GD70 | Comedy

GD70 | Comedy

Lots of Laughs

Stories and lines we can’t forget

MIKE O’MALLEY

Funny stories.

They’re as much a part of golf as birdies and bogeys. Through the years, Golf Digest has been lucky enough to share time with some of the legendary storytellers and characters in the game. Senior Writer Guy Yocom deserves special recognition for his My Shot series of interviews, prominent here with excerpts from other amazing features and columns through the decades. Something you’ll notice: One of the most appealing qualities of good jokesters is the ability to laugh at themselves as well as with others. And the best part? Our team of writers and photographers keep adding to the comedic moments, month by month.


AWKWARD, EMBARRASSING MOMENTS


Billy Harmon

DEALING WITH DAD
AUGUST 1997

Dad [1948 Masters champion Claude Harmon] had a way of making you put your foot in your mouth before you realized you’d even untied your shoes. I remember once poking fun at him at the Masters. I was caddieing for Jay Haas, wearing that nice, white caddie uniform they give you, and Dad was out on the range with us watching Jay hit balls. I looked over at Dad and noticed that his Masters jacket looked a little worse for wear. The club patch was torn and peeling off, and the lapels had a few stains on them.

“Dad,” I whispered, “you’re a former Masters champion. Just look at the condition of that green coat. You really ought to take a little more pride in that coat.”

Without hesitating, he said, “Bill, you just worry about that little white tuxedo you’ve got on, and I’ll take care of my green coat.”

Then there was the time in 1972 he was getting ready to meet a Golf Digest photographer for a cover-story photo shoot. The story would be titled “I Can Get You Out of Sand With One Hand.” Dad had on this bright orange cardigan sweater and these blue-and-white pants that looked like they were made from curtains.

“Dad,” I said, “you knew they were coming down to put you on the cover of the magazine. Is that the best outfit you can come up with?”

“Bill, I’ll tell you what,” he said. “When you get on the cover of Golf Digest, you can wear whatever you want to.”

As humbling as those come-backers were, my most embarrassing moment was when I was playing a sand shot in a tournament with Dad looking on. The greenside bunker was on the edge of the course’s property line. Just across the road was a church with a couple of stained-glass windows facing the course. Now, I’m the son of the man on the cover of Golf Digest who is saying, “I Can Get You Out of the Sand With One Hand.” What do I do? I skull that shot out of the sand, over the green, across the road, and through one of those stained-glass windows. Just as I hear it crashing through the glass, Dad shouts, “Light a couple of candles for me!”


Brandel Chamblee photographed by Darren Carroll

Brandel Chamblee

A CHANGE IN STRATEGY
JUNE 2012

Practice round, 1995 British Open at St. Andrews. Justin Leonard and I are playing Mark Brooks and Bob Estes. It’s an all-University of Texas affair, and we’re having a great time. We come to the 16th, a short par 4. I hit driver, and Mark raises his eyebrows, walks over and really scolds me. “What are you thinking?” he says. “You never hit driver here. If you drive it into one of those Principal’s Nose bunkers or the Deacon Sime bunker beyond it, you can be there forever. There’s O.B. right, you’ve got those bunkers, and hitting driver is the stupidest thing you can do. The right play is a 4-iron.”

Fast-forward to Sunday. I hadn’t played well and was back home watching the finish on TV. Mark is tied for the lead standing on the 16th tee, and what club does he pull? That’s right, his driver. He hits into the Deacon Sime bunker, makes double bogey and finishes one shot out of the John Daly-Costantino Rocca playoff.

Now, I can’t wait to see Mark, and two months later I run into him at the Buick Open in Michigan. He’s walking one way, head down, and I’m coming the other, and when he gets five steps from me he says—without lifting his head and without stopping—“Don’t say an effing word. The situation had changed.”


