The Loop

29 reasons why you didn't play well today

July 06, 2017
A golfer sitting at the edge of sand trap, head in hands


More often than not, your round results in a less-than-desirable score. Which is OK; golf is not a game of perfect. How you rationalize that outcome, however, can be just as enlightening. From the fair to farcical to crestfallen, here are the 29 reasons why you didn't play well today.

"It was my first time at the course"

We get it. You didn’t know about that creek around the corner, or that long on the 15th is death. Still doesn’t quite explain that 103, though.

"I didn't get a chance to warm up"

Whether you deprived yourself time at the range or on the practice green, we'll allow it might lead to a slow start. But by the time you triple-bogeyed the first three holes, it's fair to say you've now gotten in plenty of reps.

"I haven't had enough time to practice lately"

This is a popular alibi from parents. And frankly, I don’t care that you have to chauffeur little Timmy to piano lessons three times a week; priorities, buddy.

Sun and rain

Peter de Rooij

"It's impossible to score in this weather"

This is grounds for deportation in Scotland.

"It was too long of a wait between shots"

Often delivered in whiny cadence. But given the importance of rhythm and tempo, it’s not wrong, either.

What's not OK is...

"I felt rushed"

If it takes you that long to prepare for a shot, you're doing it wrong.

"My mind was elsewhere today"

Allowances for sincere, real-life issues. But if the matter in question is, “My boss doesn’t answer my emails right away, and I think something’s up,” it's on you.

"Those pins were unfair"

Loses some merit when the player routinely takes five shots to reach the green.

"I just couldn't score"

It happens, but how else do you compare yourself to other golfers, by height?

WGC HSBC Champions - Day Four

Scott Halleran

"My caddie was giving me bad reads all day"

I’m sure the looper has nothing but fond things to say of you as well.

"The water coolers were empty, felt like I was going to pass out"

Courses that brandish unfilled coolers should be tried at the Hague for crimes against humanity.

"The guys I was playing with struggled, and it brought down my game"

A weak response from weak-minded players.

"I didn't dress appropriately for this weather"

Sadly, an excuse even the pros use. No matter the forecast, always keep a rain jacket in your bag.


"My shirt was too tight"

Pathetic, right? What kind of bum would resort to such a cop-out?

(lowers voice)

I might have muttered this once or twice.

"The greens weren't holding"

Which is another way of saying, "My short game has gone to hell."

"I mentally checked out"

The insinuation being, "Well, I have the capacity to do well, if I tried." Lame, if not outright delusional.

"I was just worn out"

From a bad night's sleep to walking a long course to an ill-timed pre-round workout, fatigue is one of those factors that separates the golf you play on a course from the kind you play on your xbox.

High angle view of a man lying on golf balls

Design Pics/Kelly Redinger

"I drank too much"

Let he who hasn't said this throw the first stone.

A close relative to...

"I ate too much before the round"

As with fatigue, three hot dogs before on the first tee is not helping the "golf is a sport" cause.

"I couldn't catch a break"

Arguably one of the most revealing lines about someone's character. Because, like in life, everyone is victim to misfortune. It's how you respond -- or fail to -- that makes the difference.

"I was using borrowed equipment"

A fear so real that pros have quit rather than face the prospect of secondary sticks.

"My distances were off all day"

If you mean "I chunked half my iron shots," then yes.

PGA Championship - Round Two

Andy Lyons

“My back was killing me”

As a kid, I would mock my dad and elders when they griped about their spines. Now, at 30, I’ve had to quit two rounds this summer due to lower-back spasms. Karma, she is a *****

"I just had a lesson"

Although a logical thought, work out those kinks on the driving range, not the course.

"I had the yips"

A resignation that's not said lightly, and one beyond solace.

"I was nervous"

That murmur you hear is every poor bastard that's teed it up with a disapproving father-in-law.

"The greens were just aerated"

I hate, hate, HATE this excuse. You know who else had to putt on punctured dance floors? Everybody else. You weren't the only one navigating potholes, chief.

"I was just trying to have fun"

Mentioned above, we're big advocates of not letting your score dictate your enjoyment. In that same cadence, this alibi is usually said after one doubles the first hole, acting as if they weren't trying in the first place. There's a bit of ambiguity with this line, but you know it when you see it.

"I suck"

Very often the only thing that needs to be said.