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AFT's 2004 First Shot of the Day archive
(For hundreds more golf quotations, please click here)

December 31
Rhythm is best expressed in any swing directed at a cigar stump or a dandelion head.
Grantland Rice
December 30
Reverse every natural instinct and do the opposite of what you are inclined to do, and you will probably come very close to having a perfect golf swing.
Ben Hogan
December 29
It is almost impossible to remember how tragic a place this world is when one is playing golf.
Robert Lynd
December 28
They say "practice makes perfect". Of course, it doesn't. For the vast majority of golfers it merely consolidates imperfection.
Henry Longhurst
December 27
For me, the worst part of playing golf, by far, has always been hitting the ball.
Dave Barry
December 26
Golf is an ideal diversion but a ruinous disease.
B.C. Forbes
December 25
There's something intrinsically therapeutic about choosing to spend your time in a wide, open, park-like setting that non-golfers can never truly understand.
Charles Rosin
December 24
I've heard people say putting is 50 percent technique and 50 percent mental. I really believe it is 50 percent technique and 90 percent positive thinking, see, but that adds up to 140 percent, which is why nobody is 100 percent sure how to putt.
Chi Chi Rodriguez
December 23
I used to go to the driving range to practice driving without slicing. Now I go to the driving range to practice slicing without swearing.
Bruce Lansky
December 22
In my opinion, no young player can develop his or her game to its highest potential if he or she rides around the course in a golf cart.
Harvey Penick
December 21
For what [Ben] Hogan meant, it's the old story. For those who know golf, no explanation is necessary. For those who don't, no explanation is possible.
Jim Murray
December 20
The Royal Hong Kong Club caddies hit the nail on the head; their term for golf - "Hittee ball, say damn".
Dick Anderson
December 19
In golf, you keep your head down and follow through. In the vice presidency, you keep your head up and follow through. It's a big difference.
Former US Vice President Dan Quayle
December 18
I played golf with a priest the other day. He shot par-par-par-par-par. Finally I said to him, "Father, if you're playing golf like this you haven't been saving many souls lately."
Sam Snead
December 17
The game of golf would lose a great deal if croquet mallets and billiard cues were allowed on the putting green.
Ernest Hemingway
December 16
I have a tip that will take five strokes off anyone's game. It's called an eraser.
Arnold Palmer
December 15
In golf, humiliations are the essence of the game.
Alistair Cooke
December 14
When five up express, as is polite, regret at laying a stymie, but rejoice in your heart.
Sir Walter Simpson
December 13
Until you play it, St Andrews looks like the sort of real estate you couldn't give away.
Sam Snead
December 12
The niblick, with its heavy head of iron, is a capital club for knocking down solicitors.
Anonymous
December 11
If you wish to hide your character, do not play golf.
Percey Boomer
December 10
There is one thing in this world that is dumber than playing golf. That is watching someone else playing golf. What do you actually get to see? Thirty-seven guys in polyester slacks squinting at the sun. Doesn't that set your blood racing?
Peter Andrews
December 9
Golf appeals to the idiot in us and the child. What child does not grasp the pleasure principle of miniature golf? Just how childlike golf players become is proven by their frequent inability to count past five.
John Updike
December 8
At first a golfer excuses a dismal performance by claiming bad lies. With experience, he covers up with better ones.
P. Brown
December 7
Golf is about how well you accept, respond to, and score with your misses much more so than it is a game of your perfect shots.
Dr Bob Rotella
December 6
Those who the gods seek to destroy first, learn how to play golf.
Leslie Nielsen
December 5
Rock-a-bye, baby - 'til father comes home;
Father's off golfing and mother's alone;
He phoned me this morning - he wanted his cleek;
Perhaps he'll be home again, sometime next week.
"Mother Goose on the Links" (1909)
December 4
You need a fantastic memory in this game to remember the great shots and a very short memory to forget the bad ones.
Mac O'Grady
December 3
Serenity is knowing that your worst shot is still going to be pretty good.
Johnny Miller
December 2
Swinging at daisies is like playing electric guitar with a tennis racket: if it were that easy, we could all be Jerry Garcia. The ball changes everything.
Michael Bamberger
December 1
You can't call it a sport. You don't run, jump, you don't shoot, you don't pass. All you have to do is buy some clothes that don't match.
Steve Sax


November 30
Around a clubhouse they'll tell you even God has to practise his putting. In fact, even Nicklaus does.
Jim Murray
November 29
A golf course is nothing but a poolroom moved outdoors.
Barry Fitzgerald
November 28
I'd play every day if I could. It's cheaper than a shrink and there are no telephones on my golf cart.
Brent Musburger
November 27
God said to Faldo, as He once said to Nicklaus, "You will have the skills like no other." Then he whispered to Ballesteros, as he whispered to Palmer, "But they will love you more."
Tom Callahan
November 26
Imagine the ball has little legs, and chop them off.
Henry Cotton
November 25
A well-adjusted man is one who can play golf as if it were a game.
Anonymous
November 24
You know you're on the Senior Tour when your back goes out more than you do.
Bob Bruce
November 23
Let's face it, 95 percent of this game is mental. A guy plays lousy golf, he doesn't need a pro, he needs a shrink.
Tom Murphy
November 22
I never knew what top golf was like until I turned professional. Then it was too late.
Steve Melnyk
November 21
A game in which you claim the privileges of age, and retain the playthings of childhood.
Samuel Johnson
November 20
No-one will ever have golf under his thumb. No round ever will be so good it could not have been better. Perhaps this is why golf is the greatest of games. You are not playing a human adversary; you a playing a game. You are playing old man par.
Bobby Jones
November 19
Some people say I play erratic golf. What they mean is I frequently play lousy.
Tom Shaw
November 18
I compare the pressure of a golf shot with making an extra point in basketball. The player starts from a full stop, and that rim doesn't move.
