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Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006

Performing under par

Wednesday, July 3, 2002

Have the recent U.S. accounting scandals got you worried that too many executives are lying and cheating in the boardroom? You ought to see them on the golf course.

A survey by Guidelines Research & Consulting Inc. of New York found that 82 per cent of American senior executives admit to cheating at golf, up from 55 per cent in 1993. The most popular transgressions include secretly moving the ball to a better position and taking shots over again without penalty. (No word on whether they ask their caddies to shift triple bogeys to off-balance-sheet entities.)

If you think a bit of creative scorekeeping seems harmless enough, consider that 87 per cent of these same executives place wagers on their golf matches, typically in the hundreds of dollars. Furthermore, the bad habits don't end on the golf course: 86 per cent of golfing executives admit they also cheat in business.

You'd think that with all this cheating going on, executives would accept it as part of their slightly twisted version of the game, but not so. Eighty-two per cent say they "hate" people who cheat them in a golf match.

It's clear that, in both golf and business, many executives have forgotten the rules of fair play. They've given a whole new meaning to the phrase "improving your lie."

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