Vijay Singh is a three-time major champion and member of the World Golf Hall of Fame. But there are still some fans who remember him most for an incident in 1985, long before he joined the PGA Tour, in which he signed his scorecard at the Indonesian Open for a stroke lower than he actually shot. The ensuing disqualification and suspension have stuck with him because golf, more than any other sport, is a game of honor.
But just how trustworthy are your own golfing partners when you're on the course?
That's the question Golf Digest set out to answer.
With the help of two research psychologists, a survey was created to figure out which rules golfers would never break, and what they believed the other members of their foursome would do in the same situations. The answers of the 2,015 respondents showed a clear pattern. Golfers who confessed to breaking the rules largely thought that their playing partners were doing the same. On the other hand, those who never cheated believed the best in others as well.
Unless, of course, if everyone is lying.
Who among us hasn't gotten to the 19th hole only to hear Fred recount his 12-footer for birdie on the last as a 20-footer with six feet of break? Or listened to Brendan describe his 315-yard drive on the seventh when you walked it off as 290 at best?
When so many people embellish their rounds into fish tales, there are probably a lot more foot wedges being used than most of us will admit to.
Regardless of whether you play it down or frequently eschew penalty strokes for a ball in the water, though, all golfers are looking up at one man who epitomizes honor in the sport.
At the 1925 U.S. Open, Bobby Jones accidentally moved his ball in the rough, an action that no one else noticed. Still, he gave himself a 1-stroke penalty which ended up costing him the tournament. Afterwards, he would accept no praise for the honesty.
"You might as well praise me for not robbing banks," Jones said.
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