The 1502 Collection of Golf Quotes

Anonymous Says

  • Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of. – Anonymous 
  • Positive and negative are directions. Which direction do you choose? – Anonymous 
  • Roll with the punches. – Anonymous

 Architects Speak

  • A round of golf should permit 18 inspirations. – Golf course architect A. W. Tillinghast (1874 to 1942). His courses include: Baltusrol, Bethpage State Park (Black), San Francisco Golf Club, Winged Foot (West and East)
  • The ardent golfer would play Mount Everest if somebody would put a flagstick on top. – Golf course architect Pete Dye (born 1925), his designs include Whistling Straits, The Ocean Course and the Long Cove Club
  • There is an ideal route for every golf hole ever built. The more precisely you can identify it, the greater your chances for success. – 18-time Major winner Jack Nicklaus (born 1940)
  • A good golf course makes you want to play so badly that you hardly have time to change your shoes. – Two-time Masters winner Ben Crenshaw (born 1952), who designed Sand Hills and Bandon Trails with Bill Coore

 Arnold Palmer Quotes (1929 to 2016) Seven-time Major winner

Masters Tournament -- Won: 1958, 1960, 1962, 1964
U.S. Open -- Won: 1960
The Open Championship -- Won: 1961, 1962

  • What other people may find in poetry or art museums, I find in the flight of a good drive. – Arnold Palmer
  • You’ve got to think you can win, no matter what age you are. – Arnold Palmer
  • Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated; it satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening -- and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented. – Arnold Palmer

Attitude Is Everything 

  • The difference between can and cannot are only three letters. Three letters that determine your life's direction! - Anonymous 
  • To play well you must feel tranquil and at peace. I have never been troubled by nerves in golf because I felt I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. – Harry Vardon, British professional (1870 – 1937), who won six (British) Open Championships and one U.S. Open
  • Be brave, be bold, and take your best shot. – 1967 Masters champion Gay Brewer (1932 to 2007)
  • The old cliché that confidence breeds confidence and success breeds success, it’s true. – 1996 British Open champion Tom Lehman (born 1959) 
  • I turn with a six-stroke lead. I’m not happy with a two-shot win. I want more. I want to demoralize them. – U.S. Open and British Open champion Johnny Miller (born 1947)
  • Even if you hit 40 bad shots, you should still keep trying. The other fellow might have hit 41. – Gary Player (born 1935), winner of nine Majors   
  • You must always be positive, because your body can only do what your brain sees. -Chi Chi Rodriquez (born 1935), winner of eight PGA Tour tournaments
  • You don’t have to be better than everybody else, you just have to be better than you ever thought you could be. – Ken Venturi (1931 to 2013), who won the U.S. Open in 1964
  • When they say golf is 90 percent mental, they’re really talking about attitude. The right attitude is the first step of playing your best. – LPGA player and instructor Wendy Ward 
  • You’ve got to have the guts not to be afraid to screw up. The guys who win are the one who are not afraid to mess up. And that comes right from the heart. – 1979 Masters and 1984 U.S. Open champion Fuzzy Zoeller (born 1951)

Be The Ball 

  • To play well you must feel tranquil and at peace. I have never been troubled by nerves in golf because I felt I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. – Englishman Harry Vardon, British professional (1870 to 1937), who won six British Opens and one U.S. Open

Bets and Betting

  • I never go looking for a sucker. I look for a champion and make a sucker out of him. - Golf hustler “Amarillo Slim” Preston (1928 to 2012)
  • Most people who like gambling don’t even know why they like it. They like it for the same reason they like ice cream. It floods the pleasure centers of their brains. They’re playing more for personal reward than to inflict pain. – Sports psychologist Dr. Gio Valiante, from Golf Digest, May 2015
  • The presses, gamesmanship and personalities, they’re all clutter. Forget about them. If you orient yourself to your opponent or the bet, that’s when you chokes. Focus on the golf course, your next shot and especially the target. Do that and the results will take care of themselves. - Sports psychologist Dr. Gio Valiante, from Golf Digest, May 2015

Bobby Jones Quotes (1902 to 1971) 13-Time Major Winner

U.S. Open -- Won: 1923, 1926, 1929, 1930
The (British) Open Championship -- Won: 1926, 1927, 1930
PGA Championship -- DNP
U.S. Amateur -- Won: 1924, 1925, 1927, 1928, 1930
British Amateur -- Won: 1930

  • Some people think they are concentrating when they’re merely worrying. – Bobby Jones, who won what was then considered to be The Grand Slam (U.S. Open, The Open Championship, U.S. Amateur and British Amateur) in 1930.
  • No-one will ever have golf under his thumb. No round ever will be so good it could not have been better. Perhaps this is why golf is the greatest of games. – Bobby Jones
  • It is nevertheless a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul. - Bobby Jones, who co- founded Augusta National Golf Club with Clifford Roberts (1894 to 1977) in 1933.
  • The secret of golf is to turn three shots into two. – Bobby Jones 


  • Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out. – Basketball coach John Wooden (1910 to 2010), whose UCLA teams won 10 national championships in 12 years 

Confidently Speaking

  • They say I get into too many bunkers. But is no problem. I am the best bunker player. - Five-time Major winner Seve Ballesteros (1957 to 2011)
  • Confidence comes from hard work. It comes from facing different situations and making putts. It comes from knowing you’ve worked on the right think, so when you get under the gun, you can execute what you’ve practiced. – 2001 (British) Open Champion David Duval (born 1971)


