photo credit: nsaplayer Vijay Singh – “Standing there, it's all different. The green just shrinks in the tournament. It's got a lot to do with the mind.” Bob Tway – “You're playing great in the tournament and all of a sudden, in one hole, you might as well be finishing last.” Fred Funk – “It's such an easy shot, a nine-iron, eight-iron, big green. It's easy to walk on a one0foot plank one foot above the ground, but 100 feet above the ground it's tough to do.” Steve Elkington – “It builds all the way and finishes you off with the hardest part of the course.” Padraig Harrington – “In practice it's fun, it's no problem. Then you get in a tournament and there are all sorts of things happening before and after. It's a strange hole.”
photo credit: nsaplayer “I'm not saying my golf game went bad, but if I grew tomatoes, they'd come up sliced”< Lee Trevino. “These greens are so fast I have to hold my putter over the ball and hit with the shadow”< Sam Sneed. “If you watch a game it's fun – If you play at it, it's recreation – If you work at it, it's golf”< Bob Hope. “There is no similarity between golf and putting; they are two different games, one played in the air and the other on the ground”< Ben Hogan. “Professional golf is the only sport where, if you win 20% of the time, you're the best”< Jack Nicklaus. “I never pray on a golf course. Actually, the Lord answers my prayers everywhere except on the course”< Billy Graham.
photo credit: adrianol (1) “A ball you can see in the rough from 50 yards away is not yours.” (2) “It's easier to get up at 6:00 AM to play golf than at 10:00 to mow the lawn.” (3) “A good drive on the 18th hole has stopped many a golfer from giving up the game.” (4) “Golf is the perfect thing to do on a Sunday because you always end up having to pray a lot.” (5) “If there is a storm rolling in, you'll be having the game of your life.” (6) Golf balls are like eggs. They're white. They're sold by the dozen. And you need to buy fresh ones each week!” (7) “Its amazing how a golfer who never helps out around the house will replace his divots, repair his ball marks and rake his sand traps.”
photo credit: smaedli While playing in the Nigerian Open one year, the South African Pro Philip Walton found himself faced with a tricky shot underneath a thick tree branch that would restrict his swing. He took his stance, made a couple of practice swings and eventually punched the ball out. As soon as Walton hit his ball, his caddie pointed out that a large snake was resting on a branch above his head
“Are you mad?” Watson shouted. “That snake could have fallen on me and bit me, why didn't you tell me the snake was there?”
“I wanted you to hit a good shot and not worry about the snake,” retorted the caddie.
Nigeria contains some of the world's most poisonous snakes which cause many deaths each year.
His most celebrated outburst came at the 1970 US. Open at Hazeltine, Minnesota which was a brand new course designed by the famous architect, Robert Trent Jones. After the first round Hill, one of the tournament leaders, was brought into the press room and asked what he thought about the course, which had been criticized by players all week.
“What does the course lack?” a writer asked him. “Eighty acres of corn and a few cows,” he quipped. “They ruined a good farm when they built this course.” For his insightful and outspoken remarks, he was promptly slapped with a $150 fine.
photo credit: Ted Van Pelt During the 1994 British Open at Turnberry, there was considerable controversy over the cost of staying at the nearby Turnberry Hotel. In fact, many American players elected to skip the championship and stay home. A writer asked Norman if the hotel was breaking him financially. “It might be if I tried to buy it,” he said.
In 2008, Greg Norman nearly won the Open (formerly The British Open) at the age of 50. He led the tournament until the final day. Norman, not a good “wind” player finished behind the eventual winner, Padraig Harrington.
Greg Norman, although playing sporadically on the Legends Tour, remains active in his own wine, clothing and golf course design businesses. He has had one of the most controversial careers on the PGA Tour.
photo credit: Ted Van Pelt In the final round of the 1978 Hall of Fame Tournament at the famous Pinehurst # 2 course, Tom Kite was dueling Tom Watson. As he stood over his put on the 5th green, Kite suddenly stepped back and announced that his ball had moved. While no one else had seen the ball move, he called a one stroke penalty on himself. He wound up finishing in a tie for second, one shot behind Tom Watson who won $50,000. Kite's check was for $19,333.33. Later Kite was asked about the penalty.
“It was the only thing I could do,” he explained. “When you break a rule you have to suffer the consequences. I have to live with finishing second for a few days. I have to live with myself for the rest of my life.”
photo credit: danperry.com As Ben Hogan and Sam Snead were ending their careers on the PGA Tour, Palmer was just starting his. Unlike Snead or Hogan, known for their precision shot making, Palmer attacked every shot with abandon.
In one tournament Palmer missed the green and found himself in a ditch with no real shot left. As he studied his options, he spotted a friend, sportswriter Jim Murray, in the gallery. “You're always writing about Ben Hogan,” said Palmer. “What would he do in a spot like this?” “He wouldn't be in a spot like this,” said Murray.
Having won the Masters in 1958 and 1960, Palmer was a favorite to defend his title in 1961. After a 73 in the third round, he pretty much admitted defeat: “Where's the casket?” as he headed for the clubhouse.
photo credit: pocketwiley In 1988 when Jack Nicklaus was preparing for the Masters, Chris Smith, a friend of Nicklaus's son Gary, was playing with them. Smith was snooping around in Jack's bag and noticed a MacGregor Response putter. Nicklaus knew Smith was struggling with his putting and offered him the putter. “I told him there was no way I could take that putter,” Smith Recalls, but Nicklaus insisted.
Fifteen years later, Smith had, by hid own estimate, 2,500 clubs in his basement. He heard a Nicklaus associate say that the Jack Nicklaus Museum in Columbus, Ohio was lacking one crucial piece, he spoke up. “Ask Jack what he wants the putter for, because I'm putting it on eBay right now.” As it turned out it was not the right putter after all.
photo credit: Adam_d_ Jack Lemon played more than 25 Pebble Beach National Pro Ams but never was able to qualify for the final round on Sunday. Once Lemon asked his caddy which way a putt would break, and the caddy answered “who cares!”
President Kennedy was notorious for asking for putts. Playing with friend Chris Dunphy at the Seminole G.C. in Florida, Kennedy laced a four iron to within 3 feet of the cup. “C'mon Chris you're not going to make me putt this,” Kennedy said. Dunphy replied “Well, Mr. President, it's early in the round. Let's see what your stroke looks like today.” “Okay, fine,” Kennedy said, “but let's get going. I've got a meeting with the head of the IRS right after we finish.” “It's good!” said Dunphy.