Whether it's a freak gust of wind or a spike mark, it always helps to have something else to blame...

10 Common Golf Excuses For A Bad Shot

1. Mother Nature

She can be a cruel mistress.

As you reach the top of your backswing, a rare atmospheric event occurs – a phantom gust of wind or the sun comes out or a squirrel bites into a nut or the air temperature dips or a rogue rain drop drips onto your bald patch.

We have all played with people who are inaudibly distracted at everything too, whether it be the birds chirping or a butterfly flapping frantically.

2. Spike marks

Most Important Missed Putts

The dreaded spike mark strikes again (Getty Images)

It is amazing how the spectre of one tiny spike mark can transform the green in your mind’s eye into something akin to a World War I battlefield.

The likelihood of your ball evading this crater is zero.

Cue a heavy period of gesticulation and a spell of bad-mouthing the green-staff.

Spike marks are the cause of more missed short putts than anything else (other than jerky strokes, bad reads, nerves of jelly etc…)

3. Mud ball

The dimples on your ball have been carefully engineered to offer the truest of flights.

What no one needs is a lump of sod attached to one side of it.

Unless Winter Rules come to your aid, you need to strike it in the blind hope of success.

Failure, in this instance, comes with a perfect excuse.

4. Your playing partner

A golfer in the address position is like a sniper waiting for his moment.

Cue Janet asking if you’d like a Murray Mint while you’re at the top of your backswing.

“Come on, Janet. Have some respect… Yes, I will have a mint.”

5. Other golfers

As we have already mentioned, golfers are in a constant state of hyper-awareness.

If you are standing in the wrong position or you move while a fellow competitor is preparing to play, you can expect a volley of four-lettered abuse.

And rightly so.

(Also, make sure your shadow is out of the way…)

6. Slipping

The golf swing is one of the most athletic moves the human body can make – fact.

Balancing the demand for speed, control and stability, it’s a wonder we ever make contact.

A slip is nothing short of a tragedy.

Yes, it may not have been perceptible to the naked eye, but you felt your left foot slide and you may as well have fallen over in your downswing.

7. Wrong club

“When I got there it wasn’t lying as well as I thought but I couldn’t be bothered to go back and change clubs.”

Whether out of laziness or poor decision making, picking the wrong club to play any shot is a recipe for disaster.

8. Wrong yardage

Using the wrong club often comes about because we have the wrong yardage in the first place. Thank your playing partner for measuring the tree behind the flag and not the pin itself…

9. Bad back/shoulder/neck/leg

Bringing in the doctor might take it a bit far though… (Getty Images)

Twist away in agony clutching the relevant body part after a woeful shot and no-one will think it was actually your fault.

10. Poor bunker maintenance

Sand is always too abundant, too sparse, too fluffy or too heavy. Or is it just that your bunker technique is sadly lacking?

What are your favourite golf excuses? Let us know on the Golf Monthly social channels