  • Putting greens are to golf courses what faces are to portraits. – Canadian-born golf-course architect Charles B. Macdonald (1855 to 1935). In 1892, he founded and designed the 9-hole Chicago Golf Club in Downers Grove, IL. In 1893, it became the first 18-hole course in the United States. In 1895, the club relocated to Wheaton, IL, which is still its home
  • A good golf course is like good music or good anything else. It is not necessarily a good course which appeals the first time one plays it, but one which grows on the player the more frequently they visit it. – Golf course architect Dr. Alister Mackenzie (1870 to 1934). Two of his best-known designs are: Augusta National, along with Bobby Jones, and Cypress Point with Robert Hunter
  • If there's a golf course in heaven, I hope it's like Augusta National. I just don't want an early tee time. – Nine-time Major winner Gary Player (born 1935)
  • The Old Course (St. Andrews) is a puzzle … and no one’s ever going to completely figure it out. – Tom Watson, who was a psychology major at Stanford
  • No other game combines the wonder of nature with the discipline of sport in such carefully planned ways. A great golf course both frees and challenges a golfer's mind. – Eight-time Major winner Tom Watson (born 1949)
  • For the most part, minimalism is just good common sense, a refusal to let arbitrary design ideas outweigh the realities of the site. Instead of reshaping a severe slope, we try to figure out how to use it to make a golf hole interesting. If it is just too severe, we’ll try a sequence of holes that avoids it entirely. The bulldozer is our third and last option. – Course architect Tom Doak, whose courses include Pacific Dunes in Oregon; Ballyneal in Colorado; Barnbougle Dunes in Tasmania; Cape Kidnappers in New Zealand, and Streamsong Blue in central Florida.
  • There’s no canvas more vast than a golf course.Alan Shipnuck, from the Sports Illustrated article, Look At Me Now, which was about Michelle Wie (June 30, 2014)

David Owen Quotes

David (born 1955) is an American author. He writes a golf blog, My Usual Game. The titles of his golf books are: Hit and Hope, The Making of the Masters, My Usual Game and The Chosen One (a profile of Tiger Woods).

  • Hit a golf ball well and every neuron in your body yearns to duplicate the experience. Like kissing, it’s a pleasure that repetition can’t diminish. I remember my first good golf shot – a four-iron that somehow soared two hundred yards down the middle of a gently left-bending fairway – as thought I hit it last week. The shot was a fluke, of course, but it made a visceral impression. That’s it, I thought immediately; give me another one of those. -- DO
  • Golfers who carry ball retrievers are gatherers, not hunters. Their dreams are no longer of conquest, but only of salvage. -- DO 
  • The best golf trips, unlike vacations that wives plan, never leave you wondering what you are going to do next. There is never an empty three-hour time block in which you might suddenly be expected to look at churches, go shopping, read a book, or take a nap. You never have to wait between golf and beer, or between beer and show, or between shower and dinner. When one agreeable activity ends, another begins. -- DO 
  • One of my classmates at golf school had a low, cramped swing in which he scarcely got his hands above the level of his elbows. The teachers moved his feet, changed his grip, and gave him drills to work on. “Oh, God, I can’t believe how weird this feels!” he crowed at one point, thrilled to have had his game turned upside down. The rest of us glanced at one another in amazement: the guy looked exactly the same. -- DO
  • Unless the United States Golf Association raises its club limit from fourteen to two hundred and twelve, I am someday going to have to face the fact that I have wasted some very serious money on golf equipment. I don’t regret any of my purchases individually, but I am disquieted when I consider them in the aggregate. My collection of clubs, even if viewed solely as scrap metal, represents a major investment. A cupboard in my basement contains nothing but superfluous head covers. Despair has the same relaxing effect on a golf swing that self-assurance does and it’s far easier for most of us to come by: Hopelessness is the poor man’s confidence. The most dangerous player in match play is the one who has mentally surrendered, because conscientious effort is the gremlin that destroys a chopper’s swing. We all play better when we play alone, because when no one is looking and nothing is at stake we ourselves stop paying attention. As soon as the outcome begins to matter to us, though, we go back to getting in our way. -- DO 
  • Many of golf’s best moments occur off the course. There are beers on the patio when your round is over. There is the midnight inspiration that send you tiptoeing into the backyard in your pajamas with a pitching wedge and a sleeve of balls. There are the equipment catalogues that make you feel like a kid with an inside track to Santa Claus. There is that first glimpse of Amen Corner on TV each April -- official proof that winter is gone. And there is the pile of golf books and magazines that teeters next to your chair, ready to return you to your favorite frame of mind whenever it’s too cold, too dark, or too wet to play. -- DO 

Deep Thoughts

  • It is better to play than do nothing. – Chinese philosopher Confucius (551 BC to 479 BC)
  • I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing. – Greek philosopher Socrates (469–399 B.C.E.)
  • Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced. -- Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) Danish theologian (You could easily substitute “Golf” for “Life.”) 
  • Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. – British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874 to 1965)


  • The way I hit the ball today, I need to go to the range. Instead, I think I’ll go to the bar. – Ten-time PGA tour winner Fuzzy Zoeller (born 1951). Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka was first distributed in 2009

