The 41 absolute *worst* feelings in golf, according to golfers

Rip a drive, then chunk your next shot. That one hurts.


Golf isn’t an easy game. It’s a game of misses, the saying goes, and it’s the challenge in trying to conquer it that keeps golfers coming back, again and again.

And, of course, they never do master it. But of all the things that kick us down in golf, some moments of ignominy sting more than others. For those, we turned to our How To Hit Every Shot Facebook group (which you can join for yourself right here) and asked them for their takes on the worst feelings in golf.

Here’s what they came back with, from laying up into trouble to hearing “you’re still away”…

1. Witnessing a hole-in-one

Just ask renowned non-hole-in-one-maker Alan Shipnuck.

2. Making a bogey after a birdie

One step forward, followed immediately by one step backward.

3. Topping a drive off the first tee

Not a great way to start the round.

4. 17 good holes + 1 blow-up hole

We’ve all had rounds like this. You do so much good work for so much of it — and then undo it all in one hole.

5. Leaving a birdie or eagle putt short

First — and really, only — rule for these putts: get it to the hole!

6. 5-plus-hour round

Nothing worse than watching the group ahead of you chit-chat before deciding to hit their shot.

7. Making a bogey (or worse) from the middle of the fairway

If you’re in the middle of the fairway, you should be thinking “go zone,” not damage control.

8. Missing the green with a wedge

If you’ve got a shot inside at 100 yards, you don’t need to stick it, but how annoying is it when you miss the green altogether?

9. Making a double (or worse) with no penalty shots

Doubles are always annoying, but never more so than when you make a double because you literally hit the ball six times.

10. Losing your first ball of the day on the 18th hole

You were this close

11. 3-putting from 10 feet

From a great birdie chance to a bogey, in the blink of an eye.

12. Laying up into trouble

“Just going to play this one safe”

*hits delicate punch shot into the water*

13. Being told “you’re still away”

You don’t need to tell me, WE ALREADY KNOW.

14. Stone-cold shank

Shanks, they come and they go with seemingly no explanation. The only thing worse than the humiliation of hitting a shank is the feeling standing over the shot right after it.

15. Getting your round rained-out

You finally get to play golf, you’re excited — and then it starts raining.

16. Running late for a tee time

There’s no fear like the thought of missing a tee time.

17. Chunked shot after perfect drive

A great birdie opportunity. Wait, did we say birdie? I meant bogey.

18. Missing a putt that was conceded

If it was already conceded it almost certainly doesn’t matter — it’s just a bit embarrassing.

19. Having to yell “fore!”

It’s YOUR bad shot that has caused such a ruckus.

20. Having to apologize to the group you just hit into

“Sorry about slicing my ball 80 yards into your fairway.”

21. Hitting a drive into the rough and not finding your ball

“I’ll just drop one here.” Such a sad statement.

22. Blading a sand wedge from a greenside bunker

I don’t always hit my wedge 170 yards, but when I do, it’s from a greenside bunker.

23. Kicking sand off your club and accidentally hitting your ankle

This might actually be the worst feeling in golf.

24. Chunking a chip then blading the next chip

Throw a shank and a whiff in there, and you’ve hit for the cycle.

25. Missing a short putt

Golf’s ultimate shame.

26. Missing a putt to break 80

You were thiiiiiis close. 

27. Realizing you hit a putt way too hard

“Sit! Sit! Sit!”

28. Watching a playing partner struggle

If only Tim knew to weaken his trail hand grip. 

29. Thinking a shot is perfect when it actually isn’t

I thought it was tight. Turns out I didn’t even hit the green.

30. Waiting on the tee for the group ahead

The tee is all yours, but there’s a couple foursomes ahead of you.

31. Counting your clubs and realizing one is missing

The horror of realizing you left your wedge back on that green where you chunked, then bladed those chips.

32. Accidentally hitting your 6-iron instead of your 9-iron

Do people actually do this?

33. Not driving your ball past the forward tees

There are bad drives, and then there are drives that don’t get past the forward tees.

34. Not having enough money to pay up your bets

If you’re going to lose, at least lose with honor.

35. Playing poorly one round after playing well

Progress in golf isn’t a straight line, no matter how much you want it to be.

36. Missing a putt to tie the hole

Though to be fair, you may just not have the clutch gene. 

37. Hearing the lightning siren

It’s probably fine though, right?

38. Having to say ‘just put me down for double’

One in, two out, three in, four out, five into the bunker…

39. Realizing you forgot to count a shot on a hole

“I made par there! Oh wait, no, bogey.”

40. Hitting a bad drive, taking a breakfast ball, and hitting a worse drive

Your ONE chance, and you blew it.

41. Making a hole-in-one and realizing it doesn’t count

Like all of these times,

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Luke Kerr-Dineen Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is an English-American who oversees instruction and other service content across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms. An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism and Media from Columbia University. Following graduation, he spent two years as a digital editor at Golf Digest before spending three years at USA Today.