Perhaps it's the depth of (often negative) emotion the average golfer feels as a result of the game that inspires him to wax poetic. And maybe that same element inspires the poets, writers and artists to pay homage to golf—or at least lament its cruelty.
The true funniest golf quotes of all time are likely never put to paper and aren't spoken by golfers or celebrities. Many of them contain words and phrases that are unable to grace this slideshow.
That's why I'm hoping you, Bleacher Report readers, will add some of your own content in the comments. Relate what your buddy said after a five-putt, the joke your grandfather made about the ballwasher or your golf junkie pal's philosophy about the parallel between golf and life.
With this in mind, here are the 10 funniest golf quotes of all time.
"Golf appeals to the idiot in us and the child. Just how childlike golf players become is proven by their frequent inability to count past five."
The famed author of Centaur, John Updike wrote about the gentleman's game with some regularity. His comment gets at a few things: the wondrous and fascinating aspects of the game and its tendency to make bold-faced liars of its participants.
"If you think it's hard to meet new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball."
Jack Lemmon is probably remembered best for his roles in The Odd Couple and The Apartment. He also starred with the equally late and great Walter Matthau in one of my favorite movies, Grumpy Old Men. The actor's quote relays an essential truth: Even the most mild-mannered golfer tends to lose his head when he sees or suspects someone else has hit or picked up his golf ball.
"We learn so many things from golf—how to suffer, for instance."
Lansky's quote is funny because, well, as golfers we're all a little bit masochistic. If we weren't, we'd take up a less infuriating hobby, like knitting.
"While playing golf today I hit two good balls. I stepped on a rake."
Youngman is credited with inventing the "Take my wife—please" trope. Beyond this, the comedian and violinist (an epic combination) made the above joke about golf. It's included here because of the hilarious mental image it evokes.
"The reason a pro tells you to keep your head down is so you can't see him laughing."
Phyllis Diller, with her outrageous teased hair and housewife caricature stage persona, was a master of delivery and comedic timing. Although the same can be said of the rest of the items on this list, just reading the quote doesn't really do justice to its comedic value.
Diller's comment is a great take on a bit of traditional golf advice.
"Golf is the most fun you can have without taking your clothes off."
Well, what can you really say about the great Chi Chi Rodriguez's quote? Nothing.
Instead, here's a great clip of Chi Chi talking about ladies he sees golfing.
“One minute you’re bleeding. The next minute you’re hemorrhaging. The next minute you’re painting the Mona Lisa.”
O'Grady's comment relates the essence of the experience of a lot of rounds of golf for a lot of golfers. I love the contrast between the agony of a golfer bleeding out and the ecstasy of a moment of creative genius. Of course, after painting the Mona Lisa, you'll likely soon be back to bleeding. Such is the game.
"Golf and sex are about the only things you can enjoy without being good at."
I enjoy this bit of golf/life wisdom. However, it's been poisoned for me by the fact that it was often relayed to customers at a golf course I worked at by an overweight 90-year-old man while I awkwardly feigned amusement in repeated moments of shared weirdness. And now it will be poisoned for you.
"One of the reasons Arnie Palmer is playing so well is that, before each final round, his wife takes out his balls and kisses them. Oh my God, what have I just said?"
Well, this quote speaks for itself.
In a way, this quote is a stand-in for the entire volume of comedic wit and great golf quotes in Caddyshack. And it's damn funny.
So I jump ship in Hong Kong and make my way over to Tibet, and I get on as a looper at a course over in the Himalayas. A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell them I'm a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald... striking. So, I'm on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one—big hitter, the Lama—long, into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier. Do you know what the Lama says? "Gunga galunga... gunga, gunga-galunga." So we finish the 18th, and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know?" And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.