How to win matches and lose friends: 7 dirty golf tricks that aren’t against the Rules of Golf

Are there more than 7 dirty golf tricks? That seems like more than enough.

Image of angry woman golfer.IF SUZANN PETTERSEN and Charley Hull had intentionally staged the scene that won them the 17th hole and ultimately their 2015 Solheim Cup match against Brittany Lincicome and Alison Lee, it might have gone down in history as one of golf’s greatest gameswomanship gambits.

Lee missed her putt and Hull started walking away, taking the referee with her, giving the impression that the ensuing putt was conceded. Lee picked up her putt. And there across the green was Pettersen saying, “We didn’t give her that.”

All legal and potentially brilliant dirty tricks.

Well, nobody thinks the Europeans staged that. And the ensuing bad blood helped inspire the U.S. team to its greatest comeback. Indeed, if you try any of these legal-but-nasty tactics, know that you might win while alienating your opponent but you also might lose while motivating your opponent.

HERE THEY ARE: THE 7 DIRTY GOLF TRICKS

  1. Snap that velcro on your glove or rattle that change in your pocket whenever she’s about to tee off or putt. Golf great Seve Ballesteros was famous for his recurring but unpredictable cough. Honestly, there’s no rule that requires graveyard silence on a golf course.
  2. If she likes to talk, don’t say a word. If she’s quiet, talk constantly.
  3. Routinely play ready golf, until she pitches in for birdie and you point out that she played out of turn and will have to replay her shot. (The U.S. team made Annika Sorenstam replay her birdie chip at the 2000 Solheim Cup, and captain Pat Bradley said, a la Carin Koch, “We followed the rules as written.” Yes, and Europe came back to win.)
  4. When you and she have hit drives near each other, go stand by her ball. Maybe she’ll accidentally hit yours and lose the hole (or incur a two-stroke penalty in stroke play).
  5. Compliment her on that odd little quirk in her swing.
  6. When you crush a 7-iron and come up short of the green, before she takes her turn say, “If only I had given that 7 a full swing.”
  7. Do not help her search for her ball in the rough, and do not pull the flagstick for her, ever.

In the end, whether you’ve won or lost, you might want to have a “pressing appointment” that requires you to skip the 19th hole. And if you dared try any of these tactics in a 25-cents-a-skin match with a favorite foursome, don’t expect to be invited back for a rematch.

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