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Golf: A Four-Letter Word

By Edited Dec 7, 2015 7 39

G - O - L - F

"Golf is played by twenty million mature American men whose wives think they are out having fun" —Jim Bishop

 The objective is simple, use a club to hit a little white ball into a small cup on the ground and do it with the least amount of strokes possible. Simple! Now, try playing golf and you'll find it's anything but simple.

To get a sense of just how difficult this game is, go to a golf course and observe the players and you'll notice what most players fail to realize. There's an element of surprise to the game; the surprise is people don't play as well as they think they do. When you watch golfers, you'll eventually see the one thing amateurs and professionals all have in common - FRUSTRATION!

Golf: A Four-Letter Word

"Angry" Golf Ball
Credit: DebW07 -- Introspective Pics, All Rights Reserved

Gals, Gossip, and Golf

"They call it golf because all the other four-letter words were taken." —Raymond Floyd

 I joined a local women's golf group a few months after learning how to play. Every Tuesday morning the gals got together to gossip and golf (at times it was more gossip than golf).

One morning, I was playing poorly. I was happy to have a short putt to end my round on the 18th green.  "I could make this in my sleep," I smugly thought to myself.  I stepped-up to my ball and hit it with confidence—a little too much confidence. My ball rolled straight over the hole and about four feet past. I looked up at my playing partners sheepishly. I was feeling embarrassed and thoroughly defeated. But then one of the women said, "That's why golf is a four letter word!" We all laughed, and I realized that every golfer experiences a bad shot, hole, or round. 

Worst Golf Shots on PGA Tour-YouTube

Numbers Count

Glass Golf Ball
Credit: DebW07 -- Introspective Pics, All Rights Reserved

"Golf is a game in which you yell ‘fore,’ shoot six, and write down five.” —Paul Harvey

 In golf, if you can count you can keep score. To keep a correct score, however, you must count every swing, with the exception of practice swings. 

The problem I've noticed, is that when amateurs play they forget how to count!  I watched an accountant post a score of six after taking eight strokes on a par five!

Golf Terms

  • Hole-in-one or Ace:  The ball went into the hole with one stroke.
  • Condor: Four strokes under par
  • Albatross: Three strokes under par
  • Eagle: Two strokes under par
  • Birdie: One stroke under par
  • Par: Equal to par (3,4,5, or 6)
  • Bogey: One stroke over par
  • Double Bogey: Two strokes over par
  • Triple Bogey: Three strokes over par
  • Quadruple Bogey: Four strokes over par

 Any more strokes over par and you should consider playing another sport.

Lessons From The Best

Ben Hogan Walking
Credit: Jimhealey24 --https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ben_Hogan_Walking.jpg Wikipedia Commons -- Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

"Reverse every natural instinct and do the opposite of what you are inclined to do, and you will probably come very close to having a perfect golf swing" —Ben Hogan

 The golf swing is deceitful; it looks simple but in reality the mechanics of a swing are complicated.  The average spectator will never notice all the technical factors of a golf swing simply by watching a professional in action.

A good swing is difficult to master, it requires initial concentration and takes a tremendous amount of practice to build up a repeating swing. Even when you have a great swing, you will not be able to repeat it one hundred percent of the time, and there will always be room for improvement. That's one reason top ranked professional golfers continue to employ coaches.

Woodland Hills Country Club Golf Cartoon-YouTube

[G]entlemen [O]nly [L]adies [F]orbidden

Pelican Hill Resort Golf
Credit: DebW07 -- Introspective Pics, All Rights Reserved

Some people believe the word golf is an acronym for Gentlemen Only - Ladies Forbidden, and, unfortunately, this attitude is still prevalent in some private courses. For example, Augusta National Golf Club, to this day, will not allow women to become members.  Also, the historic Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland, until recently, featured a sign outside the clubhouse behind the 18th green that read, "No dogs or women allowed." 

 I was affected by this male chauvinism once when I went to a course with my husband (for a 7 a.m. tee-time) only to discover that women were not allowed to play before 10 a.m. The men, on-the-other-hand, were allowed to play anytime. 

 As repulsive as that chauvinistic behavior is, I will not let the prejudice of a few old dinosaurs ruin the game for me.  I believe eventually, like all dinosaurs, the discrimination in golf will be extinct. 

Another "Four-Letter" Word

Aviara -- Hole 14
Credit: DebW07 -- Introspective Pics, All Rights Reserved

"When I die, bury me on the golf course so my husband will visit." —Author Unknown

Two men were about to play a round of golf when one said to the other "Why do you have four caddies?"  The second man replied "My wife wants me to spend more time with the kids."

I have a theory as to why so many men spend so much time on the golf course: Men, by nature, are conquerors but they can never conquer golf—so they keep at it. Playing and practicing as often as they can, they are always trying to do better, in hopes that one day they will play the perfect game. (They don't care that it'll never happen.) 

 —Yes, the game of golf may be a four-letter word but so is love, and that is the word most players use when describing how they feel about golf!