Harvey Penick
November 17
Thinking instead of acting is the number one golf disease.
Sam Snead
November 16
No matter what calamities befall him in everyday life, the true hacker [he means 'Duffer' - Ed] still needs the pressure and inconvenience of four hours of trudging in wind or rain or sleet or sun (or all of them at once), hacking at a white pellet that seems to have a mind of its own and a lousy sense of direction.
Tom O'Connor
November 15
Hole in One: an occurence in which a ball is hit directly from the tee into the hole in a single shot by a golfer playing alone.
Henry Beard and Roy McKie
November 14
It's so bad I could putt off a tabletop and still leave the ball halfway down the leg.
J.C. Snead
November 13
My golf is improving. Yesterday I hit the ball in one!
Jane Swan
November 12
I've thrown or broken a few clubs in my day. In fact, I guess at one time or another I probably held distance records for every club in the bag.
Tommy Bolt
November 11
The number of shots taken by an opponent who is out of sight is equal to the square root of the sum of the number of curses heard plus the number of swishes.
Michael Green
November 10
Whoever plays ball with a club shall be fined 20 shillings or their upper garment.
The Magistrate of Brussels, 1360
November 9
While, on the whole, playing through the green is the part most trying to the temper, putting is that most trying to the nerves. There is always the hope that a bad drive may be redeemed by a fine approach shot, or that a 'foozle' with the brassy may be balanced by some brilliant performance with the iron. But when the stage of putting-out has been reached no further illusions are possible.
Earl Balfour
November 8
While it is true that some amateur golfers are unwittingly or unwillingly duped, badgered, or coerced into playing a round of golf, an incredible 97 per cent of the dummies actually report to the first tee on a voluntary basis.
Geoff Howson
November 7
The only way of really finding out a man's true character is to play golf with him. In no other walk of life does the cloven hoof so quickly display itself.
P.G. Wodehouse
November 6
Eighteen holes of match or medal play will teach you more about your foe than will eighteen years of dealing with him across a desk.
Grantland Rice
November 5
The object of a bunker or trap is not only to punish a physical mistake, to punish lack of control, but also to punish pride and egotism.
Charles Blair Macdonald
November 4
Baseball reveals character; golf exposes it.
Ernie Banks
November 3
Hitting a golf ball and putting have nothing in common. They're two different games. You work all your life to perfect a repeating swing that will get you to the greens, and then you have to try to do something that is totally unrelated. There shouldn't be any cups, just flag sticks. And then the man who hit the most fairways and greens and got closest to the pins would be the tournament winner.
Ben Hogan
November 2
A good player who is a great putter is a match for any golfer. A great hitter who cannot putt is a match for no one.
Ben Sayers
November 1
When a putter is waiting his turn to hole out a putt of one or two feet in length, on which the match hangs at the last hole, it is of vital importance that he think of nothing. At this supreme moment he ought to fill his mind with vacancy. He must not even allow himself the consolation of religion.
Sir Walter Simpson (The Art of Golf)


October 31
The more you play it the less you know about it.
Patty Berg
October 30
Handicap: an allocation of strokes on one or more holes that permits two golfers of very different ability to do equally poorly on the same course.
Henry Beard and Roy McKie
October 29
Golf is a science, the study of a lifetime, in which you can exhaust yourself but never your subject.
David Forgan
October 28
When the great snooker player Joe Davis saw his first game of golf the putting puzzled him. 'Why', he asked his golfing friend, 'don't they knock the ball into the hole the first time?'.
Anonymous
October 27
When you play the game for fun, it's fun. When you play it for a living, it's a game of sorrows.
Gary Player
October 26
Excessive golfing dwarfs the intellect. Nor is this to be wondered at when you consider that the more fatuously vacant the mind is, the better for play. It has been observed that absolute idiots play the steadiest.
Sir Walter Simpson
October 25
Golf was invented by some Scotsman who hit a ball, with a stick, into a hole in the ground. The game today is exactly the same, except that it now takes some ninety-odd pages of small type to ensure that the ball is hit, with the stick, into the hole in the ground without cheating.
A.S. Graham
October 24
Golf is golf. You hit the ball, you go find it. Then you hit it again.
Lon Hinkle
October 23
The bunker should be the fearful place it once was, not the perfect surface from which a pro expects to float his ball out stone dead, something he doesn't expect when chipping.
Michael Hobbs
October 22
Where I play, the greens always break toward the bar.
George Gobel
October 21
I was lying ten and had a thirty-five foot putt. I whispered over my shoulder: "How does this one break?" And my caddie said, "Who cares?"
Jack Lemmon
October 20
I guess there is nothing that will get your mind off everything like golf. I have never been depressed enough to take up the game, but they say you get so sore at yourself you forget to hate your enemies.
Will Rogers
October 19
The worst club in my bag is my brain.
Chris Perry
October 18
Tennis is not in use amongst us, but in lieu of that, you have that excellent recreation of goff-ball than which truly I do not know a better.
The Marquis of Argyll, 1661
October 17
It is a test of temper, a trial of honour, a revealer of character. It means going into God's out of doors, getting close to nature, fresh air and exercise, a sweeping of mental cobwebs and a genuine relaxation of tired tissues.
David Forgan
October 16
A hole in one is amazing when you think of the different universes this white mass of molecules has to pass through on its way to the hole.
Mac O'Grady
October 15
And the wind shall say:
"Here were decent godless people:
Their only monument the asphalt road
And a thousand lost golf balls."
T.S. Eliot - "The Rock"
October 14
Nothing goes down slower than a golf handicap.
