10 things golfers hate

Even the most ardent golf fan will have a long list of things that annoy them about the game, here are 10 examples you might relate to.

things golfers hate
How unlucky is that?
(Image credit: Kenny Smith)

Most amateur golfers have a love-hate relationship with the sport. The highs are tough to beat, the lows are tough to bear. We can all reel off a list of the things that irritate us about the game and some will be more fickle than others. Here are 10 things that might just get on your goat… see if you agree.

Slow play

things golfers hate

I've been out here four and a half hours already!

(Image credit: Kenny Smith)

A look at your watch shows it’s been four hours since you teed off and you’re only on the 16th fairway. You’ve waited on every single shot but the group ahead seems totally oblivious. Aaarggghhh!

The course being closed

What do you mean the course is closed?

What do you mean the course is closed? Credit: Getty Images

The true golf lover is prepared to forge out onto the links no matter what the weather is doing. There’s only one thing that can stop him – the dreaded “Course Closed” sign.

Losing a brand-new ball

things golfers hate

Come on ball!

(Image credit: Kenny Smith)

You crack open a new sleeve, mark your ball and peg it up. The feeling of loss is huge as you watch it disappear into the middle of a lake - £3.50 gone in the blink of an eye.

Finding your ball in a divot hole

things golfers hate

(Image credit: Kenny Smith)

You've belted one down the centre of the fairway - a career best drive... It's miles down there.... It's in the Mayor's office... It's, it's... It's in a divot hole. How unfair is that?

Missing a short putt on the final green

things golfers hate

It's going to take at least a couple of pints to get over this one. 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

No matter how well you’ve played, you’ll be kicking yourself for the rest of the day at the shot that got away right at the death.

The duffed chip

things golfers hate


(Image credit: Getty Images)

The chip shot should be so straightforward, so why is it so damned difficult? You’ve only 20 yards to the pin but manage to advance the ball just a couple of feet, is there a more disgusting feeling to be had on the golf course?

The plugged lie in a bunker

things golfers hate

Did somebody stand on it?

(Image credit: Kenny Smith)

You've played a poor shot and it's headed for a sand trap. But, hey, you might still get up-and-down and save par. You did it once before. Hmm - maybe not from that lie!


You post your best Medal round of the year only to be beaten into second place by a 24 handicapper who returns a nett 56. You should be magnanimous in defeat but you just can’t.

A bunker filled with water

things golfers hate

So where am I supposed to drop it?
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The most unfair rule in golf? Your ball narrowly misses the green and topples into a bunker. It’s brimming with water with no chance of relief within the hazard. So you’re forced to take a penalty drop behind the trap, and now you have to play back over it!

A sky mark on a new driver

skied drives

(Image credit: Future)

You’re so proud of this shiny new driver and it’s made you the envy of your friends. Now it’s been tarnished and your friends are less interested.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?