Doug Sanders’ British Open Miss for the Ages

Doug Sanders misses 30 inch putt

Doug Sanders misses 30 inch putt

My previous post celebrates one of Tiger Woods’ greatest moments when he chipped in on the 16th hole at Augusta during the 2005 Masters Tournament which he won.

Unfortunately, not so great moments have their place in golf history as well. In 1970, Doug Sanders, described by Golf Hall of Famer Johnny Miller as “a crowd-pleasing showman who dressed loud, lived fast and made golf the glamour game it was in the 1960s and ’70s,” missed a critical putt on the eighteenth green at the British Open. I wrote the following poem to memorialize this famous run-by that cost Sanders the tournament.


The putt was less than three feet long
Just how could anything go wrong?

For sure he knew the stakes were high
But could he really run it by?

Doug looked as cool as cool could be.
His poise was there for all to see.

But as his putter made its sweep
And those who watched made not a peep

The ball escaped its aimed-for goal
And did not end up in the hole.

The question was, how could he miss
An easy putt as short as this?

The answer – simple, known to all:
Pressure putts don’t always fall.

This poem is among more than 100 golf poems, most from before 1930, that are include in my new book, Golf Course of Rhymes – Links between Golf and Poetry Through the Ages. The book is available at electronic bookstores such as AmazonBarnes and Noble and Amazon UK.


  1. Ah, Tiger – he’s such a star!

    Good luck with the book!


    Anne B

  2. Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The text in your post seem to be running off the screen
    in Firefox. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let
    you know. The design and style look great though! Hope you get the issue solved soon.
    Many thanks

  3. golfpoet says:

    Thanks for the info on the Firefox problem. Not sure I can do anything on my end to fix it since I do not control the postings except for writing them. Hope it was a temporary problem. In any case I hope you saw enough to enjoy the post. Best regards, Leon S White (the golfpoet)

  4. This is greeat


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