50 Greatest Golf Quotes of All Time

Ron FurlongAnalyst IIDecember 13, 2010

50 Greatest Golf Quotes of All Time

0 of 50

    AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 11:  Phil Mickelson during the final round of the 2010 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11, 2010 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for Golf Week)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    There is an old adage about sports writing that goes something like this: The smaller the ball, the better the writing.

    When you have one of the oldest sports of all-time—if not the oldest—you get a lot of time for some truly great quotes.

    There have been some fascinating characters in the world of golf over the years. From Old Tom Morris, to Walter Hagan, to Arnold Palmer; the sport has had its share of interesting ambassadors.

    The thing about golf is that you don't have to be a professional golfer to love the game.

    In the next 50 slides you'll find quotes from authors, actors, comedians, presidents and even a king, among others.

Winston Churchill

1 of 50

    St. Andrews shown
    St. Andrews shownWarren Little/Getty Images

    "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."

John Updike

2 of 50

    GROUVILLE, JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 19:  The 470 yards par 5, 1st hole that runs between the bay and the sea defences from World War II and Fort Henry on the left at The Royal Jersey Golf Club on September 19, 2010 in Grouville, Jersey, Channel Islands.  (Photo
    David Cannon/Getty Images

    "Golf appeals to the idiot in us and the child. Just how childlike golfers become is proven by their frequent inability to count past five."

Arnold Palmer

3 of 50

    1990:  Arnold Palmer watches his shot during the 1990 RMCC Invitational at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn  /Allsport
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    "I have a tip that can take five strokes off anyone's golf game: It's called an eraser."

Ted Ray

4 of 50

    GIRONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 10:  A ball in a bunker during the final round of the European Tour qualifying school final stage at PGA golf de Catalunya on December 10, 2010 in Girona, Spain.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    "Golf is a fascinating game. It has taken me nearly 40 years to discover that I can't play it."

P.J. O'Rourke

5 of 50

    "Golf combines two favorite American pastimes; taking long walks and hitting things with a stick."

Unknown Author

6 of 50

    PEBBLE BEACH, CA - JUNE 20:  Phil Mickelson walks up the 18th fairway during the final round of the 110th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 20, 2010 in Pebble Beach, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    "When I die, bury me on the golf course so my husband will visit."

Bob Ryan

7 of 50

    FARMINGDALE, NY - JUNE 22:  Golf fans watch play during the continuation of the final round of the 109th U.S. Open on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park on June 22, 2009 in Farmingdale, New York.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
    Chris McGrath/Getty Images

    "A passion, an obsession, a romance, a nice acquaintanceship with trees, sand and water."

Pete Dye

8 of 50

    ST. AUGUSTINE, FL - NOVEMBER 10:  Pete Dye, a legendary golf course designer, holds his Hall of Fame trophy at the World Golf Hall of Fame on November 10, 2008 during induction ceremonies in St. Augustine, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    "The ardent golfer would play Mount Everest if somebody put a flagstick on top."

Lee Trevino

9 of 50

    Undated:  Portrait of Lee Trevino of the USA during a tournament. \ Mandatory Credit: Tony  Duffy/Allsport
    Tony Duffy/Getty Images

    "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."

Gerald Ford

10 of 50

    Feb 1993:  President Gerald Ford in action during the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in La Quinta, California. Mandatory Credit: Gary Newkirk  /Allsport
    Gary Newkirk/Getty Images

    "I know I am getting better at golf because I'm hitting fewer spectators."

Lee Trevino

11 of 50

    1972:  Lee Trevino of the USA contemplates which club to use during the Piccadilly World Matchplay at Wentworth Golf Club in Surrey, England. \ Mandatory Credit: Allsport UK /Allsport
    Getty Images/Getty Images

    "My swing is so bad, I look like a caveman killing his lunch."

Tommy Armour

12 of 50

    SHENZHEN, CHINA - NOVEMBER 23:  A general view of the 14th hole on the Pete Dye course at the Mid Valley golf complex on November 23, 2009 in Shenzhen, China.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    "Golf is an awkward set of bodily contortions designed to produce a graceful result."

