Golf is More Than The Clothes Pros Wear

“I don’t want to be just known for the way I dress. I want to be known for how I play, how I treat people, and how I am as a role model. I don’t just want to be, ‘He dresses cool’ or ‘He dresses crazy.’ You’re going to have lovers and haters. I want my golf game to be the main thing.” This quote from PGA pro Rickie Fowler says a lot about the depth of today’s professionals, but this depth is hardly new. Through the years, golfers quotes have always expressed the guts of the game, and life for that matter, as more than just a club, a ball, and a hole.

Case in point is this gem from the great Arnold Palmer. “Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated; it satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening – and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented.”

Palmer recognized the mental aspect of this great game, an aspect that needs instruction according to LPGA great Paula Creamer who once said, “Find a good teacher that will keep the game fun. Work hard and don’t be afraid to have success or disappointment. That is what golf is all about.”

Creamer’s approach to the game is supported by this Tiger Woods quote from a few years ago regarding his late father Earl. “To this day, my dad has never asked me to go play golf. I ask him. It’s the child’s desire to play that matters, not the parent’s desire to have the child play. Fun. Keep it fun.”

LPGA golfers Hollis Stacy and Amy Alcott also looked back to their respective youths for the essence of golf. Stacy was once quoted as saying, “When I was a little girl in Savannah playing, there were never enough hours in the day or holes on the golf course. I just loved the game so much.”

Alcott also reminisced with joy when she offered the following quote, “Golf isn’t just about hitting a lot of drivers. I grew up playing on my front lawn, chipping and putting into soup cans, out of the ivy and over rose bushes and hedges – the little Alcott Golf and Country Club. I just loved having a wedge in my hands.”

Yes, the range of memorable quotes from golfers is large indeed. Phil “Lefty” Mickelson put the balance between competition and decorum in simple perspective when he said, “The object of golf is not just to win. It is to play like a gentleman, and win.”

Two legends of golf, Ben Hogan and Tom Watson, saw a more complex concept of self in the game. Hogan stated, “Reverse every natural instinct and do the opposite of what you are inclined to do, and you will probably come very close to having a perfect golf swing.”

While Hogan may have been employing a bit of sarcasm, Watson got more reflective when he stated, “Golf is a game of ego, but it is also a game of integrity: the most important thing is you do what is right when no one is looking.”

Perhaps the most thought-provoking quote came from LPGA legend Nancy Lopez, who truly dredged deeply into the heart of a golfer when she opined, “Doubt yourself and you doubt everything you see. Judge yourself and you see judges everywhere. But if you listen to the sound of your own voice, you can rise above doubt and judgment. And you can see forever.”

John Molori is an author and columnist for numerous publications. Like him on Facebook at John Molori, Twitter @MoloriMedia. Email molorimedia@gmail