Bobby Nichols
October 13
Golf is a terrible, hopeless addiction, it seems: it makes its devotees willing to trudge miles in any manner of weather, lugging a huge, incommodious and appallingly heavy bag with them, in pursuit of a tiny and fantastically expensive ball, in a fanatical attempt to direct it into a hole the size of a beer glass half a mile away. If anything could be better calculated to convince one of the essential lunacy of the human race, I haven't found it.
Mike Seabrook
October 12
A man who can putt is a match for anyone.
Willie Park
October 11
One of the most fascinating things about golf is how it reflects the cycle of life. No matter what you shoot - the next day you have to go back to the first tee and begin all over again and make yourself into something.
Peter Jacobsen
October 10
Golf is probably the only known game a man can play as long as a quarter of a century and then discover it was too deep for him in the first place.
Seymour Dunn
October 9
No game designed to be played with the aid of personal servants by right-handed men who can't even bring along their dogs can be entirely good for the soul.
Bruce McCall
October 8
The game embarrasses you until you feel inadequate.
Ben Crenshaw
October 7
(In honour of the wedding of Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren - Ed)
A golfer needs a loving wife to whom he can describe the day's play through the long evening.
P.G. Wodehouse
October 6
(In honour of the wedding of Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren - Ed)
Shall the married man play golf? This admits of no argument. Certainly. Of all the plagues to a woman in the house is a man during the day.
Dr. Proudfoot, 1890
October 5
Moderation is essential in all things, madam, but never in my life have I failed to beat a teetotaller.
Harry Vardon
October 4
Like other forms of compulsive behaviour, for true golfaholics even nine holes are more then they should attempt, yet 18 holes are not enough to satisfy their insatiable craving for humiliation and self-abuse.
Mark Oman
October 3
I just hitch up my girdle and let 'er fly.
Babe Didrickson Zaharias
October 2
It's easy to see golf not as a game at all but as some whey-faced, nineteenth-century Presbyterian minister's fever dream of exorcism achieved through ritual and self-mortification.
Bruce McCall
October 1
The actual distance a bad golfer is going to hit the ball with any club obviously depends on many factors, not the least of which is whether the ball was actually hit at all.
Leslie Nielsen and Henry Beard


September 30
Real golfers go to work to relax.
George Dillon
September 29
The ardent golfer would play Mount Everest if somebody put a flagstick on top.
Pete Dye
September 28
The best place to refine your swing is, of course, on the practice range. You will have an opportunity to make the same mistakes over and over again so that you no longer have to think about them, and they become part of your game.
Stephen Baker
September 27
You swing your best when you have the fewest things to think about.
Bobby Jones
September 26
I open the driving range and I close it. I thought you ought to know that I work hard. I like practising. I enjoy it. If I did not enjoy it I would not do it. What is the point of going back to the hotel, having a drink and talking a load of bull?
Vijay Singh
September 25
"Play it as it lies" is one of the fundamental dictates of golf. The other is "Wear it if it clashes."
Henry Beard
September 24
I have only one goal in golf - to leave it with my sanity.
Joe Inman
September 23
"After all, golf is only a game", said Millicent. Women say these things without thinking. It does not mean that there is any kink in their character. They simply don't realise what they are saying.
P.G. Wodehouse
September 22
If the rest of his foursome are bunched directly behind his ball, or assume the foetal position with their backs to the tee, the golfer is reminded that his drive tends to be erratic. More cruel yet is for his opponent to stand directly in the projected line of flight, as the safest place to be.
Eric Nicol and Dave More
September 21
Real golfers, no matter what the provocation, never strike a caddie with the driver. The sand wedge is far more effective.
Huxtable Pippey
September 20
Playing the game I have learned the meaning of humility. It has given me an understanding of the futility of human effort.
Abba Eban
September 19
Golf is essentially an exercise in masochism conducted out of doors.
Paul O'Neil
September 18
There are two things you can do with your head down - play golf and pray.
Lee Trevino
September 17
Golf isn't like other sports where you can take a player out if he's having a bad day. You have to play the whole game.
Phil Blackmar
September 16
Men who would face torture without a word become blasphemous at the short fourteenth. It is clear that the game of golf may well be included in that category of intolerable provocations which may legally excuse or mitigate behaviour not otherwise excusable.
A.P. Herbert
September 15
If you don't succeed at first, don't despair. Remember, it takes time to learn to play golf; most players spend their entire lifetime finding out about the game before they give up.
Stephen Baker
September 14
Golf is played with a number of striking implements more intricate in shape than those used in any form of recreation except dentistry.
E.V. Knox
September 13
It's a heck of a lot harder to stay on top than it is to get there.
Tom Kite
September 12
Golf acts as a corrective against sinful pride. I attribute the insane arrogance of the later Roman Emperors almost entirely to the fact that, never having played golf, they never knew that strange chastening humility which is engendered by a topped chip shot. If Cleopatra had been ousted in the first round of the Ladies' Singles, we should have heard a lot less of her proud imperiousness.
P.G. Wodehouse
September 11
Never try a shot you haven't practised.
Harvey Penick
September 10
My conscience hurt me. I hate to play golf when I should be out working, so the only thing to do was quit working.
Jim Umbracht
September 9
Anyone taking up golf has to realise at the outset that it is an appallingly difficult game to play well.
Peter Ryde
September 8
The difference between a sand trap and water hazard is the difference between a car crash and an airplane crash. You have a chance of recovering from a car crash.
Bobby Jones
September 7
Find a man with both feet firmly on the ground and you've found a man about to make a difficult putt.
Fletcher Knebel
September 6
Golf always makes me so damned angry.
King George V
September 5
Baffling late-life discovery: golfers wear those awful clothes on purpose.
Herb Caen
September 4
Fairway: a narrow strip of mown grass that separates two groups of golfers looking for lost balls in the rough.
Henry Beard and Roy McKie
September 3
Concentrate on hitting the green. The cup will come to you.
Cary Middlecoff
September 2
Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots - but you have to play the ball where it lies.
