If you listen very closely, you may be able to hear it.  Just below the sound of leaves rustling in the breeze.  Did you catch it?  It might be a bird gently landing on a branch, or it might be a squirrel walking along the grass.  It could be almost anything, but there’s one thing it is for sure.  It is the reason your buddy just duck hooked his ball into the woods.  How do you know?  Because he just told you. (and anyone else in a 3 hole radius!)  We all know this guy, or if we were to be honest, sometimes we are this guy.  He is the master of the excuse.  While any number of things can go wrong during his swing, you can rest assured that none of them are internally generated.  So in honor of this classic golf archetype, let’s take a look at some of the more well-worn golf course excuses, and perhaps the deeper truths behind them.

The course just doesn’t suit my eye

An all-time classic when it comes to dodging responsibility.  An intentionally vague statement that somehow manages to place blame on the course architect, all the while implying that you are usually a good golfer on a more reasonably laid out track.  Upon playing with the type of fellow who uses this excuse, you typically find that what would “suit his eye” is 18 consecutive holes with sharp right turns 100′ in front of the tee boxes.

I need to get in for a custom fitting

The popularization of the “custom fitting” has opened up a whole wealth of excuses for the average hack.  There isn’t a missed shot that can’t be crammed under that umbrella.  Top one 50 yards?  Clubs are too short!  High weak fade?  Shafts are too flexible!  It is certainly clear that this guy’s clubs fit him horribly.  We can all agree on this, right?  What’s harder than to explain is why they manage to work perfectly 10-11 times a round.

The wind kicked up/died down just as I hit

Ah yes.  Mother nature is the force most often blamed for the hacks bad miss.  We’ve all seen it.  Three guys hit the green, and the fourth comes up 30 yards short.  “It was the wind!  You all felt it right?”  And to be fair, the breeze did seem to shift a bit.  Three clubs worth? Well, that’s for you to decide.

These are but a few of the classic excuses you will hear every weekend on countless courses across the land.  There are so many gems that we may have to revisit the topic in a future post.  Until then remember, a bad shot is never your fault.  A poor excuse, however, is.