Click image to see full sizeAlthough the exact date of the first golf shot has been lost to history, one thing is clear: the first golf excuse probably wasn’t far behind. In truth, golf excuses have probably been around since the whiff of the first featherie.  And while we’ve all used one at some point or another (c’mon, admit it!) the recurring theme is usually (to coin a phrase from Homer Simpson):  “Ohhh, this is everyone’s fault but mine!”

So, when the ball just won’t go your way, here are 36 quick-fire, mix-and-match golf excuses for any occasion.

Just select any combination of the words in brackets, and you’ll have a perfect explanation at the ready!

1. That [sun/moon/fly/mossie/shadow/sunscreen/bugspray/bee/bird/kangaroo] was [on/in] my [ball/club/eye/ear/mouth/pants] 2. The [wind/sun/moon/grass/sky/slope/break/sand/world] changed during my [backswing/downswing/follow-through/youth] 3. I hurt my [back/neck/arm/nose/foot/hand/thumb/toe/spleen] when I was [a kid/fixing the car/in the shed/painting the house/on the phone/in bed – Shazam!] 4. To be honest, I haven’t played in [days/weeks/months/years/clothes] 5. I’m suffering from [Lack of/too much] [ sleep/sex/coffee/alcohol/skill ] 6. I’ve got [new/faulty] [clubs/ balls/shafts/bag/tees/cart/shoes/grips/partners] 7. Did you see that? My ball was in a [divot/pitchmark/hole/puddle/bush/trench/canyon/cow] 8. My ball hit a [spikemark/pitchmark/leaf/twig/insect/mound/black hole/clubhouse/cow] 9. The ball came right off the [toe/heel/shaft/hosel/ground/face/axis/planet] 10. I’m never good playing in [wind/rain/frost/heat/detox/ morning/afternoon/evening/these tees/this hemisphere] 11. I was looking at the wrong [flagstick/green/fairway/scorecard/course] 12. I can’t play when I’m [sober/drunk/detoxing/awake/with people/alone/here] 13. The [scorecard/yardagebook/GPS/Caddy/sprinkler/measurements/markers/sextant] must be way off
14. I forgot my [glasses/glove/clubs/spikes/partner/car/name] 15. You were all [breathing/coughing/farting/laughing/thinking/looking] 16. I was still thinking about that last [hole/swing/drink/3-putt/cartgirl visit] 17. The ground is too [dry/wet/cold/warm/hard/uneven/flat/soft/grassy/muddy/clean/grounded] 18. My balls [ahem!] are too [dry/wet/cold/warm/hard/uneven/flat/soft/grassy/muddy/clean/grounded] 19. The greens are too [hard/soft/big/small/fast/slow/bumpy/flat/cored/wet/dry/smooth/green] 20. I thought you said [“dogleg left/dogleg right/uphill/downhill/no water/lay up/fore!/beer/cartgirl”] 21. The [Driving range/putting green] was [faster/slower/warmer/colder/missing] 22. C’mon, where was my trademark [slice/fade/hook/draw/skyball/wormburner/duff/attorney]?
23. The sand in the bunkers is too [soft/fluffy/white/wet/dry/grainy/ sandy] 24. My other [driver/club/putter/partner] is [at home/in the car/in the shop/broken/drunk] 25. Group in [front/back/clubhouse] is too [fast/slow/loud/noisy/grouped] 26. All my good shots were wasted on the [practice swing/range/Nintendo/cartgirl] 27. I’m a bit [hungry/parched/distracted/bloated/tired/achy/drunk] 28. My [underwear/shirt/trousers/shoes] was/were [riding up/tight/loose/noisy] 29. I didn’t see that [water/tree/cart/bunker/slope/kangaroo/clubhouse] 30. I should have changed my [balls/clubs/partner/swing thought/underwear] 31. Did you hear that [mobile phone/bird/ fore/thunder/boom/plane/siren/UFO/revolution] 32. I had no time to [warm up/cool down/drink/eat/think/pee/burp/practice] 33. Can’t hit the ball because I just had [a lesson/gastro/vertigo/a colonic/a prostate exam/the cartgirl] 34. I shouldn’t have drank all that [coffee/beer/water/bourbon/prune juice/soup/ipecac] 35. At this time of [morning/afternoon/evening/day/month/year] I really need a [bourbon/coffee/beer/kebab/smoke/psychiatrist] 36. It’s not MY fault, blame the [Golf Gods/greenskeeper/caddy/marshall/starter/pro/Prime Minister/wife/Earth’s rotation/global warming/cartgirl]

And of course, who can forget the age old “unspoken” excuse: Player just frowns at the [club/ball/tee/glove/hat/teebox/rough/shoe/wind/sky/partner] and shakes their head.

About Richard Fellner

A four-time winner of the Australian Golf Media Awards, including Best Photojournalism, Best Opinion, Best Column and Best Photographic Presentation, Inside Golf Group Editor Richard Fellner is the quintessential Golf Tragic, having played the game for over 50 years (but has never gotten any better!) He has played and reviewed courses all over the world, and has interviewed many of the great players of the game (including Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Greg Norman). Richard is a member of both the Australian Golf Media Association and the Golf Society of Australia, and has been a featured guest on many Australian "sports talk" radio shows and networks, including ABC Grandstand, SEN 1116, Melbourne Talk Radio 1377, 2GB and others. Follow Richard Fellner on Quora


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2 Responses to "Excuse me? The best excuses for a poor golf shot"

  1. Troy Vayanos  May 5, 2013

    Great selection of excuses. The most common one I hear is the old ‘I have bad back’ or I had no time to practice.

    Hear these 2 way too often on the golf course.

  2. Tim  August 15, 2016

    I hit a bumble bee at the top of my backswing with a driver

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