Bobby Jones
September 1
Keep on hitting it straight until the wee ball goes in the hole.
James Braid


August 31
This is a game of misses. The guy who misses the best is going to win.
Ben Hogan
August 30
We borrowed golf from Scotland as we borrowed whiskey. Not because it is Scottish, but because it is good.
Horace Hutchinson
August 29
A golf ball is like a clock. Always hit it at six o'clock and make it go toward twelve o'clock. But make sure you're in the same time zone.
Chi Chi Rodriguez
August 28
The best stroked putt in a lifetime does not bring the aesthetic satisfaction of a perfectly hit wood or iron shot. There is nothing to match the whoosh and soar, the almost magical flight of a beautifully hit drive or 5-iron.
Al Barkow
August 27
One thing about golf is you don't know why you play bad and why you play good.
George Archer
August 26
Golf is an open exhibition of overweening ambition, courage deflated by stupidity, skill soured by a whiff of arrogance.
Alistair Cooke
August 25
It's often necessary to hit a second shot to really appreciate the first one.
Henry Beard
August 24
Give me a man with big hands and big feet and no brains and I'll make a golfer out of him.
Walter Hagen
August 23
Golf is a puzzle without an answer.
Gary Player
August 22
Golf is the cruellest of sports. Like life, it's unfair. It's a harlot. A trollop. It leads you on. It never lives up to its promises. It's a boulevard of broken dreams. It plays with men. And runs off with the butcher.
Jim Murray
August 21
If there is any larceny in a man, golf will bring it out.
Paul Gallico
August 20
Beyond the fact that it is a limitless arena for the full play of human nature, there is no sure accounting for golf's fascination... Perhaps it is nothing more than the best game man has ever devised.
Herbert Warren Wind
August 19
In so many English sports, something flying or running has to be killed or injured; golf calls for no drop of blood from any living creature.
Henry Leach
August 18
Golf is a game of expletives not deleted.
Dr Irving A. Gladstone
August 17
It's so ridiculous to see a golfer with a one foot putt and everybody is saying "Shhh" and not moving a muscle. Then we allow nineteen year-old kids to face a game-deciding free throw with seventeen thousand people yelling.
Al McGuire
August 16
Golf is 20 percent mechanics and technique. The other 80 pecent is philosophy, humor, tragedy, romance, melodrama, companionship, camaraderie, cussedness and conversation.
Grantland Rice
August 15
I'm about five inches from being an outstanding golfer. That's the distance my left ear is from my right.
Ben Crenshaw
August 14
You know they have a saying around the racetrack that if you have eight cheap horses and run them against each other eight times, you'd have eight different winners. Sound like the PGA tour to you?
Jim Murray (in 1988)
August 13
If you're going to miss 'em, miss 'em quick.
George Duncan
August 12
In my day we simply didn't believe that it was possible to play as well as these young fellows do. We thought that strength denied touch and that you could not consistently hit the ball both long and straight. It's been proven that you can.
Byron Nelson
August 11
Golf is the only-est sport. You're completely alone with every conceivable opportunity to defeat yourself. Golf brings out your assets and liabilities as a person. The longer you play, the more certain you are that a man's performance is the outward manifestation of who, in his heart, he really thinks he is.
Hale Irwin
August 10
A good golf course makes you want to play so badly that you hardly have the time to change your shoes.
Ben Crenshaw
August 9
Obviously a deer on the fairway has seen you tee off before and knows that the safest place to be when you play is right down the middle.
Jackie Gleason
August 8
Golf - makes liars out of honest men, cheats out of altruists, cowards out of brave men and fools out of everybody.
Milton Gross
August 7
Always count your blessings. Be thankful you are able to be out on a beautiful course. Most people in the world don't have that opportunity.
Fred Couples
August 6
Regardless of what the tour pros think, golf is a rich and varied game, and what all of us awkward fools do on weekends is what golf is truly all about.
Dan Jenkins
August 5
Talking to a golf ball won't do you any good, unless you do it while your opponent is teeing off.
Bruce Lansky
August 4
There are three ways of learning golf: by study, which is the most wearisome; by imitation, which is the most fallacious; and by experience, which is the most bitter.
Robert Browning
August 3
A professional will tell you the amount of flex you need in the shaft of your club. The more the flex, the more strength you will need to break the thing over your knees.
Stephen Baker
August 2
The place of the father in the modern suburban family is a very small one, particularly if he plays golf.
Bertrand Russell
August 1
It won't help to tell yourself, "Don't hit it in the water". Your mind will only hear "water".
Bob Rotella


July 31
Professional golf is the only sport where, if you win 20 percent of the time, you're the best.
Jack Nicklaus
July 30
The score a player reports on any hole should always be regarded as his opening offer.
Thomas Mulligan
July 29
A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on.
Mark H. McCormack
July 28
I may be the only golfer never to have broken a single putter, if you don't count the one I twisted into a loop and threw into a bush.
Thomas Boswell
July 27
The golf swing is like sex: you can't be thinking of the mechanics of the act while you're doing it.
Dave Hill
July 26
You must attain a neurological and biological serenity in chaos. You cannot let yourself be sabotaged by adrenaline.
Mac O'Grady
July 25
It takes hundreds of good golf shots to gain confidence, but only one bad one to lose it.
Jack Nicklaus
July 24
Playing golf is a little like carving a turkey. It helps if you have your slice under control.
Bob Orben
July 23
When I look on my life and try to decide out of what I have got most actual pleasure, I have no doubt at all saying that I have got more out of golf than anything else.
Lord Brabazon
July 22
All I've got against golf is it takes you so far from the clubhouse.
Eric Linklater
July 21
Let the club swing itself through. Help it on all you can but do not begin to hit with it. Let it do its work itself and it will do it well. Interfere with it, and it will be quite adequately revenged.
