit in central Scotland have been banned from competitions after incorrect scoring in tri am competitions - suspicions were raised after they won every time they played and came in at least ten strokes below other players.”
Anthony Pioppi chipped in that he, too, has witnessed players cheating ‘while caddying in a club championship match at prominent golf club’.
Commenting on the findings, bunkered.co.uk editor Bryce Ritchie said: “The results of our poll are worrying to say the least. We were extremely surprised to see the remarks made by ordinary club golfers when it came to cheating at grassroots level.
“Historically, most cheating episodes usually boil down to a misunderstanding of the rules or an honest mistake, but that doesn't seem to be the case anymore.
“We know of cheating accusations in the amateur game at elite level, and now we know that it occurs - seemingly regularly - at club level.
“The findings are hugely disappointing and should, perhaps, put an end to the theory that golf is this pure, perfect game. Much as the game tends to bury its head in the sand when it comes to dealing with drugs, this is another problem golf must tackle head on at grassroots level."
How big a problem is cheating in golf?
In light of the news above, how big a problem do you think cheating is in golf? Leave your thoughts in our 'Comments' section below.