"Every shot pleases somebody/someone” is a golf adage; a great shot pleases the golfer and a poor shot pleases the golfer’s opponents. “Every shot pleases somebody” has been cited in print since at least 1956.
The saying has been used in politics and in other fields besides golf.
Coffee and Tea Industries and the Flavor Field
Spice Mill Publishing Company
K. C. Tripp is responsible for these sidelights on doings on the golf course. He was thinking not only of the players but had in mind those who had invested in players in the sweepstakes. He said, “Every shot pleases somebody.”
The Weekly Underwriter
As they say in golf “every shot pleases somebody — either you or your opponent.”
Google News Archive
15 March 1974, Daytona Beach (FL) Morning Journal, “Memo From The Editor,” pg. 4A, cols. 4-5:
ROBERT U. BROWN, veteran editor and publisher of Editor and Publisher, seems to have said the final word about “bad news” and “good news”. In his column “Shop Talk at Thirty”, he comments: “It seems to us that definitions of ‘good news’ or ‘bad news’ usually depend on where you sit, what your personal interest is, whose ox is being gored. There is a saying among golfers that every shot pleases someone. And so it is with politics and the news about politics.”—H.M.D.
28 July 1976, The Bee (Danville, VA), “Talking Sports” with Al Milley, pg. 1-D col. 1:
“Every shot pleases somebody.”
That little bit of golfing philosophy was offered recently by Jimmy Steed during a round of golf at Pinehurst, N.C.
How to Win at Golf
Without Actually Playing Well
By Jon Winokur
“Every shot pleases someone” as he slices into the woods.
Weak dollar: How worried should you be?
Rates could rise and inflation could come back—but that’s just in the short term.
December 8, 2003: 11:05 AM EST
By Walter Updegrave, CNN/Money contributing columnist
Have you ever heard the expression that “every golf shot pleases someone”?
What it means is that the double-bogey (two over par) you just made on the 17th hole may not be too pleasing to you, but the guy who had been trailing you by one shot and has just taken the lead couldn’t be happier.
Think One Team:
An Inspiring Fable and Practical Guide for Managers, Employees & Jelly Bean Lovers
By Graham Winter
Milton, Qld: John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.
In the boardroom Tracey from Sales marked the far left of the flip chart and wryly observed, ‘It’s like that golf saying, “every shot pleases someone”. We’ve become a business in which people take pleasure in watching others fail. It’s crazy’.
National Review Online—The Corner
By Jay Nordlinger
January 16, 2013 9:09 A.M.
And interesting mail it is. In Impromptus today, I mention a friend of mine who works for a big accounting firm. Sarbanes-Oxley, he says, is terrible for businesses in general — but good for his. They’ve made a fortune. I cite a cynical old saying in golf: “Every shot pleases someone.”