Paul Harvey

13 of 50

    SHENZHEN, CHINA - NOVEMBER 21:  A general view of the 18th hole from the railway carriges on the Pete Dye course at the MidValley golf complex on November 21, 2009 in Shenzhen, China.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    "Golf is a game in which you yell 'fore', shoot six and write down five."

Chi Chi Rodriguez

14 of 50

    Chi Chi Rodriguez competes in the first round of the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf tournament, Friday, April 23, 2004 in Savannah, Georgia. (Photo by A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
    A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    "Golf is the most fun you can have without taking your clothes off."

Bruce Lansky

15 of 50

    PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MAY 09:  A general view of the 17th green is seen during the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship held at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 9, 2010 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty I
    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    "On a recent survey, 80 percent of golfers admitted cheating. The other 20 percent lied."

Mark Twain

16 of 50

    "It is good sportsmanship not to pick up lost balls while they are still rolling."

Billy Graham

17 of 50

    "The only time my prayers are never answered is on the golf course."

Bob Hope

18 of 50

    SAN DIEGO - JANUARY 31:  Comedian Bob Hope sits on a cart waiting to be driven onto the field during Super Bowl XXII between the Washington Redskins and the Denver Broncos at Jack Murphy Stadium on January 31, 1988 in San Diego, California.  The Redskins
    George Rose/Getty Images

    "If you watch a game, it's fun. If you play it, it's recreation. If you work at it, it's golf."

King George V

19 of 50

    DOHA, QATAR - JANUARY 30:  Lee Westwood of England shows his frustration by kicking up a clump of grass after his second shot on the 18th hole during the third round of the Commercialbank Qatar Masters at Doha Golf Club on January 30, 2010 in Doha, Qatar.
    Andrew Redington/Getty Images

    "Golf always makes me so damned angry."

    Although King George V is not shown in the photo, we thought a picture of fellow-countryman Lee Westwood would be a nice alternative.

Ray Floyd

20 of 50

    Nov 1991:  Ray Floyd watches his shot during the 1991 Shark Shootout at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn  /Allsport
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    "They call it golf because all the other four letter words were taken."

Gary Player

21 of 50

    WENTWORTH - 1976:  Gary Player of South Africa in action in during the Piccadilly World Match Play at Wentworth Golf Club in Surrey, England in 1976. (photo by Don Morley/Getty Images)
    Getty Images/Getty Images

    "The more I practice, the luckier I get."

Chi Chi Rodriguez

22 of 50

    UNITED STATES - JULY 13:  Chi Chi Rodriguez and Gary Player during the first round of the Ford Senior Players Championship held at TPC Michigan in Dearborn, Michigan, on July 13, 2006.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    "I read the greens in Spanish, but I putt in English."

Ben Hogan

23 of 50

    Jul 1953:  Ben Hogan of the USA with the Claret Jug after victory in the British Open at Carnoustie, Scotland.  Mandatory Credit: AllsportUK/Allsport
    Getty Images/Getty Images

    "The most important shot in golf is the next one."

Lee Trevino

24 of 50

    SAN ANTONIO, TX - OCTOBER 30:  Lee Trevino waits on the tee during the second round of the AT&T Championship at Oak Hills Country Club on October 30, 2010 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Darren Carroll/Getty Images)
    Darren Carroll/Getty Images

    "The older I get, the better I used to be."

Arnold Palmer

25 of 50

    1975:  Arnold Palmer of the USA putts during an event. \ Mandatory Credit: Allsport UK /Allsport
    Getty Images/Getty Images

    "Concentration comes out of a combination of confidence and hunger."

Heywood Hale Broun

26 of 50

    SHENZHEN, CHINA - NOVEMBER 21:  A caddie tends the flag as the sunsets on the Pete Dye course at the MidValley golf complex on November 21, 2009 in Shenzhen, China.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    "Golf is not, on the whole, a game for realists. By its exactitude's of measurements, it invites the attention of perfectionists."

