Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cheating and Breaking the Rules

Professional golf has made a certain kind of club illegal. It disallows certain kinds of grooves on the head that add spin to the shot, allowing players to cover up what would have been a bad spot with the extra spin. As the rule is written, there happen to be old clubs that no one uses anymore that slip in through a loophole, but clearly violate the spirit of the rule. Pro golfer Phil Mickelson tracked down one of these old clubs and was using it. His fellow golfers accused him of cheating. He argued that he was following the rules, but he was clearly trying to gain an advantage that his competitors did not have achieved not through effort or skill, but by using equipment they did not have because they were trying to adhere to both the letter and spirit of the rule.

He was following the rule, but was he cheating?