Horace Hutchinson
July 20
It is impossible to outplay an opponent you can't outthink.
Lawson Little
July 19
Golf is more exacting than racing, cards, speculation, or matrimony. In almost all other games you pit yourself against a mortal foe; in golf it is yourself against the world: no human being stays your progress as you drive your ball over the face of the globe.
Arnold Haultain
July 18
The last thing you want to do is shoot 80 wearing 'tartan troosers'.
Ian Poulter
July 17
If I had hit it like I wanted to I'd have holed it.
Mark Calcavecchia
July 16
I'm not very good at practice. But if you tell yourself you love the hole and love hitting it on the fairway, it's a big difference.
Barry Lane
July 15
I don't like the way most people dress on the golf course. I think it's pretty bland, pretty boring.
Ian Poulter
July 14
Golfing excellence goes hand in hand with alcohol, as many an Open and Amateur champion has shown.
Henry Longhurst
July 13
The British Open probably would have died if the American stars hadn't started going over to play in it more regularly the last 15 years. Arnold Palmer saved it, but as far as I'm concerned he didn't do us any favours.
Dave Hill
July 12
[The chief virtue of links courses] may briefly be summarised as being; first, that they should be difficult; secondly, they should be pleasing to the eye; thirdly, that they should be strictly economical in design; and lastly, that to be truly admirable they will probably incur in the general opinion the accusation of being unfair.
H.N. Wethered
July 11
Why do we work so hard to feel so terrible?
Hollis Stacy
July 10
If we are to preserve the integrity of golf as left to us by our forefathers, it is up to all of us to carry on the true spirit of the game.
Ben Crenshaw
July 9
One of the reasons why I, 'a medical man' decided to give up medicine was a firm conviction of the extraordinary influence on health of pleasurable excitement, especially when combined with fresh air and exercise. How frequently have I, with great difficulty, persuaded patients who were never off my doorsteps to take up golf, and how rarely, if ever, I have seen them in my consulting room again.
Alister MacKenzie
July 8
I wish to emphasize that there are no secrets to golf.
Ernest Jones
July 7
The great Jack Nicklaus summed things up neatly during a charity match on the Old Course at St. Andrews where he and I were playing against Ben Crenshaw and Glen Campbell. I asked him what he considered to be the most important factor to overcome in the game of golf. His reply, "It's an unfair game."
Sean Connery
July 6
Golf is a game in which attitude of mind counts for incomparably more than mightiness of muscle.
Arnold Haultain
July 5
The game lends itself to fantasies about our abilities.
Peter Alliss
July 4
Have you ever actually listened to golfers talking to each other? "Looked good starting out..." "Better direction than last time..." "Who's away?..." It sounds like visitors' day at a home for the criminally insane.
Peter Andrews
July 3
If it really made sense to "let the club do the work," you'd just say, "Driver, wedge to the green, one-putt," and walk to the next tee.
Thomas Mulligan
July 2
In 1587 golf's first famous woman player [Mary Queen of Scots] was convicted and beheaded. Women's golf went into something of a decline after that.
Rhonda Glenn
July 1
In baseball you hit your home run over the right-field fence, the left-field fence, the center-field fence. Nobody cares. In golf everything has to go right over second base.
Ken Harrelson


June 30
Splosh! One of the finest sights in the world: the other man's ball dropping in the water - preferably so that he can see it but cannot quite reach it and has therefore to leave it there, thus rendering himself so mad that he loses the next hole as well.
Henry Longhurst
June 29
Golf is just a game - and an idiotic game most of the time.
Mark Calcavecchia
June 28
Dividing the swing into its parts is like dissecting a cat. You'll have blood and guts and bones all over the place. But you won't have a cat.
Ernest Jones
June 27
Many men are more faithful to their golf partners than to their wives and have stuck with them longer.
John Updike
June 26
The golf swing is among the most stressful and unnatural acts in sports, short of cheering for the Yankees.
Brad Faxon
June 25
Watching a golf tournament is different from attending other sporting events. For one thing, the drunks are spread out in a larger area.
Don Wade
June 24
A golfer has to train his swing on the practice tee, then trust it on the course.
Dr Bob Rotella
June 23
The glorious thing is that thousands of golfers, in park land, on windy downs, in gorse, in heather, by the many-sounding sea, enjoy their imbecilities, revel in their infirmities, and from failure itself draw that final victory - the triumph of hope.
R.C. Robertson-Glasgow
June 22
The USGA doesn't want to recognize the fact that today's players are better than ever. They seem willing to do anything to prevent us from shooting scores that would make us appear better than the great names of the past.
Hale Irwin
June 21
If I could have shot 69 in the last round every time, I would have won nine U.S. Opens. Nine!
Sam Snead
June 20
Of the big four, the PGA is the most fair and the least fun. Basically, it's just the US Open set up by nice, rather than nasty, fellows.
Thomas Boswell
June 19
The fact that Slammin' Sammy couldn't win the Open made it all the more valuable for the players that did win. Gave it a special quality. I'd say a part of the sheen on that trophy comes from my sweat.
Sam Snead
June 18
The US Open flag eliminates a lot of players. Some players just weren't meant to win the US Open. Quite often, they know it.
Jack Nicklaus
June 17
At its best, the US Open demands straight drives, crisp iron shots, brilliant chipping and putting, and strategic position play. Plus the patience of St. Francis and the will of Patton. At its worst, the Open eradicates the difference in ability between a Tom Purtzer and a Tom Watson and throws both in the same jail of high rough and high risk shots. This is the disturbing tendency in the Opens of the seventies and eighties, one which worries everyone in golf.
Thomas Boswell
June 16
Playing in the US Open is like tippy-toeing through hell.