Caddyshack Theatrical Trailer-YouTube

Find More Information Here

Ben Hogan's Five Lessons The Modern Fundamentals of Golf

Top Ten Female Golfers on the LPGA Career Money List

The Top Five Female Golfers of All Time



Mar 6, 2011 7:30pm
Perfect article! Well written, great photos, and entertaining quotes. I'm not a golfer but I was thoroughly entertained. This should be a feature article on the front page! Kudos!
Mar 7, 2011 11:33am
You're very kind, thank you so much, divaonline!
Mar 21, 2011 10:56pm
I second that divaonline and I'm going to suggest it right now.
Great job with a great subject. Introspective I really enjoyed this one.
Mar 23, 2011 11:28am
Thank you dreamaker; I'm pleased you enjoyed this article and thank you so much for the recommendation.
Mar 21, 2011 11:07pm
I enjoyed it as well..Introspective. I never played and always thought it akin to shooting pool. Of course, I could be wrong. It has happened before.
Great Article.
Mar 23, 2011 11:33am
Hello Venetia; Golf is not quite like shooting pool but I can see how you could compare the two (hitting small balls into cups/holes). Thanks so much for the comment, I appreciate it!
Mar 22, 2011 9:40am
Looking back on my golf days, the most exciting thing about the game for me was joining the club and shopping for all the equipment. From there it was downhill all the way. My tennis days rank just about par with golf. Good article, I am voting for it to be featured, also.
Mar 23, 2011 11:38am
Oh, I'm so sorry you didn't quite catch the "Golf Bug" southerngirl09, but at least you had fun shopping! I agree with you on tennis; I tried it once and that was enough for me. Thank you so much for your recommendation, I truly appreciate it.
Apr 14, 2011 8:26am
Truly amusing article, great quotes about a difficult game I have enjoyed only watching for years, nothing like the peace and serenity of a golf course...only the golfers are at war with themselves
Apr 14, 2011 3:14pm
Thank you Sharon, it's great to hear from you!
Apr 14, 2011 8:45am
Excellent job great feature!!
Apr 14, 2011 3:25pm
dreamaker, you're one of the many awesome people here at IB; so positive and unselfish! I appreciate your comments and nomination, thank you!!
Apr 15, 2011 7:08pm
Nice article. I can't say that I ever was good at Golf, I merely enjoyed the conversation it brought and the snack cart 14which to this day I see as a novel concept (especially the tap cart). :)
Apr 17, 2011 5:45pm
I agree, the snack carts are a novel idea; they make even the worst rounds a bit better! Thanks for the comment, Ellis.
Apr 17, 2011 6:05am
I like the first Golf Ball photo.
Apr 17, 2011 5:47pm
LOL! It's from a set someone gave to my husband and it pretty much sums up some days on the course. Thank you aprilding!
Apr 22, 2011 11:44am
fun and informative article cheers :)
Apr 26, 2011 12:29pm
Thanks shtysoe, I'm glad you enjoyed it!
May 7, 2011 12:24pm
Very interesting and great facts in your article. Gentleman Only Ladies Forbidden? I had never heard that one before. I won't tell that one to my wife or she might wrap her 9 iron around my neck!
May 7, 2011 1:13pm
LOL! I wouldn't want that to happen! Thanks for the comment Gregory.
May 8, 2011 6:42pm
I tried pitch and putt once but preferred the difficulty level of crazy golf.
May 13, 2011 11:29pm
I've never tried 'pitch and putt.' Thanks Spondicious!
Aug 25, 2011 1:28pm
I really enjoyed this article, and I like your light hearted style of writing here. Being honest, I never thought I'd click a link to Golf, yet here we are! :)
Aug 26, 2011 1:34am
Thanks MamaEarth! I'm happy you enjoyed it.
Sep 13, 2011 10:26am
I liked the acronym - Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden. When golf used to take my husband out for hours at a time when we were newly married, I used to think it was a four leter word. Now that we've been married 31 years, I wish he'd take up golf again!
Oct 1, 2011 5:22pm
LOL! Thanks for your comment caringangel!
Sep 30, 2011 4:43pm
Nice article - makes my memory wander back to when I was a kid playing golf with my grandparents.
Oct 1, 2011 5:24pm
I bet those were special times for both you and your grandparents. Thank you so much for the kind comment!
Mar 13, 2012 9:24pm
Interesting golf article :)
Mar 13, 2012 10:12pm
Wow, it's been awhile since I took a look at this one! Thanks JD, for your comment and for giving me a reason to re-read this one.
Apr 29, 2012 9:08am
This is all just so true! Very entertaining. I smiled all the way through.
Apr 29, 2012 11:04pm
:o) Thanks JudyE!
Apr 30, 2012 3:30am
I enjoyed the article, I have been going to the driving range for years and have payed twice. I get much more enjoyment just hitting the ball without the frustration.
Apr 30, 2012 12:40pm
Hitting balls on a driving range can be extremely relaxing; it's a good place to get out aggression. Thanks for the comment, dstreet77.
May 10, 2012 1:47pm
You've rekindled my interest in golf a bit. With a few more buckets on the range, perhaps I can avoid that other four-letter word on the course so much. Thanks!
May 10, 2012 3:48pm
Ha! Yes indeed and good luck on the range. Thanks so much for the comment.
May 17, 2012 6:36pm
Remember the rules of golf were written by old drunk Scotsmen who had nothing better to do. Imagine what you would come up with if you started each thought with: "Now what else can we do to make this more frustrating?"
It is a wonderful game that is only stuck 100 years in the past.
May 18, 2012 10:45am
Very interesting! Thanks for the comment, tallerman.
May 3, 2015 9:56pm
Yeah ha, love that quote: "When I die, bury me on the golf course so my husband will visit." Fabulously entertaining (and I don't even golf).
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