Folklore has it that after Jimmy Durante completed his first round ever - he scored well into the 200s - he asked his companions, "What should I give the caddie?" The answer: "Your clubs."
The night before the 1974 Spanish Open, Seve Ballesteros, then seventeen, said it was "impossible" for a pro to score double figures on a hole at even par. His first drive hooked out of bounds, his second shot, sliced out of bounds, his sixth shot found a lake and his eighth was in a bunker. On in nine, he putted in for 11.
In the third round of the 1921 British Open at St. Andrews, amateur Roger Wethered stepped on his ball while walking backward after studying his line on the 14th green. The one-stroke penalty cost him the championship, as he tied with Jock Hutchison and then lost the playoff.
Often gamesmanship can get out of hand. While playing with Jimmy Demaret at the San Andres Country Club in Buenos Aires, Sam Snead rolled a long putt right up to the cup that would have dropped had it not rebounded a foot backward. Upon closer inspection, Snead noticed someone had planted toothpicks around the cup.
Jackie Pung had the lowest score at the 1957 U.S. Women's Open at Winged Foot, but lost the championship. Her signed scorecard showed a five on the fourth hole instead of the correct six, although the final round total of 72 was correct. She was disqualified. Members, officials, and spectators later collected $3,000 for her as consolation.
Bill Garniss was playing the eighth hole at Bass River Golf Club, South Yarmouth, Massachusetts, when he hit a low 4-wood shot. The ball headed for a greenside bunker and stopped dead. Garniss found the ball impaled on the spike of the bunker rake.
The story is told at St. Andrews of a player who fluffed his approach shot at 18 into the Swilcan Burn. He picked up, dropped over his shoulder, and chipped into the burn again, picked up, dropped and chipped in a third time. He took his clubs from the caddie, threw them into the burn, threw his caddie in, and jumped in himself.
Roberto de Vicenzo inadvertently signed his score-card posting a par instead of a birdie on the 17th hole at the 1968 Masters. This technical error gave him a score one stroke higher than he actually shot and gave the green jacket to Bob Goalby.
Filling out his scorecard after a pro-am at Doral in 1970, Ray Floyd wrote his front-side total of 36 in the box reserved for the 9th hole. He signed the card, turned it in, and posted a round of 110.
In the 1968 French Open, British pro Brian Barnes missed a short putt for par and then tried to rake the ball back into the cup. His backhand missed. So did his next forehand. Livid, he began batting the ball back and forth, once straddling the line, incurring a two-stroke penalty. He holed out for a 15.
After Ben Crenshaw's ball lodged in a palm tree at Palm Springs in 1981, his caddie climbed onto a stepladder and shook the tree. About three dozen balls fell out. Crenshaws was not among them.