Jerry McGee
June 15
A physicist can describe the perfect golf swing and write it down in scientific language, but the smart golfer doesn't read it. The smart golfer gives it to his opponent to contemplate.
Dr Fran Pirozollo
June 14
Playing golf is like eating. It's something which has to come naturally.
Sam Snead
June 13
The better you putt, the bolder you play.
Don January
June 12
Golf is the only game that pits the player against an opponent, the weather, the minutest details of a large chunk of local topography and his own nervous system, all at the same time.
Mike Seabrook
June 11
To get an elementary grasp of the game of golf, a human must learn, by endless practice, a continuous and subtle series of highly unnatural movements, involving about sixty-four muscles, that result in a seemingly natural swing, taking two seconds to begin and end.
Alistair Cooke
June 10
When you're having trouble and topping the ball, it means the ground is moving on you.
Chi Chi Rodriguez
June 9
How did I make a twelve on a par five hole? It's simple - I missed a four foot putt for an eleven.
Arnold Palmer
June 8
If your adversary is badly bunkered, there is no rule against your standing over him and counting his strokes aloud, with increasing gusto as their number mounts up; but it will be a wise precaution to arm yourself with the niblick before doing so, so as to meet him on equal terms.
Horace Hutchinson
June 7
A golf ball can stop in the fairway, rough, woods, bunker or lake. With five equally likely options, very few balls choose the fairway.
Jim Bishop
June 6
When your shot has to carry over a water hazard, you can either hit one more club or two more balls.
Henry Beard
June 5
The great thing about golf - and this is the reason why a lot of health experts like me recommend it - you can drink beer and ride in a cart while you play.
Dave Barry
June 4
The reason I don't play golf is because I was a caddie when I was 13. Women never gave up a golf ball that was lost somewhere in the trees and thicket and down through the poison ivy. It was during one of these searches that I vowed to the Lord above that if I ever earned enough money I would never set foot on a course again.
Art Buchwald
June 3
One of the advantages bowling has over golf is that you seldom lose a bowling ball.
Don Carter
June 2
Golf is more fun than walking naked in a strange place, but not much.
Buddy Hackett
June 1
Golf is 60 or 70 contestants over 200 acres doing unpredicatable things at improbable times. It's an 18-ring circus without a ringmaster.
Nick Seitz


May 31
I just try to put it on the fairway, then the green and not three putt.
Peter Thompson
May 30
I may go for it or I may not. It all depends on what I elect to do on my backswing.
Billy Joe Patton
May 29
Golf, especially championship golf, isn't supposed to be fun, was never meant to be fair, and never will make any sense.
Charles Price
May 28
Golf puts a man's character on the anvil and his richest qualities - patience, poise, restraint - to the flame.
Billy Casper
May 27
However unlucky you may be, it really is not fair to expect your adversary's grief for your undeserved misfortunes to be as poignant as your own.
Horace Hutchinson
May 26
We were always taught to swing slow with good tempo. But you have to have some acceleration throughout the swing. I think that's where a lot of women go wrong. They should try to whack it a few times and see what happens.
Helen Alfredsson
May 25
The only really unplayable lie I can think of is when you're supposed to be playing golf and come home with lipstick on your collar.
Arnold Palmer
May 24
The point is that it doesn't matter if you look like a beast before or after the hit, as long as you look like a beauty at the moment of impact.
Seve Ballesteros
May 23
If a ball comes to rest in dangerous proximity to a crocodile, another ball may be dropped. [See our story here - Ed.]
Local rule at Jinja Golf Club, Uganda
May 22
A golf swing is a collection of corrected mistakes.
Carol Mann
May 21
I get pissed off. I simply do not understand someone who hits a ball that lands behind a tree and can look at it and say, "Well, that's golf".
Simon Hobday
May 20
With a fine sea view and a clear course in front of him, the golfer may be excused if he regards golf, even though it be indifferent golf, as the true and adequate end of man's existence.
A.J. Balfour
May 19
The course of true golf never did run smooth.
Henny Youngman
May 18
There are two basic rules which should never be broken. Be subtle. And don't, for God's sake, try to do business with anyone who's having a bad game.
William Davis
May 17
Yes, it is a cruel game, one in which the primitive instincts of man are given full play, and the difference between golf and fisticuffs is that in one the pain is of the mind and in the other it is of the body.
Henry Leach
May 16
Golf is like faith: it is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Arnold Haultain
May 15
No golfer ever gets so consistently good that he can't use some constructive advice. No matter how many trophies he may win, he can't analyze and remedy his own faults.
Byron Nelson
May 14
My clubs are well used, but unfortunately not used well.
Jack Burrell
May 13
Considered objectively, it is quite obviously a very simple matter to propel a ball with a stick across some specially prepared ground and into a hole which is of sufficient size to accomodate it by a good margin. Simple that is, provided there is no limit upon the time or the number of strokes required.
Bobby Jones
May 12
Golf, more than most games, has a number of clichés, often successfully disguised as 'tips'. Watch out!
Kathy Whitworth
May 11
Keep close count of your nickels and dimes, stay away from whiskey, and never concede a putt.
Sam Snead
May 10
Next to sunburn, a visit to the dentist, or a wasp sting on the privates, nothing gives a man more masochistic satisfaction than a round of golf.
Archie Compston
May 9
The average player doesn't play golf. He attacks it.
Jack Burke
May 8
If God wants to produce the ideal golfer then He should create a being with a set of unequal arms and likewise legs, an elbow-free left arm, knees which hinge sideways and a ribless torso from which emerges, at an angle of 45 degrees, a stretched neck fitted with one colour-blind eye stuck firmly on the left side.
Chris Plumridge
May 7
If you really want to get better at golf, go back and take it up at a much earlier age.
Thomas Mulligan
May 6
No one has ever conquered this game. One week out there and you are God; next time you are the devil.
