Ivan Morris Column - Words of the Wise

Limerick Leader golf columnist Ivan Morris
MY weekly dose of words of the wise seems to be popular with readers. I have gathered such a huge treasure trove of ‘wisdom’ that some of it will never see the light of day if I don’t throw a whole column of it at you once in a while.

MY weekly dose of words of the wise seems to be popular with readers. I have gathered such a huge treasure trove of ‘wisdom’ that some of it will never see the light of day if I don’t throw a whole column of it at you once in a while.

Golf isn’t for everybody. It’s not easy to learn, and it’s impossible to master. It’s expensive. It’s time consuming. It’s intimidating. It’s humbling. Its rules often defy common sense and some of its traditions are downright primitive. For the last 20 years, golf’s powers-that-be have tried to “grow the game” with all sorts of “initiatives” and pie-in-the-sky, if not delusional, promotions--with zero success – Dave Seanor.

PLAYING faster doesn’t mean hurrying. It just means eliminating the inefficiencies of dithering, daydreaming, aimless wandering around plus picking up when your situation is hopeless. The main reason people are slow is because they are always in the wrong place and never ready to play when it is their turn. What’s more when golfers play faster they usually score better.

If you watch a game, it’s fun. If you play it, it’s recreation. If you work at it, it’s golf - Bob Hope. 


By the time you 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

ON the putting green the mind can be a grave source of trouble. Begin to dislike the look of a putt, and the chances of holing it become less - Joyce Wethered

THE vast majority of golfers play the game without ever thinking deeply about it. In truth, they only play at golf. A 9-holes golf course has a completely different ‘atmosphere’ and modus operandi. I wish there were more of them.

Elaborate clubhouses and all that goes with them is one of golf’s ‘biggest problems.’ Once built, you have to pay for them. You can hardly tear them down again?

In golf, the margins between success and failure are infinitesimal but the consequences are absolutely massive - Karl McGinty

IT is one of the merits of golf that the game induces a certain amount of humility, which keeps a man from pluming himself too much on triumphs achieved in other walks of life -
P.G. Wodehouse

IT’S self-control first then ball control not the other way around – Howard Bennett

WHEN a golfer is waiting his turn to hole out a short putt at the last hole, on which the game/match/score hangs, it is of vital importance that he thinks of nothing. At this supreme moment he ought to fill his mind with vacancy. He must not even allow himself the consolation of a little prayer – Walter Simpson

THERE are golf nuts and there are golf nuts. The former touring professional Noel Fox clearly qualifies. When his coach told him that golfers who are left eye dominant are better putters, he squeezed some lemon juice into his right eye to weaken it. Can you imagine? Are you surprised that it didn’t pan out too well?

There’s an illusion that errant golfers can be fixed like a machine. Make the adjustments and everything will be perfect. Good golf is far more than the golf swing. It’s a million things - Steve Williams

GOLF is the only game that you can make better by turning the clock back by over 100-years. In golf, going backwards would be progress - Colin Montgomerie

A ball will always come to rest halfway down a hill, unless there is sand or water at the bottom - Henry Beard

IF we have never had a bad lie we are not likely to appreciate a good one, moreover, the ability to play from a bad lie differentiates between a good player and a bad one. We might also remark that good and bad lies differentiate between good sportsmen and bad - Alister Mackenzie

THE reason scores aren’t getting better is that golf courses are becoming increasingly more hazardous and longer; greens are ever faster and more undulating, all in a misguided attempt to protect par from the minority of elite players.

It’s a principle never to be lost sight of, in the construction as well as in the upkeep of a golf course, no matter where the ball comes to rest a player should have a chance to swing the club and to hit the ball - Robert Hunter

IT is important to make golf holes look much more difficult than they really are. More pleasure is derived from playing a hole that looks almost impossible and yet is not so difficult as it appears than the other way around – Alister Mackenzie

CLUB golfers always overestimate how far they hit the ball, and many don’t want to believe they are as short as they are – Lorne Rubenstein

TOO many try to learn golf as a static game rather than as a game of movement. Instead of studying photographs and trying to copy static positions frozen by the camera, watch good players in the flesh, and emulate their actions and rhythm – John Jacobs

AND finally, most successful golfers are as one-dimensional as they are talented. It goes with the job; it’s why they are so good at the job - Bill Elliott.