How to say I’m sorry: A step-by-step guide to a PGA Tour pro’s proper apology

February 15, 2019
Pro Golf Apology Playbook

Attention, PGA Tour professional: Are you in a media sh*t-storm of your own making? Has your loose tongue, tone deafness or complete lack of understanding of the world outside the top .0001% tax bracket finally caught up to you? Is the press circling you like buzzards over a wounded antelope, demanding retribution? You’re out of options. There’s only one move left to make: The Apology. Fortunately, we’re here to guide you through this challenging time. Here’s how to do it.

1. Show your face. A statement from your trusty PR team and/or financial advisors won’t cut it this time. Also, make sure to, you know, actually apologize. Sometimes that part gets lost, and then you’ll have to go back out and apologize for not apologizing the first time. Messy, right? You need to nail this on the first try.

2. Choose your words carefully. The proper verbiage will convey your deep sorrow and regret while also disguising your desire to maintain your lavish lifestyle, endorsement deals and people who pay you to sign stuff.

3. Take full blame. Do NOT use the phrase, “I’m sorry if I offended anyone.” You offended many people, which is why you need to apologize. Using this phrase will send you right back to the beginning. You don’t want to repeat the cycle all over again.

4. Follow this script. Still unsure of exactly what to say? Below is a templated speech to read following your next media crisis. Just fill in all applicable blanks as needed.

First, thank you (Todd Lewis/Jim Nantz/Oprah) for giving me this opportunity.

It’s very difficult to be here under these circumstances, but it’s important to me to say this in front of you, and the world. I want to express my sincere remorse for what I did. It was inexcusable to (break a sacred rule of golf/rip up a putting green/tweet a tasteless joke after consuming half a bottle of Cuervo), and for that I’m truly sorry. These actions have no place in (the game/the public discourse/the back of my Gulfstream VII). It won’t happen again.

I only hope that my terrible judgement does not come to define who I am as a golfer, or as a person, as I have donated more than ($5 million/$100,000/several autographed candy-bar wrappers) to charitable causes in my career, and I’ve also visited (dozens of orphanages/several homeless shelters/a handful of Hooters) to support those less fortunate. That’s the real me, and that’s who I hope people remember.

My actions made me seem insensitive and out of touch. But I can assure you I’m no different from anyone else. Just last week I (missed the cut and didn’t get a paycheck/helped my kids with their homework/made a peanut butter sandwich all by myself). It’s just that, sometimes I make mistakes.

For this latest gaffe, I’M SORRY. I ask now for forgiveness from (my fans/my team/my personal masseuse/anyone who used to pay me money and could one day do so again.) Thank you for your patience and support. And again, my bad.

That’s it. Follow this guide and you’ll be out of hot water and back in your Maserati in no time. Just remember, nothing saves face — and a bank account — like two little words: I’m sorry.