Juli Inkster
May 5
Once bitten, it is akin to having your neck punctured in Transylvania - there is no known antidote.
Martin Johnson
May 4
Golf is the only game where the worst player gets the best of it. He obtains more out of it as regards both exercise and enjoyment, for the good player gets worried over the slightest mistake, whereas the poor player makes too many mistakes to worry about them.
David Lloyd George
May 3
A good one iron shot is about as easy to come by as an understanding wife.
Dan Jenkins
May 2
Doesn't it show us all that we are silly little boys or fatuous asses to think that we can play golf without making a lot of bad shots?
Bobby Jones
May 1
When your forward press is longer than your backswing, you've got to think about giving up the game.
Charlie Crenshaw


April 30
Because golf exposes the flaws of the human swing - a basically simple maneuver - it causes more self-torture than any game short of Russian roulette.
Grantland Rice
April 29
In golf, as in no other sport, your principal opponent is youself.
Herbert Warren Wind
April 28
Golf is not a game of great shots. It's a game of most accurate misses. The people who win make the smallest mistakes.
Gene Littler
April 27
No power on earth will deter men from using a ball that will add to the length of their drives.
Golf Illustrated (in 1902)
April 26
It is a thousand pities that neither Aristotle nor Shakespeare was a golfer. There is no other game that strips the soul so naked.
Horace Hutchinson
April 25
It is nevertheless a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul.
Bobby Jones
April 24
I always said you have to be really smart or really dumb to play this game well. I just don't know where I fit in.
Beth Daniel
April 23
Whatever anyone may care to say about golf, at least one thing is mercifully certain, namely it is a voluntary affair.
Henry Longhurst
April 22
The proper score for a businessman golfer is 90. If he is better than that he is neglecting his business. If he's worse, he's neglecting his golf.
St Andrews Rotary Club Member
April 21
Hit the ball up to the hole... You meet a better class of people up there.
Ben Hogan
April 20
There is no movement in the golf swing so difficult that it cannot be made even more difficult by careful study and diligent practice.
Thomas Mulligan
April 19
Missing a short putt does not mean you have to hit your next drive out of bounds.
Henry Cotton
April 18
Columbus went around the world in 1492. That isn't a lot of strokes when you consider the course.
Lee Trevino
April 17
You can, legally, possibly hit and kill a fellow golfer with a ball, and there will not be a lot of trouble because the other golfers will refuse to stop and be witnesses, because they will want to keep playing.
Dave Barry
April 16
Don Quixote would understand golf. It is the impossible dream.
Jim Murray
April 15
Men trifle with their business and their politics but never trifle with their games. It brings truth home to them. They cannot pretend they have won when they have lost nor that they had a magnificent drive when they foozled it. The Englishman is at his best on the links and at his worst in the Cabinet.
George Bernard Shaw
April 14
If you pick up a golfer and hold it close to your ear, like a conch shell, and listen, you will hear an alibi.
Fred Beck
April 13
Hitting the ball is the fun part of it, but the fewer times you hit the ball the more fun you have.
Lou Graham
April 12
(This 'First Shot' is dedicated to Phil Mickelson, Masters Champion - Ed.)
There are three types of golf - golf, tournament golf and major championship golf.
Grantland Rice
April 11
You are meant to play the ball as it lies, a fact that may help to touch on your own objective approach to life.
Grantland Rice
April 10
As far as swing and techniques are concerned, I don't know diddly squat. When I'm playing well, I don't even take aim.
Fred Couples
April 9
A perfectly straight shot with a big club is a fluke.
Jack Nicklaus
April 8
Back horses or go down to Throgmorton Street and try to take it away from the Rothschilds, and I will applaud you as a shrewd and cautious financier. But to bet at golf is pure gambling.
P.G. Wodehouse
April 7
Man blames fate for other accidents but feels personally responsible for a hole in one.
Martha Beckman
April 6
There are two things you can learn by stopping your backswing at the top and checking the position of your hands; how many hands you have, and which one is wearing the glove.
Thomas Mulligan
April 5
What goes up must come down. But don't expect it to come down where you can find it.
Lily Tomlin
April 4
Prayer never works for me on the golf course. That may have something to do with my being a terrible putter.
Rev. Billy Graham
April 3
Too much ambition is a bad thing to have in a bunker.
Bobby Jones
April 2
The world's no. 1 tennis player spends 90 percent of his time winning, while the world's no. 1 golfer spends 90 percent of his time losing. Golfers are great losers.
David Feherty
April 1
I enjoy the oohs! and aahs! from the gallery when I hit my drives. But I'm getting pretty tired of the awws! and uhhs! when I miss the putt.
John Daly


March 31
The difference between now and when I played during my younger days is my drives are shorter and my short game is longer.
Simon Hobday
March 30
Some players would complain if they had to play on Dolly Parton's bedspread.
Jimmy Demaret
March 29
A ball will always come to rest halfway down a hill, unless there is sand or water at the bottom.
Henry Beard
March 28
To be truthful, I think golfers are overpaid. It's unreal, and I have trouble dealing with the guilt sometimes.
Colin Montgomerie
March 27
I was three over: one over a house, one over a patio and one over a swimming pool.
George Brett
March 26
One hundred years of experience has demonstrated that the game is temporary insanity practised in a pasture.
Dave Kindred
March 25
It is not a matter of life and death. It is not that important. But it is a reflection of life, and so the game is an enigma wrapped in a mystery impaled on a conundrum.
Peter Alliss
March 24
It is more satisfying to be a bad player at golf. The worse you play, the better you remember the occasional good shot.
Nubar Gulbenkian
March 23
A leading difficulty with the average player is that he totally misunderstands what is meant by concentration. He may think he is concentrating hard when he is merely worrying.
Bobby Jones
March 22
Golf is played by 20 million mature American men whose wives think they are out having fun.
