Close only counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades

Close only counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades is an old phrase which is talking about being close to succeeding but that being close isnt good enough. You might also hear it as almost only counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades. The cliche means that you cant just be close to completing something such as scoring, making decisions or being correct about something; you must get there all the way, not almost there.