Top 10: Excuses made by golfers

The Scoop

We run down the top 10 excuses made by golfers from blaming the weather to injury to dodgy equipment. Why not add some of your own?

1. “I’ve not played for ages”

This is commonly said when approaching the 1st tee by your playing partner who you know has been to the range three times this week and had a putting lesson.

Whether they’ve been playing recently or not, the statement serves as a mechanism to take away any pressure. It’s basically an excuse for playing badly before it actually happens.

2. “I’m playing too much instead of practising”

I’ve trotted this one out a few times over the last 18 months. This is often my response to the previous excuse as a way of taking some of the pressure off myself.

My playing partner has seen the pictures I’ve posted on Facebook and knows I’ve been practically living on the golf course for the past three weeks. They pass comment to heap the pressure on.

You play it down, claim to have been scoring badly and again, get your excuse in early.

3. “I don’t know what’s happening, I’ve been driving it great recently”

One of the great excuses by golfers is to give off the impression that you’re just having a one-off bad day. Acting like you’ve never hit a shank, duffed a chip or blocked a drive before.

Getting overly angry with a bad shot when the reality is, it happens all the time and you shouldn’t be surprised.

I think Tiger Woods is guilty of this one but I guess we can let off a 14-time major champion. He gets very angry with himself when missing a fairway even when he hasn’t hit one for about 12 holes.

4. “I’m just not getting on with this driver/putter/set of irons/wedges”

Blaming the equipment is another form of denial about simply not playing very well.

However, once the thought gets in your head, it can be difficult to shut it out (that’s my excuse anyway).

There may be a slight placebo effect when the new driver gets put in the bag but it’s not long before the same problems creep back in. My advice would be – check your technique first and the equipment after.

Poor rounds of golf consist of bad golf shots, not bad bounces” 5. “I don’t know where I’m going on this course”

Yep, that’s the reason you snap-hooked it into the trees. You’ve never played the course before but try to navigate it in ways that avoid fairways – then try and blame the layout of the course.

Ever heard the classic line of “if I played it again tomorrow, I’d knock at least 10 shots off today’s effort”? Admittedly, knowing  the layout of a course is favourable and can be an advantage but it doesn’t make you hit good golf shots.

6. “You can’t feel the wind from the tee, it must be really blowing up there”

Mysterious changes in the weather just as you strike the ball? I don’t think so.

One of my favourites is when your playing partner picks up a few blades of grass and throws them into the air after they’ve just come up 10 yards short of the green – giving the impression that they’ve absolutely flushed it and have only been denied by the elements.

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7. “I can’t putt on these greens”

No, you just can’t putt.

When someone tells you their low competition score it is often backed up with a statement about the state of the greens. “Only got 27 points – the greens were shocking”.

It’s highly unlikely that anyone who cards a poor score will have hit every fairway and green only to be denied by a poor putting surface.

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8. “I’m not sure I’ll make it round with my bad back”

They say beware the injured golfer. I say beware the golfer who says he’s injured. If you’re not fit to play, don’t play. Don’t claim that the knee operation you had when you were 16 is somehow affecting your swing then barely miss a shot all day.

Also, it’s remarkable how any niggling injury can rear it’s head after a poor shot. You don’t see too many players in pain while watching their approach cosy up towards the flag.

9. “Great, right on my back swing”

Now this can be a gust of wind, a passing car, a train 15 miles away, a leaf falling, a stand back hitting the deck on the adjacent fairway or, in a tour pro’s case, the dreaded camera click.

Again, you don’t see too many tour pros turning round to the galleries in horror after a great shot, regardless of what’s going on behind them.

I know golf takes concentration but anyone who tries to claim the slightest sound at the top of their back swing has prevented them from finding the fairway needs a reality check.

You play off 22, you’re going to hit bad shots, that acorn falling was not why you hit the turf two inches behind the ball.

10. “I had a really unlucky bounce there”

Perhaps, but should you really be hitting it that close to the water?

Poor rounds of golf consist of bad golf shots, not bad bounces. You may get the odd unfortunate kick here and there but if you find yourself constantly talking to your ball, telling it to bounce left or bounce right, chances are you haven’t hit it where you wanted to.

On one occasion a playing partner of mine hit his drive so far left it was heading towards a row of houses.

“Kick right off the roof!,” was his shout as it disappeared into someone’s garden.

In golf there are some variables which you can’t control and that is one of the many beauties of the game.

Add some of you playing partners excuses in the comments box below

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