5 of the best golf songs – It might surprise you to learn that some of these songs are actually about golf. Honestly.
5 Of The Best Golf Songs
There have been numerous hits about golf over the years, like Bing Crosby’s Straight Down the Middle and… and… John Daly’s Hit it Hard? Well, there was Bing Crosby’s Straight Down the Middle at least.
But, in fact, there have been some alternative numbers written about our great game that have flown under the radar as they’ve touched on the sport in a more subtle fashion.
Here we look at 5 of the best golf songs you might not have known are actually about golf…
Hand in Glove by The Smiths
Morrissey has always been a great fan of golf and in this poignant tribute to a favourite accessory he extols the benefits of a well-fitted cabretta leather golf glove.
He recognises it’s not for everyone as the lyrics “the people stare,” and “the good people laugh” allude to, but he has a message for the naysayers – “we have something they’ll never have” he retorts…
Clearly the insinuation is that “something” is a Titleist Players glove.
Theme from Shaft by Isaac Hayes
For some 50 years now, people have thought Hayes wrote this song about “badass” detective John Shaft. Not so.
In fact, Hayes penned the funky number as an instructional piece about the importance of custom fitting.
In the very early days of custom fitting, Hayes describes it as “complicated man” and he goes on to lament that “no one understands” it.
But, overall, the message is positive – Does it make a difference Isaac? “You’re damn right.”
In da Club by 50 Cent
For a long time 50 Cent was an itinerant golfer, picking up games at various courses while touring the States.
He would just pay the rack rate green fee and, if he was lucky, would join up with a local member or, occasionally, the assistant pro.
The cost wasn’t an issue for the rapper. His lyrics confirm that he has loads of dosh. The issue was that he never felt he truly belonged as he went from club to club.
So, in 2001, he took the plunge and joined his local golf club. He absolutely loved it.
Within months he was playing an active role in club life, having joined the social committee as well as the team of volunteers who weed the clubhouse surrounds once a week, every Tuesday morning.
“Fiddy” placed a creditable third in the 2002 Summer Cup and received a special trophy at that year’s prizegiving for “most improved player.”
The star, also known as Curtis James Jackson, felt so touched by the award that he wrote this song by way of thanks to his fellow members, and particularly to Mickey “Shorty” McGee the club steward for whom Curtis first performed this song on the occasion of his birthday. After the rendition, Bacardi was imbibed.
Green Green Grass of Home by Tom Jones
The original title of this Tom Jones classic was Green Green Grass of the Home Green but Tom’s record label felt there were just too many greens in there, so they dropped the last one… and the the.
But the meaning remained… The song is, in fact, about a challenging round of golf. One in which Tom almost NR'd after losing a ball on the 12th by an “old oak tree” he used to play on.
Luckily, he found his “Penfold Commando” in a shady spot on the other side of said tree and was able to hack out back to the fairway.
Nevertheless, he was pretty much spent by the time he came to the final hole… So much so that he was delirious walking down the last.
At first, he thought he was on a train, then he thought he saw an old girlfriend, then his parents… he was losing it…
And that is why it was so good for him to touch the green green grass of (the) home (green).
The Launch by DJ Jean
This 1999 dance hit was originally used in a promotional video for a prototype launch monitor DJ Jean had designed in his garden shed and constructed using the innards of a Mini Disc player and a Kodak disposable camera.
The song turned out to be a bigger hit than Jean’s launch monitor and the Dutch DJ decided to turn his attention away from analysing ball flight and trajectory to concentrate on creating club anthems and releasing compilation albums.
Disclaimer on 5 of the best golf songs: Quite clearly, none of the above is true.
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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?
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