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The Laws of Golf

In alphabetical order

“Nice lag” may be translated as “lousy putt.” Similarly, “Tough break” means “Way to miss an easy one.” “That’ll play” means “Crappy shot, but I think we can find it!”

99.99% of all matter is empty space, but that last .01% will stop a golf ball dead.

Any ball you can see in the rough from 50 yards away is not yours.

A golf match is a test of your skill against your opponents’ luck.

A golfer hitting into your group will always be bigger than anyone in your group. Likewise, any group you accidentally hit into will consist of a football player, a professional wrestler, a convicted murderer and an IRS agent—or worse.

A good drive on the 18 th hole has stopped many a golfer from giving up the game.

A good golf partner is one who’s always slightly worse than you are... that’s why I get so many calls to play with friends.

A severe slice is a thing of awesome power and beauty.

A stroke does not occur unless it is observed by another golfer.

A two-foot putt counts the same as a two-foot drive.

All 3-woods are demon-possessed. All 3-irons are possessed by a legion of demons.

All vows taken on a golf course are valid only until sunset.

An extra ball in the pocket is worth two strokes in the bush.

Any swing change works for a maximum of three holes and a minimum of not at all.

Brand new golf balls are water-magnetic and, while this cannot be measured scientifically, the more expensive the ball, the greater this water-magnetism.

Confidence evaporates in the presence of fairway water.

Counting on your opponent to inform you when he breaks a rule is like expecting him to make fun of his own haircut.

Counting on your opponent to inform you when he breaks a rule is like expecting him to make fun of his own hair-cut.

Don’t buy a putter until you’ve had a chance to throw it.

During your swing, never think about more than a hundred separate things.

Errors go somewhere. If your driver is hot, your putter is ice cold; if you can hit your irons, you will top your woods; if you keep your right elbow tucked in, your head will come up.

Every par-three hole in the world has a secret desire to humiliate golfers. The shorter the hole, the greater that desire.

Every time a golfer makes a birdie, he must subsequently make two triple bogeys to restore the fundamental equilibrium of the universe.

Everyone replaces his divot after a perfect approach shot.

Golf balls are like eggs. They’re white. They’re sold by the dozen. And you need to buy fresh ones each week.

Golf balls from the same “sleeve” tend to follow one another, particularly out of bounds or into water.

Golf balls never bounce off of trees into play. If one does, the tree is breaking a law of the universe and should be cut down.

Golf carts always die at the point on the course that’s farthest from the clubhouse.

Golf is the perfect Sunday activity because you always pray a lot.

Golf should be given up regularly.

Golfers who claim they never cheat also lie.

Hazards attract; fairways repel.

If it’s not broke, change your grip.

If there is a ball on the fringe and a ball in the bunker, your ball is in the bunker. If both balls are in the bunker, yours is in the footprint.

If there’s a storm rolling in, you’ll be having the game of your life.

If you really want to get better at golf, take it up at an earlier age.

If you want to hit a 7 iron as far as Tiger Woods does, try to lay up just short of a water hazard.

If you’re afraid that a full shot might reach the green while the foursome ahead of you is still putting out, you have two options: immediately shank a lay-up or wait until the green is clear and then top the ball.

If your opponent has trouble remembering whether he shot a six or a seven, he probably shot an eight.

It takes at least five holes to notice that a club is missing.

It takes longer to learn to be a good golfer than it does to become a brain surgeon. Of course, you don’t get to ride in a cart, drink beer, smoke cigars and fart while performing brain surgery.

It takes roughly 17 holes to get reallywarmed up.

It’s a simple matter to keep your ball in the fairway if you’re not choosy about which fairway.

It’s always winter somewhere.

It’s amazing how a golfer who never helps out around the house will replace his divots, repair his ball marks, and rake his sand traps.

It’s easier to get up at 6 AM to play golf than at 10 AM to mow the yard

It’s not a gimme if you’re still away.

It’s often necessary to hit a second drive to really appreciate your first drive.

It’s surprisingly easy to hole a 50-foot putt when you lie 10.

Knowing the swing weight of your club is as indispensable to playing good golf as knowing the temperature of the fairway grass.

Never leave your opponent with the sole responsibility for thinking of all the things that might go wrong with his shot.

No matter how bad you play, it is always possible to play worse.

No matter how bad your last shot was, the worst is yet to come. This law does not expire on the 18 th hole, since it has the supernatural tendency to extend over the course of a tournament, a summer and, eventually, a lifetime.

No matter what causes a golfer to muff a shot, his playing partners must solemnly chant “You looked up!”

No one with funny head covers ever broke par.

No putt ever got longer as the result of a ball being marked.

Nonchalant putts count the same as ’chalant putts

Nothing straightens out a nasty slice quicker than a sharp dogleg to the right.

One birdie is a hot streak.

Palm trees eat golf balls.

Sand is alive. What else could explain the way it works against you?

Since bad shots come in groups of three, your fourth consecutive bad shot is really the beginning of your next group of three.

The ball always lands where the pin was yesterday.

The frequency with which balls are lost increases as the available supply decreases.

The game of golf is 90% mental and 10% mental.

The higher a golfer’s handicap, the more qualified he deems himself as an instructor.

The inevitable result of any golf lesson is the instant elimination of the one critical unconscious motion that allowed you to compensate for all your other errors.

The last three holes of a round always adjust your score to what it really should be.

The less skilled the player, the more likely he is to share his ideas about your swing.

The lowest numbered iron in your bag will always be impossible to hit.

The only difference between a one-dollar ball and a four-dollar ball is three dollars.

The only sure way to get a par is to leave a four-foot birdie putt two inches short of the hole.

The person you most hate to lose to is always the one who beats you.

The rake is always on the side of the bunker farthest away from your ball.

The secret of golf is: use your real swing to take the big divot, use your practice swing to make the shot, and always hit your do-over first.

The shortest distance between any two points on a golf course is a straight line that passes directly through the center of a very large tree.

The wind is in your face on 16 of the 18 holes.

There are only two things you can learn by stopping your backswing at the top and checking the position of your hands: how many hands you have and which one is wearing the glove.

There are two kinds of bounces: unfair bounces and bounces just the way you meant to play it.

To calculate the speed of a player’s downswing, multiply the speed of his backswing by his handicap. Example: backswing 20 mph, handicap 15, downswing 600 mph.

Topping a 3-iron is the most painful torture known to man.

Whatever you think you’re doing wrong is the one thing you’re doing right.

When you look up, causing an awful shot, you will always look down again at exactly the moment when you ought to start watching the ball if you ever want to see it again.

When your shot has to carry over a water hazard, you can either hit one more club or two more balls.

You can hear thunder a hundred miles away when you’re three holes down with three to play.

You can hit a two acre fairway 10% of the time but a two inch branch 90% of the time.

You can put “draw” on the ball, you can put “fade” on the ball, but no golfer can put “straight” on the ball.

You know your golf game is bad when you have to have your ball retriever re-gripped!

Your best round of golf will be immediately followed by your worst round. The probability of the latter increases with the number of people you tell about the former.

Your straightest iron shot of the day will be exactly one club short.



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© 1998 - 2010 by Al Lowe • All Rights Reserved • Updated September 9, 2010