Bob Hope Quotes About Golf

Bing Crosby and Bob Hope play a golf benefit for the Navy League at Llanerch Country Club near Philadelphia
Bing Crosby (left) doesn't appear too impressed with Bob Hope's golf swing, but Hope was an excellent golfer. Bettmann/Getty Images 

Legendary comedian and entertainer Bob Hope was born in 1903 and died in 2003 a couple months after reaching the age of 100. In his younger days, Hope was an excellent golfer. In his later years, he was an enthusiastic golfer. He was always a voracious player of the game, and loved watching it, as well.

Starting in 1960, Hope hosted a tournament on the PGA Tour, the Bob Hope Classic (it is now called the CareerBuilder Challenge; Hope's name was dropped following his death).

Hope offered many quips and quotations over the years about the game he loved, many of them self-deprecating barbs about his own game. And he also made jokes at his friends' expense. Here is a selection of the choicest such Bob Hope quotes about golf:

General Bob Hope Golf Quotes

  • "Golf is my real profession. Entertainment is just a sideline. I tell jokes to pay my greens fees."
  • "If you watch a game, it's fun. If you play it, it's recreation. If you work at it, it's golf."
  • "If you think golf is relaxing, you're not playing it right."
  • "(Wife) Dolores says there are days when I’m closer to shooting my weight than my age."
  • "Titleist has offered me a big contract not to play its balls."
  • "I never kick my ball in the rough or improve my lie in a sand trap. For that I have a caddie."
  • "I've been playing the game so long that my handicap is in Roman numerals."
  • "If I'm on the course and lightning starts, I get inside fast. If God wants to play through, let him."
  • "Golf is a funny game. It's done much for health, and at the same time has ruined people by robbing them of their peace of mind. Look at me, I'm the healthiest idiot in the world."
  • "Golf is a game that needlessly prolongs the lives of some of our most useless citizens."
  • "Bing (Crosby) always said my swing looked like Grandma Moses trying to keep warm."
  • "A photographer kept shooting me every time I swung. I was very flattered until I found out he was from Field and Stream."
  • "(Arnold Palmer) told me how I could cut eight strokes off my score — skip one of the par 3s."
  • "I once showed Pat Bradley my swing and said, 'What do I do next?' Pat replied, 'Wait till the pain dies down.'"
  • "Golf is a hard game to figure. One day you will go out and slice it and shank it, hit into all the traps and miss every green. The next day you go out and, for no reason at all, you really stink."
  • "I get upset over a bad shot just like anyone else. But it’s silly to let the game get to you. When I miss a shot I just think what a beautiful day it is. And what pure fresh air I’m breathing. Then I take a deep breath. I have to do that. That’s what gives me the strength to break the club."
  • "I'd give up golf if I didn't have so many sweaters."
  • "It's wonderful how you can start out with strangers in the morning, play 18 holes, and by the time the day is over you have three solid enemies."
  • On how tough a golf course Pine Valley is: "Foursomes have left the first tee there and have never been seen again. They just find their shoelaces and bags."
  • "I've done as much for golf as Truman Capote has done for sumo wrestling."
  • "Some of these Legends of Golf have been around golf for a long time. When they talk about having a good grip, they're talking about their dentures."
  • "I'll shoot my age if I have to live to be 105."

Bob Hope's Quotes About Other Golfers

Hope played golf with many U.S. presidents over the years. At the Bob Hope Classic, Hope's pairing usually including a former president, often Gerald Ford. And President Ford was infamous for beaning spectators with wayward shots.

Here are some of Hope's best barbs directed at his good friend President Ford, along with a couple other quips about other celebs:

  • "Whenever I play with him (President Ford), I usually try to make it a foursome — the President, myself, a paramedic and a faith healer."
  • "Gerry Ford is easy to spot on the course. He drives the cart with the red cross painted on top."
  • "Gerald Ford (is) the most dangerous driver since Ben-Hur."
  • "It's not hard to find Gerald Ford on a golf course — just follow the wounded."
  • "At least he can't cheat on his score. All you have to do is look back down the fairway and count the wounded."
  • "I enjoy playing with (President Ford). The element of risk gets my adrenaline flowing and adds twenty yards to my tee shots."
  • "You don’t know what fear is until you hear Ford behind you shouting 'Fore!' — and you're still in the locker room."
  • "Shortly after I started playing golf with Gerry Ford I thought it was time to take some lessons. Not golf lessons. First aid."
  • "Whenever I play with Ford these days I carry thirteen clubs and a white flag."
  • "He (Ford) has a special kind of people in his gallery — the ones who like to sky dive and walk on hot coals."
  • "When (Spiro) Agnew yellowed “Fore!” you never knew whether he was telling someone to get out of the way or if he was predicting how many spectators he would hit with the shot."
  • "President Eisenhower has given up golf for painting. It takes fewer strokes."
  • "If (President Eisenhower) slices the budget like he slices a golf ball, the nation has nothing to worry about."
  • On AFL-CIO president George Meany: "He plays like a union man. He negotiates the final score."
  • On Sammy Davis Jr.: "He hits the ball 130 yards and his jewelry goes 150."