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Make It Stop

The most insufferable golf sayings that needed to die yesterday

October 28, 2021

Ronnie Kaufman

If you've clicked on this link, there is a strong chance you play the game of golf on a regular basis. This means you've heard and/or said every typical golf cliché imaginable.

We've accepted these sayings for decades. Now it's time to stop. It is time to cancel these pieces of golf vernacular. We can all come up with some new material, don't you agree?

With that in mind, we've come up with what we hope will be the first of many lists of golf-course sayings that need to die and needed to die yesterday. Ultimately, these sayings will likely persevere, but let this list serve as an evolution of on-course creativity. 

"Hit 'em straight" / "Play well"

As opposed to ... "hit them crooked and play like s---?" We're all trying to play well, as unrealistic of an expectation as that may be.

"That's not going to hurt you"

Considering this is usually said after a mistake/mis-hit, which will likely be followed by compounding said mistake/mis-hit, thus leading to a double bogey or worse ... yes, it most certainly is going to hurt me. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. All of it.

"It opens up over there"

A close cousin of "that's not going to hurt you," "it opens up over there" means you've just hit one terribly offline, and someone has the audacity to give you false hope that you might actually find the ball.

"Sounded good" / "Struck well"

A first cousin once removed from the previous two, "sounded good" / "struck well" once again means you hit the ball nowhere near your intended target, but hey, at least you made contact! Moral of the story here is there is nothing good about hitting it miles offline.

"Good speed"

For tour pros lagging a 70-footer to kick-in range, this is acceptable. For the rest of us peons, your 20-footer that's a solid seven-to-eight feet offline is not worthy of empty praise.

"Had the line" / "If you hit it, you had it" / "Never up, never in"

All three of these are referring to a putt that is woefully short. The best putts, the ones that go into the hole, are the perfect match of speed and line. So, if you're four feet short, how can we actually be sure you had the line, or if you hit it harder that it was guaranteed to go in?

"At least you gave it a chance"

Yeah, that putt that just rolled 12 feet past TOTALLY had a chance. 

"Pretty good from there"

This one is always doubly painful because it's a callback to your previous shot, which put you in a terrible spot. Then, because of how terrible the spot is, no one expected you to actually do anything positive, so there is a bit of disrespectful surprise in seeing you actually be a competent golfer.

"Better than being at the office"

Usually said by someone playing like garbage and attempting to rationalize it by saying it's better than being at work. Honestly, are you sure? At the office, you can at least make it appear like you're being productive. You can't athletically embarrass yourself at the office. Hell, it might be bagel day at the office. You missed bagel day to shoot a buck-ten? Yikes.

"That'll play"

Almost always said after a wormburner that has about 100 yards of roll. It's not wrong, but it is confidence-shattering, which will usually lead to some sort of overcompensation like "trying to hit down on it" on the next shot and taking a two-foot deep chunk out of the earth. So no, it won't play.

"No pictures on the scorecard"

First off, sometimes there are pictures of the signature hole on the scorecard, and second, this is supposed to convey that it doesn't matter how you arrived at your score. Well, yeah it does. If I scraped it around and gutted out an 81 with an all-world short game, and you hit a bunch of fairways and greens and shot 81, too, whose 81 is more impressive? Over beers after the round, I think we'll all agree it was the former.

"Sit!" / "Bite!"

You just skulled one that's now traveling at approximately one million miles per hour. That ball ain't "sitting" or "biting" unless there is a house in front of it. Speaking of....

"Hit a house!"

On top of your crappy putting, you're now encouraging property damage. Nice. 

"Be right!"

Unless you're Hal Sutton, the only time you should say "Be right" is when you're saying "hey, did you listen to this week's episode of 'Be Right?'"