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Home truths
The nature of the game, the time between shots, lends itself to reflection. A collection of truisms - serious and flippant - that every golfer will recognise.

Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated.
 - Arnold Palmer

Always remember that however good you may be, the game is your master.
 - J.H. Taylor

What goes up must come down. But don't expect it to come down where you can find it.
 - Lily Tomlin

The woods are full of long drivers.
 - Harvey Penick

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

Playing golf is like eating. It's something which has to come naturally.
 - Sam Snead

When the ducks are walking, you know it is too windy to be playing golf.
 - Dave Stockton

Hit the shot you know you can hit, not the one you think you should.
 - Bob Rotella

You don't hit anything on the backswing, so why rush it?
 - Doug Ford

Golf is not, and never has been, a fair game.
 - Jack Nicklaus

I accept the fact that I'm going to miss it sometimes. I just hope I miss it where I can find it.
 - Fuzzy Zoeller

Every golfer scores better when he learns his capabilities.
 - Tommy Armour

It's OK to have butterflies. Just get them flying in formation.
 - Francisco Lopez

Those trees seem to grow every year...
 - Peter Alliss

If you really want to get better at golf, go back and take it up at a much earlier age.
 - Thomas Mulligan

Someone once told me that there is more to life than golf. I think it was my ex-wife.
 - Bruce Lansky

If you're stupid enough to whiff, you should be smart enough to forget it.
 - Arnold Palmer

Of all the hazards, fear is the worst.
 - Sam Snead

You must work very hard to become a natural golfer.
 - Gary Player

Putts get real difficult the day they hand out the money.
 - Lee Trevino

If you think golf is relaxing, you're not playing it right.
 - Bob Hope

Golf is golf. You hit the ball, you go find it. Then you hit it again.
- Lon Hinkle

The most important shot in golf is the next one.
 - Ben Hogan

Golf can best be defined as an endless series of tragedies obscured by the occasional miracle.
 - Author unknown

If you try to fight the course, it will beat you.
 - Lou Graham

The best exercise for golfers is golfing.
 - Bobby Jones

I have a tip that will take five strokes off anyone's game. It's called an eraser.
 - Arnold Palmer

Don't play too much golf. Two rounds a day are plenty.
 - Harry Vardon

The best advice I can give for playing a ball out of water is - don't.
 - Tony Lema

The mind messes up more shots than the body.
 -Tommy Bolt

Be decisive. A wrong decision is generally less disastrous than indecision.
 - Bernhard Langer

For every up in this game, there's twenty downs.
 - Brian Davis

Keep your sense of humor. There's enough stress in the rest of your life not to let bad shots ruin a game you're supposed to enjoy.
 - Amy Alcott

The number one thing about trouble is...don't get into more.
 - Dave Stockton

I can airmail the golf ball, but sometimes I don't put the right address on it.
 - Jim Dent

Hitting the ball is the fun part of it, but the fewer times you hit the ball the more fun you have.
 - Lou Graham

Don't be in such a hurry. That little white ball isn't going to run away from you.
 - Patty Berg

The last time I had this much fun was a root-canal operation.
 - Larry Ziegler

Never break your putter and your driver in the same round or you're dead.
 - Tommy Bolt

It's [Augusta National] a difficult course and it doesn't make it easier when you have three shanks.
 - Ian Poulter

The older I get, the better I used to be.
 - Lee Trevino

Golf is like solitaire. When you cheat, you cheat only yourself.
 - Tony Lema

Golf is like a chain. You always have to work on the weakest links.
 - George Archer

Keep close count of your nickels and dimes, stay away from whiskey, and never concede a putt.
 - Sam Snead

Concentration comes out of a combination of confidence and hunger.
 - Arnold Palmer

Most people play a fair game of golf - if you watch them.
 - Joey Adams

The good chip allows you to whistle while you walk in the dark alleys of golf.
 - Tommy Bolt

Keep on hitting it straight until the wee ball goes in the hole.
 - James Braid

For this game you need, above all things, to be in a tranquil frame of mind.
 - Harry Vardon

Golf's three ugliest words: still your shot.
 - Dave Marr

A perfectly straight shot with a big club is a fluke.
 - Jack Nicklaus

A routine is not a routine if you have to think about it.
 - Davis Love Jr.

Many shots are spoiled at the last instant by efforts to add a few more yards.
 - Bobby Jones

Prayer never works for me on the golf course. That may have something to do with my being a terrible putter.
 - Rev. Billy Graham

Too much ambition is a bad thing to have in a bunker.
 - Bobby Jones

Through the ball we are all the same. We just have different ways of getting it there.
 - Charles Coody

The reason the Road Hole at St. Andrews is the most difficult par 4 in the world is that it was designed as a par 6.
 - Ben Crenshaw

The real success in golf lies in turning three shots into two.
 - Bobby Locke

There are two reasons for making a hole in one. The first is that it is immensely labor-saving.
 - H.I. Phillips

Once bitten, it is akin to having your neck punctured in Transylvania - there is no known antidote.
 - Martin Johnson

The terrible beauty is that in the brotherhood of golf we are all the same - certifiable.
 - Sean Connery

The golf swing is like a suitcase into which we are trying to pack one too many things.
 - John Updike

The older you get the stronger the wind gets... and it's always in your face.
 - Jack Nicklaus

Golf is 20 percent talent and 80 percent management.
 - Ben Hogan

The biggest liar in the world is the golfer who claims that he plays the game merely for exercise.
 - Tommy Bolt

The course of true golf never did run smooth.
 - Henny Youngman

Never bet with anyone you meet on the first tee who has a deep suntan, a 1-iron in his bag, and squinty eyes.
 - Dave Marr