Bob Hope

27 of 50

    UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 26:  Fred Funk falls to the ground after missing a birdie attempt on the seventh green the Merrill Lynch Skins Game at Trilogy Golf Club at La Quinta in La Quinta, California November 26, 2005.  (Photo by Steve Grayson/Getty Image
    Steve Grayson/Getty Images

    "Isn't it fun to go out on the course and lie in the sun?"

    Fred Funk taking a little rest in the photo.

Percey Boomer

28 of 50

    ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 24:  Ian Poulter of England looks frustrated after his second shot on the 17th hole during the final round of The Abu Dhabi Golf Championship at Abu Dhabi Golf Club on January 24, 2010 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Em
    Andrew Redington/Getty Images

    "If you wish to hide your character, do not play golf."

    Ian Poulter in the photo, a golfer who definitely wears his emotions on his sleeve.

Unknown Author

29 of 50

    CASTELLO, SPAIN - OCTOBER 24:  Sergio Garcia of Spain looks happy after playing his shot through the trees on the 18th hole during the second round of the Castello Masters Costa Azahar at the Club de Campo del Mediterraneo on October 24, 2008 in Castello,
    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

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

    Sergio Garcia with one of those occasional miracles.

David Brenner

30 of 50

    KAPALUA, HI - JANUARY 09:  A television camera records the action during the third round of the SBS Championship at the Plantation course on January 9, 2010 in Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    "I don't like watching golf on TV. I can't stand whispering."

Harry Vardon

31 of 50

    BRIDGEPORT, WV - JUNE 27: Andrew Buckle of Australia hits on the seventh hole during the third round of the Nationwide Tour Players Cup at Pete Dye Golf Club on June 27, 2009 in Bridgeport, West Virginia. (Photo by Chris Keane/Getty Images)
    Chris Keane/Getty Images

    "Don't play too much golf. Two rounds a day are plenty."

John Updike

32 of 50

    THOUSAND OAKS, CA - DECEMBER 04:  Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the fifth hole during round three of the Chevron World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club on December 4, 2010 in Thousand Oaks, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

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

    Tiger Woods shown in photo, who has been trying to unload his suitcase of late as he reinvents his swing.

Dave Marr

33 of 50

    CRANS, SWITZERLAND - SEPTEMBER 03:  Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland shows his frustration after his second shot on the 12th hole during the first round of The Omega European Masters at Crans-Sur-Sierre Golf Club on September 3, 2009 in Crans Montana, Sw
    Andrew Redington/Getty Images

    "Golf's three ugliest words: Still your shot."

    A not-so-happy Darren Clarke in the photo.

Jack Nicklaus

34 of 50

    SOUTHPORT, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 19:  The wind blows the flagstick on the 3rd green during the third round of the 137th Open Championship on July 19, 2008 at Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport, England.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    "The older you get, the stronger the wind gets; and it's always in your face."

Bobby Jones

35 of 50

    "I never learned anything from a match that I won."

Patty Berg

36 of 50

    BRIDGEPORT, WV - JUNE 27: Bob May tee's off on the sixth hole during the third round of the Nationwide Tour Players Cup at Pete Dye Golf Club on June 27, 2009 in Bridgeport, West Virginia. (Photo by Chris Keane/Getty Images)
    Chris Keane/Getty Images

    "The more you play it, the less you know about it."

William Wordsworth

37 of 50

    DANVILLE, CA - OCTOBER 15: Paula Creamer follows through on a tee shot during the second round of the CVS/Pharmacy LPGA Challenge at Blackhawk Country Club on October 15, 2010 in Danville, California. (Photo by Darren Carroll/Getty Images)
    Darren Carroll/Getty Images

    "Golf is a day spent in a round of strenuous idleness."

    Paula Creamer in the photo.

Sam Snead

38 of 50

    HAVRE DE GRACE, MD - JUNE 08: Lorena Ochoa of Mexico's putter grip at the 15th hole during the final round of the 2008 McDonald's LPGA Championship held at Bulle Rock Golf Course, on June 8, 2008 in Havre de Grace, Maryland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty I
    David Cannon/Getty Images

    "If a lot of people gripped a knife and fork the way they do a golf club, they'd starve to death."

