Inviting a Known Sandbagger to a Tournament

orchard53

Active member
Albatross 2021 Club
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SF Bay area
Go to GHIN and do a golfer lookup. You can see all the reported scores. Since there are no longer any "tournament" adjustments their adjustments are meaningless for low scores - at worst 1 taken off of every score for the last 20.

Example of what makes to me an unreal handicap. A 74 and a 78, all the others in the 90s. Maybe not sandbagging, but having great scores when there is money at stake is suspicious, especially with no scores in the 80s.

* 78 H
01/27/2021
66.3/115

94 A
01/27/2021
68.9/126

94 H
01/26/2021
66.3/115

94 H
01/25/2021
66.3/115

* 91 A
01/24/2021
69.3/120

92 A
01/22/2021
66.7/120

94 H
01/21/2021
66.3/115

* 74 H
01/20/2021
66.3/115

94 H
01/19/2021
66.3/115
 

Snowman

It's a dry heat!
Albatross 2021 Club
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Location
Arizona
Handicap
GHIN 11.9
Go to GHIN and do a golfer lookup. You can see all the reported scores. Since there are no longer any "tournament" adjustments their adjustments are meaningless for low scores - at worst 1 taken off of every score for the last 20.

Example of what makes to me an unreal handicap. A 74 and a 78, all the others in the 90s. Maybe not sandbagging, but having great scores when there is money at stake is suspicious, especially with no scores in the 80s.

* 78 H
01/27/2021
66.3/115

94 A
01/27/2021
68.9/126

94 H
01/26/2021
66.3/115

94 H
01/25/2021
66.3/115

* 91 A
01/24/2021
69.3/120

92 A
01/22/2021
66.7/120

94 H
01/21/2021
66.3/115

* 74 H
01/20/2021
66.3/115

94 H
01/19/2021
66.3/115
That is definitely suspicious looking, that's a pretty big swing.
 

Jimmy3864

“JimmyD”
Albatross 2021 Club
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Location
Ontario, Canada
Handicap
7.2
I have been in some multi day tournaments where they cut the handicap differential by 75 or 50% to weed out the sandbaggers. As well I’ve been in another multi-day event where the first day scores were reviewed and handicaps in some cases were actually adjusted by the tournament committee because there was some apparent sandbagging going on. It was known up front that that was the format.

I have never been in a tournament where they take 100% of their handicap, it’s either discounted or the tournament is only based on gross score.

like others have said, I wouldn’t invite him despite any pressure, because you would be the one taking the heat if he came in with all the money. I’m glad you’re off the hook this year but it’s still leaves a bad smell. Let us know how it ends up.
 

Sean

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I was under the impression if a golfer had, for example, higher scores during his regular rounds, and much lower scores during tournament rounds he would be flagged and his HI adjusted?
 

Canadan

You Are Great
Albatross 2021 Club
Staff member
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Location
Ohio
Handicap
+
We have a rules and handicap committee at my course who regularly tracks the activity of our membership, including check ins correlating with posted scores, and doing full audits of anyone coming in the top spots in tournaments throughout the year.

We have flagged golfers here and there for shooting notably lower in tournaments and then magically playing poorly before and after (in consecutive tournaments no less). Sandbagging is pretty easy to spot, and even easier in a club where people play regularly with others and can be used as resources for validation.

If you've got a large group of golfers who play regularly with this guy and suspect him of being a sandbagger based on his success, I think avoiding the problem is more problematic than anything else. We have large groups that have full on flagged members based on their activities in the larger money games.
 

OneFootShort

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Aug 11, 2020
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Location
Kansas City Area
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Go to GHIN and do a golfer lookup. You can see all the reported scores. Since there are no longer any "tournament" adjustments their adjustments are meaningless for low scores - at worst 1 taken off of every score for the last 20.

Example of what makes to me an unreal handicap. A 74 and a 78, all the others in the 90s. Maybe not sandbagging, but having great scores when there is money at stake is suspicious, especially with no scores in the 80s.

* 78 H
01/27/2021
66.3/115

94 A
01/27/2021
68.9/126

94 H
01/26/2021
66.3/115

94 H
01/25/2021
66.3/115

* 91 A
01/24/2021
69.3/120

92 A
01/22/2021
66.7/120

94 H
01/21/2021
66.3/115

* 74 H
01/20/2021
66.3/115

94 H
01/19/2021
66.3/115
Yea I can agree with that. That's a little sketch lol.
 

Buckeyegolfnut

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 19, 2020
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Location
NE Ohio
Handicap
About a 14
Go to GHIN and do a golfer lookup. You can see all the reported scores. Since there are no longer any "tournament" adjustments their adjustments are meaningless for low scores - at worst 1 taken off of every score for the last 20.

Example of what makes to me an unreal handicap. A 74 and a 78, all the others in the 90s. Maybe not sandbagging, but having great scores when there is money at stake is suspicious, especially with no scores in the 80s.

