Local Knowledge

Our latest podcast examines that notorious golf scoundrel—the sandbagger

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Summer has faded into fall, which means the golf season is winding down for a large portion of the country. Club championships and member-guests are likely in the rearview mirror by now—and, chances are, the winners of those competitions have sparked speculation. In the more extreme cases, maybe even accusations. Because while this year has been different than any other we can remember, one thing will never change: as long as there are net golf competitions, and as long as people win them…someone, whether they know it or not, is getting called the ‘S’ word.

The sandbagger is the most notorious person at the golf club and, apart from the outright cheater, the most hated person in golf.

Everyone knows one. Loosely defined as someone who carries a handicap higher than they should, sandbaggers are as much a part of golf as three-putts and chunky chips. But what constitutes a sandbagger? How do they pull it off? Why does it make the rest of us so damned angry? But also, why do we love talking about them so much? In other words, why can’t we seem to quit the sandbagger?

The latest episode of Local Knowledge, the Golf Digest podcast that takes a deep dive into the most compelling stories in golf, zooms in on one of the more taboo subjects in our game: sandbagging.

The episode features Guy Yocom, the Golf Digest senior writer who in 1995 co-wrote “Dirty Little Secrets of a Sandbagger,” the basis for this episode, and who's become somewhat of an expert on the dark arts. We also spoke with another Golf Digest senior writer, Alex Myers, who tells some all-time egregious sandbagger stories. And finally, we give a voice to the accused: Mike Johnson, our senior equipment editor and former +2 handicap who now carries an 8.2 index.

It’s a lighthearted, half-hour immersion into the gossip that dominates grill rooms across America. You can listen to the full episode below, or you can subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.