Full Swing

  • What am I thinking about? My only real thought is, right hand and arm drive the swing. That’s it. I’m literally trying to make a sidearm throwing motion -- like a 3-6-3 double play in baseball. If more golfers swung with the same motion, as if they were skipping stones, they’d pound the ball. – 2014 Re/Max World Long Drive Champion Jeff Flagg (From Golf Digest, May 2015) 
  • Hitting the ball far is culmination of things. You gotta be strong. You gotta be fast. And it all has to work together. But if you’re asking me what matters most, it’s solid contact. Hit it in the middle of the clubface and even if you didn’t do everything right, it’s still going to go somewhere. -- 2014 Re/Max World Long Drive Champion Jeff Flagg, from Golf Digest, May 2015 
  • Push off with your back foot to start down. – Golf instructor Hank Haney (born 1955), from Golf Digest, March 2015 
  • This can be stated categorically: it is utterly impossible for any golfer to play good golf without a swing that will repeat. – Nine-time Major winner Ben Hogan (1912 to 1997), from his book, Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf 
  • Facing a hybrid off tight turf can be unnerving and result in a shorter, “safer” swing. A good thought to override the fear of a mis-hit and complete the backswing is, turn your chest away from the target. – Golf instructor David Leadbetter (born 1952), from Golf Digest, March 2015 
  • When you are under a tree and have to keep the ball below the branches, find the easiest way out, grab your 5-iron, move the ball a little back in your stance, and take a short swing with the intent to make solid contact and bunt it back to the fairway. Dropping one shot isn’t so bad, and you might even manage to save par. – 2016 Open Championship winner Henrik Stenson (born 1976), from Golf Digest, March 2015 
  • The swing is basically a half-sidearm, half-underhand throw. – PGA pro Kevin Streelman (born 1978), from Golf Digest, May 2015


  • Golf may be played on Sunday, not being a game within the view of the law, but being a form of moral effort. -- Canadian writer and economist Stephen Leacock (1869 to 1944)
  • Golf is like a love affair. If you don’t take it seriously, it’s no fun; if you do take it seriously, it breaks your heart. – American actor and playwright Arnold Daly (1875 to 1927)
  • Golf can best be defined as an endless series of tragedies obscured by the occasional miracle. – English humor writer P.J. Wodehouse (1881 to 1975). His books on golf include The Clicking of Cuthbert and Fore!: The Best of Woodhouse on Golf
  • Golf ... is the infallible test. The man who can go into a patch of rough alone, with the knowledge that only God is watching him, and play his ball where it lies, is the man who will serve you faithfully and well. ― English humorist P.G. Wodehouse 
  • The sauce of golf is in its variety. -- Horace G. Hutchinson, author of Hints on Golf (1886)
  • It is thus a game for players of all degrees and ages; for the veteran of seventy, as for the boy of seven. It cannot be learnt too soon, and it is never too late to begin it. -- Horace G. Hutchinson, from his book Golf (1890)
  • The game of golf consists in playing a ball, in as few strokes as possible, from certain starting places, called teeing-grounds, with various clubs, suited to the nature of the stroke, into a succession of holes cut in the ground at varying distances. -- Garden Grant Smith, from his book Golf (1897, Lawrence and Bullen, Ltd.)
  • It is nevertheless a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul. -- Bobby Jones, co-founder of Augusta National Golf Club
  • Golf is an open exhibition of overweening ambition, courage deflated by stupidity, skill scoured by a whiff of arrogance. – British journalist and TV personality Alistair Cooke (1908 to 2004)
  • Golf is the Lord’s punishment for man’s sins. – New York Times columnist and editor James Reston (1909 to 1995)
  • Golf is not, on the whole, a game for realists. By its exactitude's of measurements, it invites the attention of perfectionists. – Author Heywood Hale Broun (1918 to 2001)
  • Golf is very much like a love affair, if you don't take it seriously, it's no fun, if you do, it breaks your heart. Don't break your heart, but flirt with the possibility. – Louise Suggs (born 1923), winner of 11 Majors and one of the founders of the LPGA Tour
  • They say golf is like life, but don't believe them. Golf is more complicated than that. – PGA Tour player Gardner Dickinson (1927 to 1998)
  • Golf is the only sport that a professional can enjoy playing with his friends. Can Larry Holmes enjoy fighting one of his friends? -- Chi Chi Rodriguez (born 1935)
  • Golf is just one thing to me – the pure pleasure of the golf swing. – LPGA player Mickey Wright (born 1935), who won 91 times worldwide, including 13 Majors
  • GOLF: A passion, an obsession, a romance, a nice acquaintanceship with trees, sand, and water. – Sportswriter Bob Ryan (born 1946)
  • Extraordinary golf comes not from just doing things differently, but from a new way of being. Play with enthusiasm, play with freedom. Appreciate the beauty of nature and the people around you. Realize how lucky you are to be playing golf. All too soon your time will be up, and you won’t be able to play anymore. – The Kansas City Country Club single-digit handicapper Bill Quirk
  • Golf is a game of days … and I can beat anyone on my day. – Masters and U.S. Open champion Fuzzy Zoeller (born 1951)
  • Golf is perpetual loss and rediscovery. – Sportswriter Thomas Boswell (born 1953)
  • Golf isn't like other sports where you can take a player out if he's having a bad day. You have to play the whole game. – Three-time PGA winner Phil Blackmar (born 1957)

