Golf is a game of endless complexity that has captivated and frustrated players for hundreds of years. The sport offers up plenty to talk about and, over the years, many a true word has been spoken about the game. We consider some of golf’s most famous quotes throughout the sport’s rich history.
‘The most important shot in golf is the next one.’ – Ben Hogan
Hogan was a man of few words, but he chose them wisely. He is widely regarded as one of the finest ever exponents of the game.
‘Golf is a game whose aim is to hit a very small ball into an even smaller hole, with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose.’ – Winston Churchill
Churchill was known for his witty observations and this one neatly sums up how all amateurs feel about golf from time to time.
‘Golf is a day spent in a round of strenuous idleness.’ – William Wordsworth
The great poet preferred daffodils to mown fairways.
‘If you’re caught on a golf course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a 1-iron. Not even God can hit a 1-iron.’ – Lee Trevino
Lee Trevino was actually struck by lightning on the golf course, when sheltering from a storm under an umbrella at the 1975 Western Open. This quote came in response to a question on what he would do if he was ever caught in such a situation again.
‘Golf is an awkward set of bodily contortions designed to produce a graceful result.’ – Tommy Armour
Tommy Armour was a Scottish professional golfer who won the 1931 Open Championship, so could clearly contort his body rather effectively.
‘To find a man’s true character, play golf with him.’ – PG Wodehouse
Wodehouse frequently included golf in his humorous writings and was a keen player himself.
‘They call it golf because all the other four-letter words were taken.’ – Ray Floyd
Ray Floyd can’t cuss at golf too much, as he has won 65 tournaments as a professional, including four Majors.
‘The more I practice the luckier I get.’ – Gary Player
The Black Knight is known as one of the most determined and dedicated golf professionals of all time.
‘If a lot of people gripped a knife and fork the way they do a golf club, they’d starve to death.’ – Sam Snead
Snead was a famously natural player with exceptional sporting aptitude. He never gripped a knife and fork the way he did his golf club.
‘Golf is a good walk spoiled.’ – Mark Twain
We’ve all agreed with the creator of Huck Finn on occasion as we’ve staggered off the 18th green.
‘Golf is so popular simply because it is the best game in the world at which to be bad.’ – AA Milne
The Winnie the Pooh author once played off a handicap of nine. Not so bad!
‘If you drink, don’t drive. Don’t even putt.’ – Dean Martin
The legendary crooner loved golf – he even had his own line of golf balls called Dinos and a PGA Tour event called The Dean Martin Tuscon Open.
‘If you watch a game, it’s fun. If you play it, it’s recreation. If you work at it, it’s golf.’ – Bob Hope
Bob Hope is perhaps the most famous celebrity golfer of all time. He did so much for the game that he was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame.
‘Golf, like the measles, should be caught young, for, if postponed to riper years, the results may be serious.’ – PG Wodehouse
More accurate observation from the creator of Jeeves and Wooster.
‘Golf is a fascinating game. I’ve taken nearly 40 years to discover that I can’t play it.’ – Ted Ray
A spot of unfounded self-deprecation here. Ray won 46 professional tournaments, including the 1912 Open and the 1920 U.S. Open.
‘They say golf is like life, but don’t believe them. Golf is more complicated than that.’ – Gardner Dickinson
The seven-time PGA Tour winner encapsulated the sport’s bamboozling complexity with these famous lines.
‘If you are going to throw a club, it is important to throw it ahead of you, down the fairway, so you don’t have to waste energy going back to pick it up.’ – Tommy Bolt
Tour professional Bolt was known for his fiery temper.
‘I’d give up golf if I didn’t have so many sweaters.’ – Bob Hope
Hope was known for sporting stereotypical golfing attire.
‘Why am I using a new putter? Because the last one didn’t float too well.’ – Craig Stadler
“The Walrus” was prone to the odd fit of pique on the golf course.
‘Don’t play too much golf. Two rounds a day are plenty.’ – Harry Vardon
When Vardon was at his peak around the turn of the 20th century, it was common for professional tournaments to feature 36 holes in a day.
It’s sometimes tough to hit the nail on the head when discussing golf’s subtle nuances. Perhaps next time you’re looking to express your feelings on the game, whether it be on the course or in the clubhouse, you might be able to reference one of golf’s most famous quotes to drive your point home!