This is a game of misses. The guy who misses the best is going to win.
 - Ben Hogan

A golf swing is a collection of corrected mistakes.
 - Carol Mann

A good one iron shot is about as easy to come by as an understanding wife.
 - Dan Jenkins

I never learned anything from a match that I won.
 - Bobby Jones

Golf is like faith: it is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
 - Arnold Haultain

Golf is played by 20 million mature American men whose wives think they are out having fun.
 - Jim Bishop

The average player doesn't play golf. He attacks it.
 - Jack Burke

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

Golf is a better game played downhill.
 - Jack Nicklaus

Thinking instead of acting is the number one golf disease.
 - Sam Snead

A man who can putt is a match for anyone.
 - Willie Park

The better you putt, the bolder you play.
 - Don January

If you're going to miss 'em, miss 'em quick.
 - George Duncan

The more you play it the less you know about it.
 - Patty Berg

My clubs are well used, but unfortunately not used well.
 - Jack Burrell

I went to play golf and tried to shoot my age, but I shot my weight instead.
 - Bob Hope

I'm about five inches from being an outstanding golfer. That's the distance my left ear is from my right.
 - Ben Crenshaw

In golf, as in no other sport, your principal opponent is youself.
 - Herbert Warren Wind

Golf is the loneliest of games, not excluding postal chess.
 - Peter Dobereiner

One thing about golf is you don't know why you play bad and why you play good.
 - George Archer

Never try a shot you haven't practised.
 - Harvey Penick

Don Quixote would understand golf. It is the impossible dream.
 - Jim Murray

Golf is a game you can never get too good at. You can improve, but you can never get to where you master the game.
 - Gay Brewer

It takes hundreds of good golf shots to gain confidence, but only one bad one to lose it.
 - Jack Nicklaus

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

Concentrate on hitting the green. The cup will come to you.
 - Cary Middlecoff

Give me a man with big hands and big feet and no brains and I'll make a golfer out of him.
 - Walter Hagen

Missing a short putt does not mean you have to hit your next drive out of bounds.
 - Henry Cotton

Whatever anyone may care to say about golf, at least one thing is mercifully certain, namely it is a voluntary affair.
 - Henry Longhurst

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

I wish to emphasize that there are no secrets to golf.
 - Ernest Jones

Golf is a game in which attitude of mind counts for incomparably more than mightiness of muscle.
 - Arnold Haultain

The game lends itself to fantasies about our abilities.
 - Peter Alliss

Baseball reveals character; golf exposes it.
 - Ernie Banks

A ball will always come to rest halfway down a hill, unless there is sand or water at the bottom.
 - Henry Beard

Golfing excellence goes hand in hand with alcohol, as many an Open and Amateur champion has shown.
 - Henry Longhurst

If there is any larceny in a man, golf will bring it out.
 - Paul Gallico

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

When your shot has to carry over a water hazard, you can either hit one more club or two more balls.
 - Henry Beard

Golf is a game of expletives not deleted.
 - Dr Irving A. Gladstone

In golf, humiliations are the essence of the game.
 - Alistair Cooke

The last thing you want to do is shoot 80 wearing 'tartan troosers'.
 - Ian Poulter

You swing your best when you have the fewest things to think about.
 - Bobby Jones

It is impossible to outplay an opponent you can't outthink.
 - Lawson Little

If you wish to hide your character, do not play golf.
 - Percey Boomer

Why do we work so hard to feel so terrible?
 - Hollis Stacy

A golfer has to train his swing on the practice tee, then trust it on the course.
 - Dr Bob Rotella

Talking to a golf ball won't do you any good, unless you do it while your opponent is teeing off.
 - Bruce Lansky

We borrowed golf from Scotland as we borrowed whiskey. Not because it is Scottish, but because it is good.
 - Horace Hutchinson

Golf is just a game - and an idiotic game most of the time.
 - Mark Calcavecchia

At first a golfer excuses a dismal performance by claiming bad lies. With experience, he covers up with better ones.
 - P. Brown

Anyone taking up golf has to realise at the outset that it is an appallingly difficult game to play well.
 - Peter Ryde

Those who the gods seek to destroy first, learn how to play golf.
 - Leslie Nielsen

The game embarrasses you until you feel inadequate.
 - Ben Crenshaw

Serenity is knowing that your worst shot is still going to be pretty good.
 - Johnny Miller

A golf course is nothing but a poolroom moved outdoors.
 - Barry Fitzgerald

All I've got against golf is it takes you so far from the clubhouse.
 - Eric Linklater

A well-adjusted man is one who can play golf as if it were a game.
 - Anonymous

You know you're on the Senior Tour when your back goes out more than you do.
 - Bob Bruce

I never knew what top golf was like until I turned professional. Then it was too late.
 - Steve Melnyk

My golf is improving. Yesterday I hit the ball in one!
 - Jane Swan

The ardent golfer would play Mount Everest if somebody put a flagstick on top.
 - Pete Dye

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

The worst club in my bag is my brain.
 - Chris Perry

Real golfers, no matter what the provocation, never strike a caddie with the driver. The sand wedge is far more effective.
 - Huxtable Pippey

Golf is essentially an exercise in masochism conducted out of doors.
 - Paul O'Neil

Nothing goes down slower than a golf handicap.
 - Bobby Nichols

It's a heck of a lot harder to stay on top than it is to get there.
 - Tom Kite

If I could have shot 69 in the last round every time, I would have won nine U.S. Opens. Nine!
 - Sam Snead



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