Golf Is A Funny Game

  • Golf is so popular simply because it is the best game inthe world at which to be bad. – Winnie-the-Pooh author A.A. Milne (1882 to 1956)
  • Handicap: A device for collective bargaining on the first tee. – Anonymous
  • Many a golfer prefers a golf cart to a caddy because the cart cannot count, criticize or laugh. -- Anonymous
  • Stand proud you noble swingers of clubs and losers of balls. A recent study found the average golfer walks about 900 miles a year. Another study found golfers drink, on average, 22 gallons of alcohol a year. That means, on average, golfers get about 41 miles to the gallon. -- Anonymous
  • Golf may be played on Sunday, not being a game within the view of the law, but being a form of moral effort. -- Canadian writer and economist Stephen Leacock (1869 to 1944)
  • Golf ... is the infallible test. The man who can go into a patch of rough alone, with the knowledge that only God is watching him, and play his ball where it lies, is the man who will serve you faithfully and well. ― English humorist P.G. Wodehouse (1881 to 1975)
  • It is more satisfying to be a bad player at golf. The worse you play, the better you remember the occasional good shot. – American petroleum magnate Nubar Gulbenkian (1896 to 1972)
  • Three things there are as unfathomable as they are fascinating to the masculine mind: metaphysics, golf, and the feminine heart. – Arnold Haultain, from his book The Mystery of Golf (1910)
  • Play good, putt bad. Putt good, play bad ... That's every golfer's complaint. You can't have it all. God won't let you. So you go out to play a round and you either expect to play good, putt bad, or putt good, play bad. Usually you find out which way it'll go on the first two or three holes. -- PGA professional Bobby Joe Grooves, from the book The Money-Whipped Steer-Job Three-Jack Give-Up Artist by Dan Jenkins (born 1929)
  • Nothing goes down slower than a golf handicap. – Bobby Nichols (born 1936), winner of the 1964 PGA Championship
  • Golf is a funny game, but it wasn’t meant to be. – Charles Price, author of the book, A Golf Story
  • Golf combines two favorite American pastimes: taking long walks and hitting things with a stick. – Humorist P.J. O'Rourke (born 1947)
Golf: The Mind Game
  • Thinking must be the hardest thing to do in golf, because we do so little of it. – Golf instructor and author Harvey Penick (1904 to 1995)
  • Do not be ashamed of choking … any golfer who has never choked on the golf course should be in an asylum … Sooner or later all normal human beings encounter situations on the course that they are not, at that particular moment, emotionally capable of handling. – Two-time PGA Championship winner Paul Runyan (1908 to 2002)
  • Thinking instead of acting is the number-one golf disease. – Sam Snead (1912 to 2002), who won seven Majors
  • Golf is probably some kind of mental disorder like gambling or women or politics. – Dan Jenkins, from his book, Dead Solid Perfect
  • Being left-handed is a big advantage. No one knows enough about your swing to mess you up with advice. – Left-hander Bob Charles (born 1936), winner of the 1963 British Open
  • The person I fear most in the last two rounds (of a tournament) is myself. – Tom Watson, who won 39 times on the PGA Tour
  • It’s terrifying to think of all the gremlins that can creep into your game. Our margin for error is infinitesimal. – Roger Maltbie (born 1951), who won five times on the PGA Tour
  • The worst club in my bag is my brain. – Chris Perry (born 1961), who has one PGA Tour victory
  • The game is a mighty teacher – never deviatin’ from its sacred rules, always ready to lead us on. In all o’ that ‘tis a microcosm o’ the world, a good stage for the drama of self-discovery. And I say to ye all, good friends, that as ye grow in gowf, ye come to see the thing ye learn there in every other place. -- Golf professional and mystic Shivas Irons, from the book, Golf in the Kingdom (1972)
  • After each practice session and each round of golf, ask yourself the question, “What did I learn?” regardless of the results. I really want you to think deeply about what you learn about yourself – your moods, the way you think, the things your value, and the way you feel about life and golf. Then truly honor what you’ve discovered about your inner self. – Dr. Marlin Mackenzie, from his book, Golf: The Mind Game

Great Observations

  • Give me a man with big hands, big feet and no brain and I will make a golfer out of him. – Winner of 52 professional tournaments Walter Hagen (1892 to 1969)
  • Golf is the cruelest of sports. Like life, it’s unfair. – Sportswriter Jim Murray (1919 to 1998)
  • Golf is a game that is measured in yards, but the difference between a hit and a miss is callipered in millimeters. – Tony Lema (1934 to 1966), winner of the 1964 (British) Open Championship
  • One of the most fascinating things about golf is how it reflects the cycle of life. No matter what you shoot -- the next day you have to go back to the first tee and begin all over again and make yourself into something. – Peter Jacobsen, a winner of seven PGA Tour tournaments
  • In football, some coaches have stated, “When you throw a football pass, three things can happen: two of them are bad.” In golf, there is no limit. – Sportswriter Marino Parascenzo, who received the PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism in 2008


  • No pressure, no diamonds. – Scottish writer Thomas Carlyle (1795 to 1881)
  • By "guts" I mean, grace under pressure. – American author Ernest Hemingway (1899 to 1961)
  • The most important shot in golf is the next one. -- Ben Hogan
  • The pressure makes me more intent about each shot. Pressure on the last few holes makes me play better. – Three-time Major winner Nancy Lopez (born 1957)
  • Do not be ashamed of choking. Any golfer who has never choked on a golf course should be in an asylum. – In 1959, at age 19, Jack Nicklaus won the U.S. Amateur
  • Don’t let the bad shot get to you. Don’t let yourself become angry. The true scramblers are thick-skinned. And they always beat the whiners. -- Paul Runyan (1908 to 2002), winner of two PGA Championships
  • We all choke. You just try to choke last. – Tom Watson (born 1949)


  • A hole in one is amazing when you think of the different universes this white mass of molecules has to pass through on its way to the hole. -- Former PGA player and teaching guru Mac O’Grady (born 1951)

 If You Are A Golf Nut

  • You can fiddle and tinker with your golf stuff all year round – wash & dry your grips; change your spikes; inspect your supply of golf balls; clean out your bag; organize your golf shirts by style and color; find a home for your collection of golf magazines; plan your next golf trip; surf the net for the best new courses in the world; re-read Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book; set up a miniature golf course in your den.  The list is virtually endless. -- The 1502 editor


