A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

Recent entries:
“What do you call a vampire who does his shopping on Black Friday?"/"Dis-Count.” (11/27)
“They divide with fear. We unite with courage” (11/27)
Entry in progress—BP (11/27)
“What is a Texas chicken’s favorite beer?"/"Shiner Bock Bock Bock!” (11/27)
“What do you call a coupon-using vampire?"/"Discount.” (11/27)
More new entries...

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Entry from December 09, 2011
“The difference between golf and government is that in golf you can’t improve your lie”

"The difference between golf and government is that in golf you can’t improve your lie” is a joke that plays on the meanings of “lie” ("to not tell the truth” or “to place a golf ball"). Golfers can “improve their lie” in special cases, such as under winter rules.

The line has been usually credited to George Deukmejian (California governor, 1983–1991) since at least 1992. However, an earlier form of the joke has been in print since at least 1964, attributed to James D. Sterling.


16 February 1964, Omaha (NE) World-Herald, pg. 10F, col. 2:
What’s the difference between golf and political oratory?
In golf, you can’t improve your lie.
-- J. D. Sterling in Quote.

Google Books
The Reader’s Digest
Volume 85
1964
Pg. 58:
The difference between golf and political oratory is that in golf you can’t improve your lie. (James D. Sterling in The Atlantic Log).

23 October 1976, Chicago (IL) Tribune, pg. N15:
The difference between golf and politics: In golf you can’t improve your lie.

Google Books
Amazing But True Golf Facts
By Bruce M Nash, Allan Zullo and Larry Dorman
Kansas City, MO: Andrews and McMeel
1992
Pg. ?:
“The difference between golf and government is that in golf you can’t improve your lie.” — GEORGE DEUKMEJIAN, Former California governor

Tucson (AZ) Citizen
A conversation with Senator Mark Udall
by Andy Morales on Nov. 15, 2011, under Sports
(...)
“There are a lot of great analogies in golf like the ‘longest distance on a golf course is between your ears’ and the ‘difference in golf and government is that in golf you can’t improve your lie.’”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Military/Religion /Health • (1) Comments • Friday, December 09, 2011 • Permalink