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Justin Thomas won the PGA Championship. It was at Quail Hollow Country Club in North Carolina, if you didn’t see, and it was an amazing win for the young American.
Who cares, though.
Golf is here and it’s picking up steam; that’s what’s important. Summer wanes, fall approaches, and golf picks up.
With school like a week away, Saturdays will more often than not take place on the course with a rack of brew. The golf cart rampages should not stop and the cart girl should get it. But golf, and the opportunity to make money via hustle, shouldn’t be overlooked.
Here are the best ways to cheat and/or hustle on the course.
1. “Is this my ball?”
For the amateur golfer — anyone who does not break 80 consistently — the lie of your golf ball is probably the biggest deterrent to maintained success/improvement. Most of us just aren’t good enough to take good, repeatable swings when the ball is not fluffed up. So, fluff it up. Get out of the cart early, approach your ball, which absolutely you know to be yours, and feint a loud, genuine concern unto your boys as to the identity of your golf ball.
“Yo, Ham-bone, I know my ball went over this way. Is this one mine?” Bend down, pick up the ball, actively check and confirm your Top Flight logo, and say “Yep! It’s mine. Wasn’t sure.” Place ball back on the ground after a delicate, subtle manicure of thicker rough.
2. Embrace the higher handicap.
There aren’t many other games where ego comes into play like this. How many times have you met the dude who confidently tells you he is a strong 5 handicap and then he doesn’t get air born until the 8th tee box? Pride and ego make smart people very dumb when playing golf. Know that. Know that and then do the opposite.
If you are playing for money, always shortchange yourself — and your abilities — and then milk the ego of the guy who won’t stop talking about the 74 he just shot. “Man, you must play a lot and be really good. That’s awesome. I’m okay. Just don’t have enough time with school and all. I’m a 90 to 95 guy but if you give me a couple shots a side I’ll still put a little money on it.”
When you make the turn three over and up $25ish, give him the shots back on the back nine and say you’re playing out of your mind.
3. “Good good?”
Even in match-play type format, you’d be amazed at the number of dudes who will accept a “good good” proposal. In line with the aforementioned ego, if the guy claimed to be a skilled golfer and he’s got a twelve foot bender left for double and you offer a way out, he will take it. Most of the time people who lie about their golf games, especially in college, come from money and would rather salvage a score than worry about conceding $10.
Definition of good-good: Cowards’ way out in which both players know they will most likely miss their respective putts so they form a verbal agreement — binding in most states — in which they pretend both putts were made.
4. “Yep, I see it! It stayed in!”
The quick pocket drop will never work unless you are adamant you saw your ball stay in play off the tee. After the second or third pocket drop, when you skull-fucked your ball into the swamp again, and you find this one, too, you will be outed. If you are playing with friends, they will roast you. Deservedly so. If you are playing for money with borderline acquaintances, they will probably hurt you.
So right after the snap hook, appear to stay with your ball, maybe put your off-hand up in visor-like fashion, and point and identify. Even though you know the ball is now in another county, verbalize from the box you saw it come down.
Get out of cart early, approach forest, quick pocket drop when shielded by underbrush. ”Yep, it’s here. Pinnacle Gold, what I always play!”
5. Call out other players for exactly what you’re doing.
As you get better at steps 1-4, start planting seeds about other players. This is hiding in plain sight. If you call out Doug on the grounds of suspicious play, namely the foot wedge or lie-fluff that has you up $40, no one suspects you. It’s basic psychology. Like noted earlier, golf makes smart people very dumb..