  • I don't look to jump over 7-foot bars: I look around for 1-foot bars that I can step over. – Berkshire Hathaway Chairman, President & CEO Warren Buffett (born 1930)
  • If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, 'thank you,' that would suffice. -- German theologian Meister Eckhart (1260 to 1328)
  • The greatest power that a person possesses is the power to choose. -- J. Martin Kohe, author of Your Greatest Power
  • It takes a total commitment to excellence to understand why everything matters. -- Buzz Willard, Tower Properties president, Kansas City, Missouri and a solid 12 handicapper

Jack Nicklaus  (Born 1940) Winner of 18 Majors

Masters Tournament -- Won: 1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975,1986
U.S. Open -- Won: 1962, 1967, 1972,1980
The Open Championship -- Won: 1966, 1970, 1978
PGA Championship -- Won: 1963, 1971, 1973, 1975,1980

  • I don’t think you can ever will yourself to win. I think you prepare yourself the best you can, get yourself in the best mindset you can get in, and go after it. – Jack Nicklaus
  • Do not be ashamed of choking. Any golfer who has never choked on a golf course should be in an asylum. – Jack Nicklaus
  • Remember, the greatest swing in the world won’t score if it’s mis-aimed. – Jack Nicklaus, from his book, Play Better Golf: the Swing from A –Z
  • When I turned professional, suddenly I had all the time and opportunity I needed. And I discovered, fast, that my dream was just that: a dream. Not matter how much work I did, one week I would have it and the next I couldn’t hit my hat. – Jack Nicklaus, from his book, Golf My Way
  • Swing slower has always been a good thought for me when I want some extra power. – Besides winning 18 Majors, Nicklaus finished second 19 times
  • There is an ideal route for every golf hole ever built. The more precisely you can identify it, the greater your chances for success. – Jack Nicklaus


  • The secret of golf is to turn three shots into two. – Bobby Jones, who co-designed Augusta National Golf Club with Dr. Alister MacKenzie
  • Selecting a putting stroke is like selecting a wife. To each his own. – Nine-time Major winner Ben Hogan
  • Adjust your aim when you are on a slope. Off a downslope or when the ball is below your feet, aim to the left of where you want the ball to finish. Off an upslope or when the ball is above your feet, aim right. – Gary McCord, from his book, Golf For Dummies
  • Remember, the greatest swing in the world won’t score if it’s mis-aimed. – Jack Nicklaus, from his book, Play Better Golf: the Swing from A –Z
  • Try Smarter, Not Harder. – Moe Norman (1929 to 2004), who won 55 times on the Canadian Tour
  • Looking up is the biggest alibi ever invented to explain a terrible shot. By the time you look up, you’ve already made the mistake that caused the bad shot. – From Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book  
  • Topping the ball is often the result of trying to lift the ball into the air, rather than hitting down on it. – From Golf Magazine’s Private Lessons (August 2008)
  • I always check my students’ clubs before a lesson and I see a lot of grips that should be replaced … Worn grips can cause you to position the club in the wrong place in your hand, and the tendency is to squeeze to tightly. – Dr. T.J. Tomasi, from his book, Ask The Pro
  • Turn with your chest. As you take away the club, focus on turning your chest away from the target – your arms, hands and club are just along for the ride. This creates the controlled coil you need for big drives. – Kevin Walker, Golf Magazine Top 100 teacher

Love Of The Game

  • When you fall in love with golf, you seldom fall easy. It's obsession at first sight. – Sportswriter Thomas Boswell (born 1953)
  • Don't play too much golf. Two rounds a day are plenty. – Englishman Harry Vardon (1870 to 1937), who was elected to the World Golf of Fame in 1974
  • No other game combines the wonder of nature with the discipline of sport in such carefully planned ways. A great golf course both frees and challenges a golfer's mind. – Eight-time major winner Tom Watson
  • When you fall in love with golf, you seldom fall easy. It's obsession at first sight. – Sportswriter Thomas Boswell (born 1953)
  • Go play golf. Go to the golf course. Hit the ball. Find the ball, repeat until the ball is in the hole. Have fun. The end. – Golf instructor and psychologist Chuck Hogan
  • How beautiful a day can be when the course is open! – Chuck Hunter, co-founder of The 1502

Major Advice (You can learn from the very best golfers in history.)

  • Work on the feeling of turning the shoulders fully, then keeping them fully coiled as long as you can while your knees move targetwards and your hips unwind.” – Jack Nicklaus (18 majors)
  • Don’t attempt a specialty shot in competition that you haven’t practiced. –Tiger Woods (14 majors)
  • Since it is beyond all reasonable expectations that a person may hole a chip shot, little will be gained by playing always for the hole … There are times when a four-foot uphill putt is a far less annoying proposition than one of half that length across a keen slope. – Bobby Jones (13 majors)
  • You don't have the game you played last year or last week. You only have today's game. It may be far from your best, but that's all you've got. Harden your heart and make the best of it. – Walter Hagen (11 majors)
  • Whether you are playing a full driver or a 5-iron or a wedge, you make no conscious variation in the way you perform your swing. Without knowing it, your swing will change slightly as the length of the shaft of the club changes. – Ben Hogan (9 majors)
  • No bunker shot has ever scared me, and none ever will. The key to this bravado is practice. I’ve practiced and experimented from hundreds of lies with various swings, in effect creating a data bank in my memory that I can call on no matter what kind of sand shot I’m facing. Just as important, I’ve developed my imagination to the point that I’m confident I can think my way out of any bunker, no matter how tough the lie. -- Gary Player (9 majors)
  • I hear players say they want to hit first to put the pressure on. Not me. I’d rather hit second in match play no matter what my opponent does. I want all the information possible so I know what I have to do. If my opponent hits a terrific shot, I know I have to hit a terrific shot. If he get in trouble, my options change. – Tom Watson (8 majors)
  • The two mistakes I see most often from amateurs are lifting up and hitting the equator of the ball, sending it into the next county, or taking a divot of sand large enough to bury a cat. – Sam Snead (7 majors)
  • If you are in the woods, don’t act like a seamstress. Your job is not to thread needles but to get the ball back into the fairway. – Arnold Palmer (7 majors)
  • When you talk turkey with a businessman, you must look squarely at him during the entire conversation. It’s the same with putting. – Gene Sarazen (7 majors)
  • More matches are lost through carelessness at the beginning than any other cause. -- Harry Vardon (7 majors)