* 78 H
01/27/2021
66.3/115

94 A
01/27/2021
68.9/126

94 H
01/26/2021
66.3/115

94 H
01/25/2021
66.3/115

* 91 A
01/24/2021
69.3/120

92 A
01/22/2021
66.7/120

94 H
01/21/2021
66.3/115

* 74 H
01/20/2021
66.3/115

94 H
01/19/2021
66.3/115
Wow! That poor bastard sure is stuck in a rut shooting all those 94's on his "home" course! :rolleyes: You have to wonder why he'd make it his home course if it's so hard for him to play! ;)

Long story short, If I know, or even suspect a guy is a sandbagger, I will not invite him to a tournament.

There's a kind of variation of this, that's not really sandbagging, but it comes kind of close. Every so often during the season my buddy will want us to get into some scramble. we're both 68, but he still entertains the fantasy that we can win some money. I don't really care about that. If a scramble is well run, they feed us well, and it's raising money for a good cause, I'm in.

However, there is an area wide golf tournament called "Greatest Golfer of the Valley". Usually played in late August, it has all kind of age and handicap divisions, and also includes a scramble component. A team has to win one of the qualifying tournaments to get in. When my buddy would want to get in a scramble I'd get on the tourney website and check to see if it was a Greatest Golfer qualifier. If it was, I'd tell him there was no chance for us to win anything!

These guys put together "superteams" and enter every scramble they can, with the objective of winning as much money and/or merch as possible. Nothing wrong with that necessarily, but if it was a qualifier, I knew that every superteam in the area would be there if they could!

After the Greatest Golfer tourney the local paper publishes a wrap up of the whole thing. 3 or 4 years ago they reported that the winning scramble team shot 21 under, and that 2 of the team were heading out to play the mini tours, and the other 2 were getting ready to go back to school to play major college golf!
 

Smiter

Dunce Cap For A Bit
Albatross 2021 Club
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After the Greatest Golfer tourney the local paper publishes a wrap up of the whole thing. 3 or 4 years ago they reported that the winning scramble team shot 21 under, and that 2 of the team were heading out to play the mini tours, and the other 2 were getting ready to go back to school to play major college golf!
That’s believable. I generally hate scrambles as you have a team that’s best player is at best a 10 that goes -20? Nope. Played in one last summer with 36 teams. Instead of having team A and team B in terms of tee order we played the hole alongside the other team. We took third with -7, we had a scratch, me playing around a 10, a 20, and a 36.3 or whatever the highest is, lol. The winning team had a +2 and 3 0-10 and only went -13.

The course had a lot to do with that as they hadn’t changed the hole locations all year due to Covid. Nobody was making putts as all the holes looked like mini volcanos.
 

MrBlast

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Feb 19, 2021
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Location
Eastern Iowa
I know for me personally, I am a slow player. So with that said, in casual rounds I will rush shots, move faster and not focus as much to worry about pace of play. In tournament golf where everyone is moving more my natural speed of play and there is more time to think and focus, I shoot easily 4 to 5 strokes better than in a casual round. After a while of being labeled a sandbagger and not knowing what anyone was saying behind my back, a buddy drank enough one day to call me a cheater. I was floored to say the least! I just knew I played better when I was able to slow down and focus. So I kept my overall handicap with casual rounds included. I had no idea what people thought or were saying until my friend told me. Now after learning this I only keep a league or tournament and sign up with that. Low and behold it is almost 5 strokes better then the normal casual round included handicap. player X might be like me. Unless you catch them, dont call someone a sandbagger, I almost quit playing when someone called me one and I had no idea. Either nut up and call him a cheater or prove your case. Do not tip toe around it and talk behind his back. He may not know like me, or calling him out might fix the problem.
This is a valid point. Almost all I play are casual rounds of golf but when I decide to actually slow down, take some practice swings and concentrate, I'm a better golfer.
 

leftshot

Remember to smile
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A few suggestions.
  • Keep a club handicap: Some clubs I've been a part of do this. Problem solved.
  • Establish clear written guidelines for the Tournament Chair to follow that establish exactly what they must review, and what steps they must take when ABC is discovered. If the TC follows them, problem solved and he is somewhat off the hook with his friend in that he is just following the prescribed rules. If he doesn't your problem is with the TC and they should be removed.
  • Approach the TC privately with the evidence. Then see what they do.
I had a similar situation a couple years ago. I'm in a club tournament and am the scorekeeper for a guy I hadn't met before. Find out he's been with the club a little less than a year and won one tournament already. His scorecard shows him at an 8 HC. I'm watching him all day and he's clearly around scratch. There are times when an 8 might play out of his mind and play around par. But this guy wasn't playing like that. He was playing with all the key differences you see in a scratch player vs. an 8. His pre-shot routine, tempo, balance, and ball striking is like a machine. He's got all the shots. Tee to green and around the green.

Then we have this casual conversation between the four of us as to how we prepared for the tourney. It was early in the season. Mr. Sandbagger divulges he just got back from two weeks in Hawaii where he said he played several rounds and thought playing so much and in the wind really helped him out today.

He won the tournament with a gross 68, net 60.

I looked up this player in GHIN. No rounds posted from Hawaii. In fact, no rounds posted in the last several months. His HC showed a handful of rounds played each year, so you had to go back almost 4 years to get his most recent 20, and of course, except for the 'win' at our course, all his scores are between 79 and 90. The only round on our club's course was the prior tournament he won...and that's because the TC posts our tournament rounds for us.

I brought all of this to the attention of the TC. Never saw Mr. Sandbagger again.
 

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