Joaquin Niemann plays his tee shot on the 11th hole during first round of stroke play of the 2017 U.S. Amateur at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. on Monday, Aug. 14, 2017. (Copyright USGA/Chris Keane)

When we discuss the world of professional golf, the focus is mostly limited to how great Jordan Spieth is, or the astonishing amount of money caddies make.

But these things are simply what happens on the course!

Given the number of scandals that have hit the headlines recently, it may well surprise you that the game in fact prides itself on its etiquette and level of class.

This, however does not mean that it is squeaky-clean.

As it is with most things, however, some of the greatest players have broken the laws. It could be likened to those who have found a loophole in the rules of blackjack and gone on to make big wins much to the horror of the house -these are the top three scandals in our opinion.

The Jane Blalock Scandal

Back in the 1970s, Jane Blalock was a force to be reckoned with in the world of women’s professional golf. By the time of her retirement, she had won a total of 27 titles on tour, had been named Rookie of the Year, and once managed 299 cuts in a row.

We should, by rights, associate these kinds of accomplishments with her, but that is not the case. She is, in fact, linked inextricably linked to cheating.

She faced accusations of not making her balls on the green properly, improving her lies, and, ultimately, received a suspension for these actions.

An ugly lawsuit was the result, which ended up ruling that the LPGA had violated antitrust.

Terrible Times for Ted Bishop

In spite of the fact that he was the President of the PGA in the United States of America, Ted Bishop went onto Twitter and called golfer Ian Poulter a little girl. As one could imagine, this did not go over very well.

It took less than 24 hours for the PGA of America Board of Directors to vote Bishop out of office, and a statement was issued by the PGA Chief of Executive Officer Pete Bevacqua upholding the decision.

He said, in part, that the organisation understood the immense responsibility they had when it came to making sure the game of golf enriched lives throughout all levels of society.

He added that it was imperative that golf welcomed everyone, and had a level of inclusivity to all who wished to enjoy it, and that everyone in the company needed to lead by example.

The Dustin Johnson Scandal

Back in 2014, Dustin Johnson faced a scandal that could quite easily have totally derailed his career as a professional golfer. He elected to take a voluntary leave of absence after he tested positive for cocaine!

By means of a statement issued by his management company, Johnson said that he would be seeking help for the personal challenges that he was facing, and that he intended to commit the required time and resources to improving his mental health and physical and emotional well-being.

He stated that he was confident that he would soon be better equipped to fulfill his potential and become a more consistent champion.