On Ben Hogan

  • All I know is I've seen Jack Nicklaus watch Hogan practice. I've never seen Hogan watch Nicklaus practice. -- “Terrible Tommy” Bolt (1916 to 2008)
  • Hogan on the golf course. You almost felt sorry for the golf course. – LA Times sports columnist Jim Murray (1919 to 1998)

Practice, Practice, Practice

  • Ball-striking comes from a tremendous amount of confidence. And confidence comes from working extremely hard. – Six-time Major winner Lee Trevino (born 1939)


Here's to the man with club in hand
Here's to the king of bogey land;
Here's to the clubs with outlandish names
And here's to golf, the game of games!
-- The Father Gander Golf Book (1909)


A Golfer’s Blessing

May your drives be long and straight,
May your putts be short and true, and,
May there ever be a bit of green grass under every lie.

The Golf Gods’ Prayer

Do not be indifferent – to this day, to each other, to this game.

Prayer for Good Health

Lord, may I live long enough to shoot my age!

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity  to accept the shots I miss,
The courage to try, try again,
And the wisdom not to throw my clubs in the lake.


  • The bottom line? Don't be afraid to make physical changes to your putting stroke in the quest to get better, but do it it a systematic way, and don't neglect your mental preparation and attitude. – Golf Digest writer Matthew Rudy (2016)
  • Putts get real difficult the day they hand out the money. -- Lee Trevino, who was born in Dallas in 1939
Quotable Caddyshack

Caddyshack (1980) is an American film classic. Well, if not quite a classic in the To Kill a Mockingbird sense, but it is off-the-charts funny.

Judge Smails (Ted Knight): You know, you should play with Dr. Beeper and myself. I mean, he's been club champion for three years running and I'm no slouch myself.

Ty Webb (Chevy Chase): Don't sell yourself short Judge, you're a tremendous slouch.


Carl Spackler (Bill Murray): Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac... It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!


Ty Webb (Chevy Chase): Don't be obsessed with your desires Danny. The Zen philosopher Basha once wrote, “A flute with no holes, is not a flute. A donut with no hole, is a Danish.” He was a funny guy.


Judge Smails (Ted Knight): Ty, what did you shoot today?

Ty Webb (Chevy Chase): Oh, Judge, I don’t keep score.

Judge Smails: Then how do you measure yourself with other golfers?

Ty Webb: By height.


Ty Webb (Chevy Chase): Danny. Danny, I'm going to give you a little advice. There's a force in the universe that makes things happen; all you have to do is get in touch with it. Stop thinking, let things happen, and be the ball.

 Quotes We Like (These quotes apply to both life and golf.)

  • There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth ... not going all the way, and not starting. -- Buddha (c. 563 BC to 483 BC)
  • No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man. – Heraclitus, late 6th century BC Greek philosopher
  • I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. -- Galileo Galilei (1564 to 1642), an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher
  • Nothing great in the world was accomplished without passion. -- German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770 – 1831)
  • Doubt, of whatever kind, can be ended by action alone. – Scottish writer Thomas Carlyle (1795 -1881)
  • Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain (1835 to 1910)
  • Use the talents you possess, for the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except the best. – American author and clergyman Henry van Dyke (1852 to 1933)
  • I experience a period of frightening clarity in those moments when nature is so beautiful. I am no longer sure of myself, and the paintings appear as in a dream. – French impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh (1853 to 1890)
  • Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing. -- Oscar Wilde (1854 to 1900), from The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • One eye sees, the other feels. -- Swiss painter and writer Paul Klee (1879 to 1940)
  • Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. – Englishman A. A. Milne (1882 to 1956), author of the Winnie-the-Pooh books
  • Worry retards reaction and makes clear-cut decisions impossible. – Pilot/Adventurer Amelia Earhart (born 1897); she disappeared during an attempt to make a circumnavigation flight of the globe in 1937
  • You can't create experience, you undergo it. – French existential writer Albert Camus (1913-1960)
  • Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else’s can shorten it. – American writer Cullen Hightower (1923 to 2008)
  • Your power is in your thoughts, so stay awake. In other words, remember to remember. -- Australian writer Rhonda Byrne (born 1951), from her book The Secret
  • Weekends don't count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless. -- Calvin of Calvin & Hobbs, which was written and drawn by Bill Waterson (born 1958)
  • We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand. If I don't seem as depressed or morose as I should be, I'm sorry to disappoint you. – Professor Randy Pausch (1960 to 2008). He gave "The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" on Sept. 17, 2007 at Carnegie Mellon University after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. His lecture became a bestselling book.


