Thursday, June 21, 2012

Golf Cliches

You've heard the announcers use them on TV.  You use them on the course.  Cliches are part of golf's official language.  Here are the best of the best, or worst of the worst...

18.  "Better than most."  We have Gary Koch to thank for this one.  He uttered the famous line several times while describing Tiger Woods making a miracle putt on 17 at TCP Sawgrass.  Now we do the same thing when he bags one from long distance.

17.  "It's in the hole!" We have Carl Spackler, a.k.a. Bill Murray, to thank for this one.  Nothing like stating the obvious!

16.  "Touch of a blacksmith."  The perfect description for that finesse chip that you just skulled 30 yards over the green.

15.  "Worm burner"  Oh, for the innocent worms that have perished when we sent out drives skittering along the grass.  Pause now for a moment of silence.

14. "Don't worry, it's a par 5" This one often is heard after you hit that worm burner off the tee on a par 5.  The phrase gives you the false hope that you still can make up for your bad shot.

13. "Good miss" This is a favorite.  It means you hit a bad shot but still managed to get a good result.  A stay of execution if you will.

12. "You're in jail." Not a good miss.  With your ball stuck behind a tree or some other treacherous spot, you're well on your way to a scorecard-busting hole.

11. "Snowman." The dreaded snowman.  The ugliest creature in golf, especially when you have to record an 8 on a par 3.

10. "Time to let the big dog eat." Yep, you're ready to unload with your driver.  The trouble is that for most of us, the big dog usually goes hungry.

9. "Hit it on the screws." A blast from the past, referring to an era when drivers actually had screws.  I didn't hit the screws back then, and I still don't now.

8. "Dance floor." Yes, you're on the green.  "Good thing I brought my dancing shoes... cause I'm on the dance floor!"

7.  "Short grass." Otherwise known as the fairway.  Most of us still are looking for the short grass.

6. "Never up, never in." Makes only sense.  There's a strong chance youwon't make your putt if the ball doesn't reach the hole.  Of course, there's also a strong chance you'll 3 putt if you knock your first putt 15 feet past the hole.

5. "Nice putt, Alice" or "Try putting your purse down next time" Another term for a tentative, wimpy putt that comes up far short.  Chauvinistic to be sure.  I'm sure there's an Alice who made more than her share of putts.

4. "Still a little meat left on that bone." Another dog reference.  You've just been told by your opponent that he's not conceding you that 3 footer for triple bogey.

3. "I hit a great putt." Those of us in the press room have heard this cliche many times from Tiger Woods in talking about a missed putt.  Maybe that's what makes him so great.  In his mind, he never thinks he hit a bad putt.

2. "How did that stay out?" Surely, there was some supernatural force that kept the ball out of the hole.  There can't be any other explanation.

1. "Drive for show, putt for dough." The essence of golf.  The 300 yard drive counts the same as the 4 putt.  There are a million guys who can hit the ball a long way, but the guys who can make the 4 footers in the crunch time, a small fraternity, cash the checks.