This article first appeared on Golfshake.com in Sep 2015.
Most golfers, whenever they have a poor round, seldom blame themselves. Almost every excuse has been covered and sometimes you’ll be sat in the clubhouse wondering how someone can solely blame the greens yet still shoot 90+ off an 8 handicap.
So here are some of the best excuses you’ll hear on the golf course.
“I haven’t played in weeks”
As you stand on the first tee with someone you’ve just met in your clubs’ weekend medal, the last thing you want to hear is “I haven’t played in months.” However, nine times out of ten this person tends to proceed by smashing their first drive 300+ yards down the middle of the fairway.
This is one of the worst excuses as you are almost talking yourself out of a good round before you’ve even started. If you have no ambition why even bother going out?
“The greens were rubbish”
There’s no doubt about it, we all have perfect putting strokes. At least that’s what we like to convince ourselves. This ultimately means when we don’t putt like Jordan Spieth or Tiger Woods in his prime, the greens must have been poor.
Just about everything is covered when complaining about greens. There are always three or four putts that were going in but took a bobble at the last moment. These putts really stunted your momentum as well.
If it wasn’t that then it was definitely the fact that the putting green was slower than the ones on the course. A countless number of times you’ll have heard how it took someone a good 9-12 holes to really get the pace of the greens.
“I’m not used to my new clubs yet”
This one is an absolute gem. There’s always that golfer at your club who goes through around 5 new drivers, 3 sets of wedges and 7 putters in a season. No matter how poor they have been playing it is never their fault it is always the clubs.
After their third tee shot goes out of bounds you’ll often hear the expression “I just can’t get used to this new driver yet” which is often followed up by the quote “I hit it great on the simulator when I was testing it.”
After several attempts at adjusting the settings and changing the shaft this person does not opt for a lesson, oh no, they go straight to the Internet to find a new driver.
“I need some new clubs”
Alternatively, there is also that golfer who refuses to splash out on any new clubs. They’re still using the same Titleist 975D they purchased over 10 years ago.
When they come up against a big hitter in a match, and get beat, they complain that they would have done better if they could keep up distance wise and had a more modern driver.
This excuse however is usually followed up by “well, there’s only a month left of the season so there’s no point buying a new one.”
“I’ve just had a lesson”
It is incredible the amount of people who think that after having a golf lesson and making changes to their swing can go out and shoot to their handicap the very next day. Swing changes take time to gel into your swing and you’re not always going to make the same swing every time just 24 hours after a lesson.
However, this does not stop the majority of golfers. They are bemused when they finish their round and find they have got worse since last weeks medal round. “I’m just going to go back to my old swing” is a cry you’ll often hear from the clubhouse when discussing the round previous.
“I think I’ve tweaked my back again”
You’ve seen it all before. Four under their handicap on the front nine and you think this person has a chance to win it. But all of a sudden, usually after a couple of double bogies, this person begins to complain of a lower back pain. Ultimately, this excuse is used to try and shift the embarrassment of ruining a great score and a chance of winning.
Alternatively, it goes the other way. This person is having a terrible time on the golf course and cant take the embarrassment of the score they’re going to come in with so they blame that knee injury they picked up in 1998. This golfer usually NR’s at the nearest point to the clubhouse on the front 9.
“A fly went past as I hit it”
This is the easy way out of a bad putt, chip or drive. There’s always that one fly that’s been following you round all day and as you stood over that 6ft par putt the fly landed on the ball, hence you missed the putt. Now, any normal person would stop their stroke and remove the fly. This is why this excuse is one of the most pathetic on the list.
The only time this excuse is even slightly plausible is when it happens on the down swing of an iron shot or a drive. At this point it is almost impossible to back out of the shot. Unless you’re Tiger Woods…
“I was thinking about the last hole”
This one is a beauty and sometimes you have to have a bit of sympathy for the person that uses this excuse. This excuse usually comes into play when a golfer has an absolute shocker of a hole that ruins their good score.
The next hole is usually a blur for this golfer as they go on to follow up their quadruple on the previous hole with a double at the next. This excuse is the easy way out for the sudden capitulation of your round.
“The round took far too long”
Golf courses across Britain and Ireland understand the struggle of your clubs’ weekend medal. A round of golf just takes far too long. You have golfers thinking they’re on the European Tour and take an age with their pre-shot routine despite, most likely, being way over their handicap.
However, slow play only ruins your round if you let it get to you. The best thing to do is not worry about what the groups in front are doing and keep yourself entertained. Have a chat with your playing partners but don’t start talking about slow play. You’ll just get more and more wound up.
“I can’t play in waterproofs”
It is incredible how, as soon as the rain starts to fall, golfers start blaming their waterproofs for their poor round. You’ll hear everything from “I don’t like the material” to “These trousers are too long. The only thing to say is “try before you buy.” If you didn’t like the material or the size, why did you buy it?
In all fairness, the golfers that do make it out in the rain deserve some credit. Order of play is regularly disturbed by golfers not turning up at the slightest hint of rain. It’s just a shame the ones that do turn up do not have comfortable waterproofs…
So there is ten of our favorite excuses used by golfers. Let us know some of the best excuses you’ve heard out on the course or in the clubhouse.