  • Focus on two keys. First stand tall at address and fell like you keep that height all the way through the shot. Second, swing a little easier and with less leg action. That will help you clip the ball off the top of the sand instead of driving down into it. -- Butch Harmon, (From Golf Digest, March 2015)

 Short Game

  • Poor tempo – like slow back and fast coming down – is another common cause of the short-game chunk. – Golf instructor Jim McClean, (From Golf Digest, March 2015)
  • The Flop Shot – Executing a perfect flop shot requires you to get the bottom of the club underneath the ball on a proper arc at just the right moment. What you want to avoid is a steep “V” stroke, in which you attempt to hit down on the ball very steeply and quickly bring the ball club back after impact. My advice: Narrow your stance, set your knees a bit wider apart than usual (to reduce any lateral body motion) and open the clubface. Next, imagine that your wedge is an airplane coming in to land just behind your ball before taking off again after impact. You’ll not only hit a proper flop shot – you’ll be more consistent on your mis-hits as well. – Golf instructor and CBS golf analyst Peter Kostis (born 1947)


  • Success Nourishes Hope – Ross clan motto
  • To be successful in anything, a person must always want to be better, not only than your opponent but better than your last performance. Done correctly, being competitive is a wonderful way to always try to be a better person by learning from your mistakes and capitalizing on your success. – Hale Irwin, winner of three U.S. Opens and 45 Champion Tour tournaments

Swing Thoughts

Every golfer needs an arsenal of swing thoughts. Some swing thoughts can last a whole season; others don’t last one hole. Some are 911 band-aids that might get you through a round; others are more like dependable friends. Below you will find a few that we have used with varying amounts of success. – 1502 Editor

  • One very simple tip will infinitely improve the timing of most golfers. Merely pause briefly at the top of the backswing. – Tommy Armour’s, grandson, Tommy Armour III, is a two-time winner on the PGA Tour
  • Imagine the ball has little legs and chop them off. – Sir Henry Cotton (1907 to 1987), who won The (British) Open Championship in 1934, ‘37 and ‘48
  • Off the tee: Low and slow. – Ernie Els (born 1969), winner of two U.S. Opens and two (British) Open Championships
  • Tee it up: I tee the ball fairly high on a par 3. I’ll try to sweep it of the peg and not worry about taking a divot. – Two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen (born 1969)
  • Keep the putter head relatively low to the ground in a wide arc going back and coming through (on long putts). – Teaching pro David Leadbetter. His newest book, The A Swing: The Alternative Approach to Great Golf, was published in 2015 by St. Martin's Press
  • Swing slower has always been a good thought for me when I want some extra power. – Jack Nicklaus, who has won 18 career Major championships and finished second 19 times.
  • The best advice I’ve ever received is, “Let it go.” Just let it go. That really helped my golf game. Now I am not afraid to get over a ball, get a good position, and take a swing. – Major League Hall of Famer Tony Gwinn, from the book Be The Ball: A Golf Instruction Book for the Mind by Charlie Jones and Kim Doren
  • The hips initiate the downswing. They are the pivotal element in the chain reaction. Starting them first and moving them correctly – this one action practically makes the downswing. – Ben Hogan (1912 to 1997), winner of nine Majors
  • The common denominator for all golfers is tempo, so I advise every golfer, no matter their skill level, to think tempo – the smooth transition from backswing to downswing – as the primary swing thought. – Hale Irwin (born 1945) won three U.S. Opens – 1974, 79 and 90
  • No good player ever swings as hard as he can. Power is a matter of timing, not overpowering the ball. – Arnold Palmer, winner of 62 PGA Tour events
  • In keeping your head up, you’ll have room for your shoulders at the apex of your backswing. -- Stan Thirsk, head pro at Kansas City Country Club for 32 years and Tom Watson’s lifelong instructor, from his book All Things Golf: Lessons, Thoughts, Tips, Reminders and Memories
  • If you want to play your best, most consistent golf, you must not straighten your spine during your backswing or dip down into the ball during your downswing. – Golf instructor Dr. T.J. Tomasi
  • Iron Play: The clubhead strikes the ball first, the turf last. – Tiger Woods’ full name is Eldrick Tont Woods. He was born on Dec. 30, 1975

Teachers Know Best

  • Your next shot is a new experience. It might be the best shot you ever hit in your life. – Teaching pro Harvey Penick (1904 to 1995) and author of the all-time bestselling golf book Little Red Book. His students included World Golf Hall of Fame members Tom Kite, Ben Crenshaw, Mickey Wright, Betsy Rawls, and Kathy Whitworth

That’s Golf

  • It is not solely the capacity to make great shots that makes champions, but the essential quality of making very few bad shots. – Scottish-born golfer Tommy Armour (1896 to 1968), from his book, How To Play Your Best Golf All the Time. Armour, The Silver Scot, won three Majors
  • When I turned professional, suddenly I had all the time and opportunity I needed. And I discovered, fast, that my dream was just that: a dream. Not matter how much work I did, one week I would have it and the next I couldn’t hit my hat. – Jack Nicklaus, from his book, Golf My Way

