Sandbaggers Anonymous

For Golfers and non golfers. Sandbagging isn't just a golfing set of tricks.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

What is sandbagging?

I've been asked, "What is sandbagging?"

Sandbagging: In games and adversarial settings, to "sandbag" is to intentionally understate one's strength, with the intention of deceiving one's opponents into overreaching. The sandbagger can then reveal a hidden strength to take the opponent by surprise.

Sandbagging is the practice of deceptively portraying oneself as being in a weaker position than is true.
  • In drag racing, when a racer has a dial-in time much slower than the car can actually perform. The function of sandbagging is to guarantee a win by outperforming the slower opponent at first, and then hitting the brakes near the finish line in time to just barely beat the opponent.
  • In a Demolition Derby, sandbagging is avoiding contact with other cars, drivers refuse to be aggressive and/or pretend to have mechanical problems until the last two or three cars are running then their car will start running just fine and/or they become more aggressive; or hitting weakly to ensure better odds of surviving and winning the derby.
  • In poker, in which a player with a strong hand bets small amounts to convince opponents to stay in the game.
  • In golf, a "sandbagger" would enter a tournament, claiming a higher golf handicap than real, to gain an advantage in the tournament and over other players.
  • On Internet chess sites, sandbagging is the malevolent resignement of a chess game in order to add "Elo" points to a partner or to a second user account.
  • In the sales environment, sandbagging is holding aside completed sales with the expectation of producing them at a specific time of the week or month when there might be extra incentive or higher commissions. (also called "Stuffing the channel")
  • In CB radio slang, "sandbagging" is listening in on others without talking or making one’s presence known, for entertainment or for collection of information on others.
  • In the rock climbing world 'Sandbagging' refers to giving a climb an easier grade then it deserves. An example is a climb that would typically be rated as 5.10+ being rated as 5.9- (YDS).
  • In Bowling, "sandbagging" is lowering your average on purpose, in order to gain added pins of handicap.
  • In Weight lifting, "Voltaire is always sandbagging at the gym. He says that's all the weight he can lift but we know the truth... dirty sandbagger."
  • In law, to refer to the process of concealing winning arguments for as long as possible, to prevent the opposing attorney from preparing effectively to counter them.
  • In Business accounting, overstating the value of the company to encourage others to invest.
  • In customer service, delays returning a phone call to a complaining customer, hoping the customer gives up. "Not my job", "my boss is out"
  • Waiting for payment? "it's in the mail."

Mark Twain once said, “There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damn lies and statistics.”
Even when statistics don’t lie, they can be very deceiving.


Ancient usage of the word, "Sandbag" can refer to a crude weapon consisting of a small bag filled with sand for use as a cudgel typically by criminals, or to the act of striking a person on the head with such a weapon. This usage is obsolescent in normal speech, appearing mainly in legal codes.

Ever been sandbagged?
Tell me how.

Please read my book, "Confessions of a Sandbagger"

3 Comments:

Anonymous Artful Golfer said...

There's only one good thing about a sandbagger... having one on your best-ball team.

9:00 PM  
Blogger JJ Gowland said...

Good point.

7:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think there needs to be an official website posting the name of sandbaggers (kinda like a most wanted list!)who have been caught. The ones I caught won new Titleist irons valued at $800 each but I found out a day too late. Good idea?

1:39 PM  

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