Standard Golfing Excuses for that Dreadful Tee Shot

We have all been there, the first tee of a local course competition, a small gallery of fellow golfers watch expectantly on as you take your first tentative practice backswing. In your mind, you feel like a professional, warming up expertly, but the tremble in your hands belies your apparent confidence. Quietly you pray to yourself “please let me hit a decent drive”. The crowd quietens as you address the ball, draw the club back and in a thrash of arm and club, send the ball dribbling an embarrassingly 20 yards down the fairway.


It is at this point that the true hacker will have the perfect golfing excuse to hand to explain away such an abhorrent shot. Below are some of our favorites that have stood the test of time.


1. “These are new clubs…”

This old chestnut is the perfect alibi for a bad shot. A poor golfer never makes a bad shot, only blames his clubs, doubly so if they are a brand new set. Admittedly, if the set looks a bit old and moth-eaten, this may not be a convincing excuse, but claiming they are a borrowed or rented set can offset this. You can further embellish your woes by explaining to the sympathetic crowd exactly why these ‘new’ clubs are so alien to you. Different loft, different grips, different shaped golf bag, the wrong shaped ball, the wrong colour golf tee…Feel free to use your imagination!

2. “Ooh my back/arm/leg/side/groin/ankle/knee (delete as appropriate)”

It is something of a minor medical miracle to witness a golfer who was only seconds before prancing about the tee, practising without a care in the world, suddenly develop a myriad of medical ailments the very second they realise they have hit a poor shot. Medical experts scientific conclusions of  the very strong correlation that exists between golfers hitting poor shots and the instances of bad backs, strained muscles, twinges, pulls, tears, aches and other sundry pains that occur as a seeming consequence.

3. The sudden noise

Whether it is a spectator who breathed out loud as you took your shot, a passing squirrel which dropped an acorn from the top branches of a nearby tree or the rustle of a chocolate bar packet in a bin 50 yards down the fairway, the ‘sudden noise’ is another great excuse for a bad shot. Braver golfers will actually glare at the perpetrator convinced that the elements of nature conspired against them.


4. “I did that on purpose…”

Solidarity with the fellow golfer is one thing, but this seemingly can extend to the very first tee shot. After watching their ball travel up to the ladies’ tees yards along the floor, the canny golfer will turn to his playing partners and suggest that he actually made a complete hash of that shot on purpose. Why? To allow them every chance of winning the game, of course.. Proviso: better to follow this claim up with a decent second shot, otherwise you might end up looking something like a berk.

5. “The wind picked up…”

A great excuse if you hit a tee shot with more hook than Sugar Ray Leonard or more slice than the local bakery. Watching your tee shot sail right or left, seemingly avoiding the fairway as if it were a pit of molten lava, is somewhat dispiriting to the average golfer, so to blame the wind for picking up and blowing the ball off course can prove to be a useful excuse. Admittedly, if you manage to hook or slice your ball into the wind, then you are reliant on those watching having a fundamental lack of understanding of the principles of motion, but it is worth a try!


The best excuse however for a bad shot is disarmingly simple. It can be difficult to admit it, almost embarrassing to say it but doing so can elicit a positive response from all those present who watched your woeful attempt at a tee shot.

“I’m bloody useless at this game sometimes…” has a charming analytical and humorous quality to it that so many other golfers will recognise and appreciate but perhaps even more to the point, for every golfer at every level, it is the truth.

And we have noticed that the vast majority of excuses (and really awful shots…) are made by men.

Editor: Do you know any great excuses worth publishing? 

Images by Gorilla Golf Blog ©

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If you enjoyed this post please leave us your comment below

Domingo August 26, 2011

Thanks for using the time and effort to write something so interesting.


Tommy Priest September 5, 2011

Our pleasure! If you hear of some good excuses, let us know…


Latisha September 10, 2011

Lenarnig a ton from these neat articles.


Tommy Priest September 14, 2011

Great! Thank you.


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