The Mind

  • I didn’t play my best golf, but I kept focused better than ever had.  It stayed in the present tense all week. -- Tom Kite, Focus said after winning the 1992 U.S. Open Focus
  • If you evaluate your golf -- or your life or your daily interactions, or whatever -- on a performance basis rather than a results basis, you'll get a better picture of how you're actually doing. See, for me, the key to maintaining some perspective on my golf game is recognizing when I'm performing well, when I'm finding my balance and my rhythm and thinking clearly, and not worrying about the numbers I'm writing down. -- From the book, In Search of Burningbush by Michael Konik
  • Be decisive. A wrong decision is generally less disastrous than indecision. – German golfer Bernhard Langer (born 1957), winner of the 1985 and 1993 Masters and a 33-time winner on the PGA Champions Tour
  • Success has eluded many golfers of mechanical excellence simply because they either did not realize the importance of concentration, or had been unable to develop this power. – Byron Nelson (1912 to 2006), from his book, Winning Golf. Nelson won five Majors (Masters – 1937 & 1942; U.S. Open – 1939; PGA Championship – 1940 & 1945). His 52 victories on the PGA Tour ranks 6th all time.
  • I never really dreamed of making many putts. Maybe that’s why I haven’t made many. – Calvin Peete (born 1943), 12-time winner on the PGA tour
  • When you’re feeling nervous, sloooow down … What helped me the most early in my career, when I wasn’t keeping my composure at the end of big rounds, was a tip from Byron Nelson. He told me when I was under pressure to walk a beat slower. I was walking too fast and rushing my decision-making and my swing. When I slowed down between shots, my swing rhythm improved and so did my results. – Tom Watson (From Golf Digest, May 2015)

The Rules

  • I have come to think that a person grows in his regard for the rules as he improves his game. – Michael Murphy, author of Golf in the Kingdom

Tips & Hints

  • It is not solely the capacity to make great shots that makes champions, but the essential quality of making very few bad shots … Play the shot you've got the greatest chance of playing well, and play the shot that makes the next shot easy … Every golfer scores better when he learns his capabilities. -- Tommy Armour
  • Many shots are spoiled at the last instant by efforts to add a few more yards. -- Bobby Jones, who after he retired from competitive golf in 1930, was paid $120,000 by Warner Brothers to make the film series How I Play Golf
  • Never have a club in your bag that you’re afraid to hit. – 1992 U.S. Open champion Tom Kite (born 1949)
  • A pause at the top of the backswing will check the desire to kill the ball. -- Sam Snead, from his book How To Play Golf (Garden City Publishing, 1946)
  • I love rotten weather. The founders of the game accepted nature for what it gave or what it took away. Wind and rain are great challenges. They separate real golfers. Let the seas pound against the shore. Let the rains pour. – Tom Watson, winner of five (British) Open Championships

Trouble Shots

  • Bank Shot Off An Obstacle – This is a tricky one, but players of all levels can pull it off. Just pick out a very clear rebound sport and don’t be tentative – you gotta give it a good, confident hit … Visualize precisely where on the obstacle your ball must make contact in order to – boink – rebound before trundling toward the target. – Teaching professional Brady Riggs (GM, April 2016)

Why We Love The Game

  • The pat on the back, the arm around the shoulder, the praise for what was done right, and the sympathetic nod for what wasn't are as much a part of golf as life itself." – Thirty-eighth President of the United States Gerald Ford (1913 to 2006)

Wit & Wisdom

  • The Royal Hong Kong Club caddies hit the nail on the head; their term for golf – “Hittee ball, say damn.” – Writer Dick Anderson
  • Playing with your spouse on the golf course runs almost as great a marital risk as getting caught playing with someone else’s anywhere else. – Writer Peter Andrews
  • In golf you’ve got two continuously merciless competitors: yourself and the course. – Tommy Armour (1894 to 1968), winner of the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA.
  • Strokes always accumulate faster than they can be forgotten. – Humorist Henry Beard (born 1945)
  • Nineteenth hole: The only hole on which golfers do not complain about the number of shots they took. – Henry Beard, from his book A Duffer’s Dictionary
  • I had to take the boy aside and teach him how to throw a club. He was so innocent he’d toss them backwards. I had to explain that you’d get worn out walking back to pick them up. – Tommy Bolt’s advice to a young Arnold Palmer. Bolt (1916 to 2008) won the 1958 U.S. Open  
  • Prayer never seems to work for me on the golf course. I think this has something to do with my being a terrible putter. – The Reverend Billy Graham (born 1918)
  • Old golfers don’t fade away. We just lose our distance. – Ralph J. Guldahl (1911 to 1987), who won the U.S. Open in 1937 and 1938 and the Masters in 1939)
  • A fifth at night … a 68 in the morning. – Walter Hagan (1892 to 1969), winner of 11 majors
  • Golf is a game in which you yell fore, shoot six and write down five. – Broadcaster Paul Harvey (1918 to 2009)
  • If profanity had an influence on the flight of the ball, the game of golf would be played far better than it is. – English writer Horace G. Hutchinson (1859 to 1932)
  • There is a widely held belief among golfers who finish second in tournaments that they are the tragic victims and have been swindled by the law firm of Destiny, Fate & Luck. – Author and columnist Dan Jenkins (born 1929), from his book Fairways and Greens
  • Golf is a game that creates emotions that sometimes cannot be sustained with the club still in one’s hand. – Bobby Jones (1902 to 1971), winner of 13 majors
  • Golf may be played on Sunday, not being a game within the view of the law, but being a form of moral effort. -- Canadian writer and economist Stephen Leacock (1869 to 1944)
  • He told me just to keep the ball low. -- Chi Chi Rodriguez (on the advice his caddie gave him on a crucial putt), eight-time winner on the PGA tour 
  • My caddie had the best answer for why I carry two putters: “Just to let the other one know it can be replaced.” -- Larry Nelson (born 1947) won the PGA Championship in 1981 and 1987 and the U.S. Open in 1983
  • Golf appeals to the idiot and the child in us. Just how childlike golfers become is proven by their frequent inability to count past five. – American author John Updike (1932 to 2009)
  • No, my dad was fun. – Five-time Major winner Phil Mickelson (born 1970), when asked if his dad was like Tiger Woods’ father, Earl

Words of Wisdom

  • It’s okay to tell a beginner to turn more on the backswing, but let a teaching pro handle the rest. – 1992 Masters champion Fred Couples (born 1959)