Unknown Author

39 of 50

    PEBBLE BEACH, CA - JUNE 19:  Dustin Johnson grabs his putter from his caddie Bobby Brown on the eigth hole during the third round of the 110th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 19, 2010 in Pebble Beach, California.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Get
    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    "Golf is a lot of walking, broken up by disappointment and bad arithmetic."

Martha Beckman

40 of 50

    SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 04:  Bernhard Langer of Germany high fives Fred Couples of the USA after hitting a hole-in-one on the third hole of round 1 of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship at Harding Park Golf Course on November 4, 2010 in San Francisco, C
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    "Man blames fate for other accidents, but feels personally responsible for a hole in one."

    Bernhard Langer in the photo.

Unkown Author

41 of 50

    KAPALUA, HI - OCTOBER 16: Anna Rawson of Australia hits out of the green bunker on the 5th hole during the first round of the Kapalua LPGA Classic on October 16, 2008 at the Bay Course in Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    "Golf is life. If you can't take golf, you can't take life."

    Anna Rawson in photo.

Old Tom Morris

42 of 50

    ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND - JULY 15:  The clubhouse is seen during the first round of the 139th Open Championship on the Old Course, St Andrews on July 15, 2010 in St Andrews, Scotland.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
    David Cannon/Getty Images

    "We were all born with webbed feet and a golf club in our hand." (Referring to people born on the east coast of Scotland.)

John Daly

43 of 50

    HONG KONG - NOVEMBER 18:  John Daly of the United States acknowledges the crowd during day one of the UBS Hong Kong Open at The Hong Kong Golf Club on November 18, 2010 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
    Ian Walton/Getty Images

    "I believe nicotine plus caffeine equals protein."

Carl Spackler

44 of 50

    PEBBLE BEACH, CA - FEBRUARY 13:  Actor Bill Murray tosses his club in the air after sinking a putt on the 18th hole during round three of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach Golf Links on February 13, 2010 in Pebble Beach, California.  (
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    "Correct me if I'm wrong, Sandy, but if I kill all the golfers they'll lock me and up and throw away the key."

Chris Perry

45 of 50

    SUN CITY, SOUTH AFRICA - DECEMBER 02:  The bag of Ernie Els of South Africa during the first round of the 2010 Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club Course  on December 2, 2010 in Sun City, South Africa.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Ima
    Warren Little/Getty Images

    "The worst club in my bag is my brain."

Jack Benny

46 of 50

    ROGERS, AR - SEPTEMBER 12:  Sandra Gal of Germany walks off the first tee during second round play in the P&G Beauty NW Arkansas Championship at the Pinnacle Country Club on September 12, 2009 in Rogers, Arkansas.  (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)
    Dave Martin/Getty Images

    "Give me the fresh air, a beautiful partner, and a nice round of golf, and you can keep the fresh air and the round of golf."

Robert Lynd

47 of 50

    LA JOLLA, CA - JANUARY 30:  The third hole on the South Course at Torrey Pines Golf Course during the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open on January 30, 2010 in La Jolla, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    "It is almost impossible to remember how tragic a place this world is when one is playing golf."

Horace G. Hutchinson

48 of 50

    CELADNA, CZECH REPUBLIC - AUGUST 20:  Peter Hanson of Sweden shows his frustration to a missed birdie putt on the ninth green during the second round of the Czech Open 2010 at Prosper Golf Resort on August 20, 2010 in Celadna, Czech Republic.  (Photo by W
    Warren Little/Getty Images

    "If profanity had an influence on the flight of the ball, the game of golf would be played far better than it is."

    Peter Hanson in the photo, trying to reshape his putter.

Jack Nicklaus

49 of 50

    18 Aug 2000:  A close up of Jack Nicklaus looking on during the PGA Championship, part of the PGA Tour at the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.Mandatory Credit: David Cannon  /Allsport
    David Cannon/Getty Images

    "I think I fail a bit less than everyone else."

Mark Twain

50 of 50

    "Golf is a good walk spoiled."