Golf has Rules; USGA has Loopholes

It’s moving day at the US Open and this one promises to be full of excitement and tension with Tiger coming off a win at the memorial to end up leading the field after yesterday’s cut. 

But with 17 players within 4 shots of his lead, it’s no gimmee for him yet.  I wish I could be there to feel the buzz, even if just to volunteer. 

Speaking of volunteering…

If you buy a single day ticket to the US Open it’s somewhere between $110.00 and $125.00.  A week’s pass is about $500.00.  But if you volunteer, it’ll only cost you ~$165.00 and for that, you have access for the full week and some nice perks – shirts and goodies – merchandise that would probably cost more than $165. 

Of course, you hope you aren’t relegated to parking lot duty, but even then, during your off hours, you can enjoy watching the best in the world grind through golf’s greatest test in golf.  Pretty sweet!

But like all good things, there are some people out there who would exploit the opportunity.  I recently learned about a few tricks people play, from someone who wishes to remain nameless (so I’ll call him Bob).  He pointed out some pretty glaring loopholes that the USGA might want to consider plugging…

  • Most volunteer positions don’t require a photo id, so you can share your passes with friends (or if you are really sneaky, sell them online).  And according to Bob, hardly anyone ever checks your ID.
  •  You can register to become a USGA member under an alias and get a USGA membership card — they don’t check ID for that.  Just send them a money order; or send them a cheque and say you’re paying on behalf of another golfer as a gift perhaps.
  • With that alias, you can sign up to a men’s club that doesn’t require an ID, post a bunch of scores, get a handicap under your fictitious name and then sign up to try and qualify for a USGA event like the Senior US Open. If your handicap is 3.4 or below, you can enter one of their qualifying events.  

Now why would you want to do that?  Well, there is a rule that if you don’t shoot within 10 strokes of the leading score, you are prohibited from trying to qualify again.   So by entering under different names, a sneaky person could keep entering the qualifying rounds until he was successful (or just for the fun of it).  Not sure what they’d do if they actually qualified — formally change their name perhaps? 🙂

Now I do not condone this behavior, but I am aware that it actually happened.  Someone even created a fictitious membership using his goat’s name – seriously! 

Anyway, when I heard about these loopholes, I found it rather ironic that the organization responsible for writing and interpreting the Rules of Golf, haven’t quite put the same level of effort into writing and enforcing stringent rules on membership and tournament qualifying. 

Perhaps the USGA really believes all golfers are honest and wouldn’t do such underhanded things.  Haha…yeah, right! 🙂

Have a great US Open weekend everyone and Happy Fathers Day to all!


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