"I was three over. One over a house, one over a patio, and one over a swimming pool."
It's been said that golf is a lot of walking, broken up by disappointment and bad arithmetic. Par for the Course celebrates the wit and wisdom -- and also the woes -- of playing and loving the game of golf. As Ben Crenshaw explained, "Golf is the hardest game in the world. There is no way you can ever get it. Just when you think you do, the game jumps up and puts you in your place." But there's beauty in it when it all comes together. "What other people may find in poetry or art museums," Arnold Palmer said, "I find in the flight of a good drive."
With quotes from today's top stars, insight from the legends of the game and advice from a host of celebrity duffers, the many fans of all ages will find plenty of laugh-out-loud lines to take their minds off tee shots that go out of bounds, missed putts and double bogeys.
A small sampling of the more than 400 quotes:
Readers are sure to laugh, groan and nod knowingly as they turn the pages of this lively collection.
Eric Zweig has written for the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Sun. He is the editor of Home Plate Don't Move: Baseball's Best Quotes and Quips; and Gentlemen, This is a Football: Football's Best Quotes and Quips.
I always thought that was pretty funny. (Of course, a lot of that has to do with the way Les mangles the name -- Chy Chy Rodri-qweez. And, a lot of it also has to do with the fact that I watched way too much television growing up!) But as I was compiling the quotations for this book, I began to think it was pretty appropriate. Now, admittedly, I'm not a golfer (though I have watched plenty of it on television -- see above) but I've started to wonder if maybe there's something about a pursuit in which you don't want to perform up to par that explains the love-hate relationship so many people seem to have with this game.
As in the book of baseball quotes I did for this series, I was not surprised to find that golf quotes cover a very broad range of subjects. After all, it has been said that the smaller the ball, the better the writing. So why shouldn't the same apply to the spoken word? Yet, like my football book, I found that the vast majority of golf quotes really only cover two topics: love and hate. (Another dominant topic is why the game is so hard, but really that's just a sub-heading for the other two.)
People can get quite poetic when describing what they love about golf. For example, movie legend Robert Redford sums up the feelings of many a golf lover when he says that golf is a wonderful metaphor for life "because you're playing against yourself and nature." Golf legend Arnold Palmer is no less eloquent when he maintains, "What other people may find in poetry or art museums, I find in the flight of a good drive." Golfer Bernhard Langer has a simpler explanation. "You know why the game of golf is so popular? Very easy. It's a great game."
Yet not everyone agrees.
Greg Norman's daughter Morgan-Leigh was once asked if she planned to follow her father out onto the links. "No way," she said. "Golf is too boring." And it seems that even golf lovers can hate the game. "I am a golfer," wrote American novelist Rex Beach in the foreword to the 1932 book A New Way to Better Golf. "I have played the game for twenty years, but I have recently made a discovery. I hate it!"
Of course, so much of what a golfer feels about the game depends on how he played that day. "After all," said legendary golf writer Herbert Warren Wind, "as every golfer in every land will attest after a good round, it may well be the best game ever invented." Then again, "by the time you get dressed, drive out there, play eighteen holes and come home, you've blown seven hours. There are better things you can do with your time." Richard Nixon said that.
So even if you hate golf, but especially if you love it, I hope you'll enjoy this book.
All in Your Head