Jim Bishop
March 21
Golf may be played on Sunday, not being a game within view of the law, but being a form of moral effort.
Stephen Leacock
March 20
Golf is the most over-taught and least-learned human endeavour; if they taught sex the way they teach golf, the race would have died out years ago.
Jim Murray
March 19
Most people play a fair game of golf - if you watch them.
Joey Adams
March 18
The great thing about this game is that the bad days are wonderful.
Bill Clinton
March 17 (St.Patrick's Day)
Joe Carr, the great Irish amateur, was once having a very bad day of golf at Sligo.
His caddie asked: "Have you ever played Rosses Point before, Sor?"
Joe Carr: "Oh yes, many times."
Caddie: "Then you know they play the West of Ireland championship here, Sor."
Joe Carr: "I know, I won it twelve times."
Caddie: "It must have been fierce easy to win in those days, Sor."
 
March 16
The next time you see a good player stalking backward and forwards on the green, do not be led away by the idea that he is especially painstaking, but rather pity him for a nervous individual who is putting off the evil moment as long as he possibly can.
Ted Ray
March 15
The difference between golf and government is that in golf you can't improve your lie.
George Deukmejian
March 14
The terrible beauty is that in the brotherhood of golf we are all the same - certifiable.
Sean Connery
March 13
Golf giveth and golf taketh away, but it taketh away a hell of a lot more than it giveth.
Simon Hobday
March 12
The golf swing is like a suitcase into which we are trying to pack one too many things.
John Updike
March 11
Golf is the only game in which a precise knowledge of the rules can earn one a reputation for bad sportsmanship.
Patrick Campbell
March 10
Golf may be a hussy, but I love her.
Don Herold
March 9
Golf is like love. One day you think you are too old and the next day you want to do it again.
Roberto de Vicenzo
March 8
Always remember that however good you may be, the game is your master.
J.H. Taylor
March 7
Golf being a cold, calculating sort of game gives perhaps more scope for folly than any other. We have all the time in the world to make up our minds as to what is the wise thing to do and then we do the foolish one.
Bernard Darwin
March 6
The most important shot in golf is the next one.
Ben Hogan
March 5
If you could eliminate the occasional bad shot you would be the first person to do so.
John Jacobs
March 4
A tap-in is a putt that is short enough to be missed one-handed.
Henry Beard
March 3
My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery people would stop dying.
Ed Furgol
March 2
Golfers find it a very trying matter to turn at the waist, more particularly if they have a lot of waist to turn.
Harry Vardon
March 1
Golf is the loneliest of games, not excluding postal chess.
Peter Dobereiner


February 29
If profanity had an influence on the flight of the ball, the game would be played far better than it is.
Horace Hutchinson
February 28
I never learned anything from a match that I won.
Bobby Jones
February 27
Only one golfer in a thousand grips the club lightly enough.
Johnny Miller
February 26
Playing with your spouse on the golf course runs almost as great a marital risk as getting caught playing with someone else's anywhere else.
Peter Andrews
February 25
With a fine sea view and a clear course in front of him, the golfer may be excused if he regards golf, even though it be indifferent golf, as the true and adequate end of man's existence.
A.J. Balfour
February 24
Golf courses are like children. I have no favorite.
Robert Trent Jones
February 23
Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated.
Arnold Palmer
February 22
Golf is, in part, a game; but only in part. It is also in part a religion, a fever, a vice, a mirage, a frenzy, a fear, an abscess, a joy, a thrill, a pest, a disease, an uplift, a brooding, a melancholy, a dream of yesterday, and a hope for tomorrow.
New York Tribune (1916)
February 21
Love and putting are mysteries for the philosopher to solve. Both subjects are beyond golfers.
Tommy Armour
February 20
The number one thing about trouble is...don't get into more.
Dave Stockton
February 19
You must work very hard to become a natural golfer.
Gary Player
February 18
Relax? How can anybody relax? You have to grip the club, donít you?
Ben Hogan
February 17
Golf is the cruelest game, because eventually it will drag you out in front of the whole school, take your lunch money and slap you around.
Rick Reilly
February 16
Don't be in such a hurry. That little white ball isn't going to run away from you.
Patty Berg
February 15
Never break your putter and your driver in the same round or you're dead.
Tommy Bolt
February 14 (Valentine's Day)
Golf is very much like a love affair. If you don't take it seriously, it's no fun, if you do, it breaks your heart. Don't break your heart, but flirt with the possibility.
Louise Suggs
February 13
Local Rules in Golf - a set of regulations that are ignored by players on a specific course rather than by golfers as a whole.
Roy McKie
February 12
If a lot of people gripped a knife and fork the way they do a golf club, they'd starve to death.
Sam Snead
February 11
Golf has probably kept more people sane than psychiatrists have.
Harvey Penick
February 10
The truly great things happen when a genius is alone. This is true especially among golfers.
J.R. Coulson
February 9
Golf is not, and never has been, a fair game.
Jack Nicklaus
February 8
I don't trust doctors. They are like golfers. Every one has a different answer to your problem.
Seve Ballesteros
February 7
The fundamental problem with golf is that every so often, no matter how lacking you may be in the essential virtues required of a steady player, the odds are that one day you will hit the ball straight, hard, and out of sight. This is the essential frustration of this excruciating sport. For when you've done it once, you make the fundamental error of asking yourself why you can't do this all the time. The answer to this question is simple: the first time was a fluke.
Colin Bowles
February 6
The devoted golfer is an anguished soul who has learned a lot about putting, just as an avalanche victim has learned a lot about snow.
Dan Jenkins
February 5
Being a Scotsman, I am naturally opposed to water in its undiluted state.
Dr. Alistair Mackenzie
February 4
The right way to play golf is to go up and hit the bloody thing.
George Duncan
 
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