Fact Check

A Bad Lie

A political golf joke involving Arnold Palmer and Hillary Clinton was mistaken for real news by some readers.

Published Oct. 12, 2016

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The PGA officially has changed the golf term "a bad lie" to "a Hillary" in honor of Arnold Palmer.

The passing of golfing legend Arnold Palmer in September 2016 prompted the circulation of an old joke, suitably updated for the current political climate, holding that the PGA had changed the term "a bad lie" (i.e., a disadvantageous shot) to "a Hillary" in accordance with the famous linkster's last wishes:

As his final request, Arnold Palmer has suggested that the golf term "bad lie" would be more descriptive if called ... "A Hillary."

Today, the PGA has honored Arnold's request and officially approved "A Hillary" in the lexicon of golf terms.

Unfortunately, some readers failed to recognize the obvious humor and mistook the anecdote for a factual report. The jape was originally shared on the "Freedom Sledders" forum on 5 October 2016, where it was posted under the subheading "Today's Joke."

The PGA does have a Golf Glossary on their web site which lists and defines various golfing terms. While "a lie" is defined as "the position of the ball when it has come to rest," neither a "bad lie" nor "a Hillary" is included in that glossary.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.