Words of the wise

Ivan Morris

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Golf is an Esperanto; all over the world golfers talk the same language, endure the same frustrations; discover the same infallible swing secrets; share the same illusory joys – Henry Longhurst.

It’s one thing for a player to be able to hit the ball straight. It’s quite another for them to keep their heads straight. The key to winning is the mental game. It’s easy to try too hard, to try to do too much and to overreact – Bob Rotella.

Course ratings and Stimpmeter readings have become ridiculous status symbols – Alice Dye.


Everybody has two swings, the one he uses during the last three holes of a tournament and the one he uses the rest of the time Toney Penna.

Challenge is one thing; extreme difficulty is another. Unfortunately, nobody likes to think his course can be taken apart. Too often, difficulty becomes the measuring stick by which courses are designed Bobby Jones.

The result is not always a true and fair picture of the performance – Padraig Harrington.

Always have a target. If you aim at nothing, that’s what you’ll hit – Jackie Burke.

I worked extremely hard to become a natural golfer – Sam Snead.

If the game doesn’t eat you up inside, you can’t be a great player – Lee Trevino.

A consistent swing starts with a consistent set-up – Paul Wilson.

If your confidence is dependent on having all your swing mechanics in place, you will lose that confidence as soon as you hit an imperfect shot – Bob Rotella.

Players making high scores doesn’t mean that it’s a good golf course – Jack Nicklaus.

Two things you have got to finish in golf – your backswing and your follow through – Moe Norman.

Most golfers would get more use from carrying a second umbrella than a 3-iron – David Owen.

We don’t stop playing because we get old. We get old because we stop playing – Walter Hagen.

Mountain climbing has no place on a golf course. Rows of trees are an abomination. Artificiality of any kind detracts from the fascination of the game – Charles B. MacDonald.

It was great to see him set the bar so high, but I am not sure if his era has been good for the game – Bruce Critchley on Tiger Woods.

It is high time a definite limit was put on the golfer’s insatiable greed for power and distance – such limitations would be in line with what prevails in other sports – Max Behr.

Achievements on the golf course are not what matters, decency and honesty are what matter – Tiger Woods.

I’m all for letting them blast away. It’s a sport — where physical prowess should count. I don’t care if they shoot 20 under – E. Michael Johnson.  

The winning formula for pair’s golf: Similar style players for alternate-shot/foursome’s matches; opposite players for better-ball/four-ball matches – Paul Azinger.

The game is all about bringing out your best stuff when it matters most. Not many players can do that. There’s nothing quite like the tension of a tournament down the last few holes when it’s all on the line – Lorne Rubenstein.

In the days of King Arthur nobody thought the worse of a young knight if he suspended all social and business engagements in favour of searching for the Holy Grail. In the middle ages, a man could devote his life to the Crusades, and the public fawned upon him. Why, then, blame a man for zealous attention to the modern equivalent – the quest for a scratch handicap? – P.G. Wodehouse.




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