Henrik Stenson

A CADDIE’S BAD DAY
SEPTEMBER 2014

True story from the European Tour: A well-known caddie was running to catch a train to get to a tournament. There was little time to spare, and he had to go to the bathroom very badly. Just as he gets to the train station, he trips and falls. The impact jars everything loose. Disaster. Fortunately, there’s a clothing shop at the station. He shuffles in and buys a track suit, ignoring the wrinkled-up nose of the salesperson.

He barely makes the train. Once the train was underway, he goes into the bathroom, takes off every piece of his clothing and throws it out the window. He removes the track suit from the bag and finds, to his horror, that the suit is missing the pants portion. So he turns the top upside down, forces his legs into the sleeves, zips it up and returns to his seat, topless. For hours he absorbs glares from strangers and the conductors.

When he arrived at the tournament, he could barely speak for two days. A post traumatic-stress situation.


Larry David

JOINING RIVIERA WHEN O.J. SIMPSON WAS A MEMBER
OCTOBER 2015

I joined in 1994. I’m there a month before the O.J. murders. I saw him in the dining room the day of the murder. . . . My biggest concern after the acquittal was running into him in a restaurant with Laurie [David’s ex-wife]. One time I asked her what she would do if she saw him eating. She said, “I would stand up, point to him and scream, ‘Murderer!’ ” And I said, “Well, we’re not going out to dinner for quite some time.”


Peter Alliss

WORD CHOICES
APRIL 1997

I still try to use the right word. Bunker, not trap. And I never say “backside.” Once I listened to somebody say, “Here is Faldo at 14 with the wind gusting from his rear.” That conjures up a nice picture, doesn’t it?


Jon Rahm photographed by Peter Yang

Jon Rahm

FACING PRESSURE LEARNING THE GAME AS A KID IN SPAIN
JUNE 2017

W e would go from one shot to another until someone got closest to the hole six times. But if you were at zero when that happened, there were punishments, like going around the putting green twice on your knees, which is not easy. But the worst one was the guys with zero had to drop their pants, underwear and all, to their ankles, and couldn’t pull them up until they won a hole. You did not want to be at zero when someone at five would chip it close. That was not just pressure, that was absolute fear. Trust me, that was a lot worse than having a putt to win a tournament. I never had to drop my pants, but I came close.


Lee Trevino photographed by Walter Iooss Jr.

Walter Iooss Jr.

‘LONG-HAIRED PHOTOGRAPHER’
AUGUST 2018

Lee Trevino,  you couldn’t take a bad picture of him. The photograph of him wearing a pith helmet, holding a snake in one hand and a hatchet in the other shortly before he won the 1971 U.S. Open at Merion, I shot that. More than 40 years later, I shot him posing with a snake for Golf Digest. Over the years, Lee always recognized me in the gallery, used me as his straight man as he wisecracked with the galleries. “Look at the long-haired photographer,” he’d say. “I’ll bet he smoked a pound of marijuana last night.” The gallery would roar, then Lee would look at me and wink. We both understood it was all about entertainment.


Verne Lundquist

A COUPLE GOES O.B.
MAY 2017

There’s a passage in Dan Jenkins’ great novel Dead Solid Perfect in which the protagonist’s wife is caught getting it on by a TV network camera on the remote part of a golf course during a tournament. It’s based on a real incident, one that I witnessed. I’m at Colonial one year, at the 15th, a par 4 with a row of trees along the corner of the dogleg. The final group passes through, and the gallery moves with it, and that’s the last viewers saw from that camera. But privately, the camera lingers, and what do we see but a man and woman strolling up under the shade of the trees, where they proceed to get to know each other better.

For a good 15 minutes, the two of them take romance to new heights. Eventually they finish, but the camera stays with them as they amble up the 16th hole, to the 17th tee and finally the clubhouse, where, after exchanging winks and nods, they rejoin two people who clearly are their respective spouses.

The network guys have a devilish sense of humor and decided to make a film production of it. One of the guys allegedly took the tape with him onto one of the aircraft carriers heading out into the Pacific Ocean to retrieve some astronauts after splashdown. To entertain the crew.


Deane Beman

A HIGH SCHOOL KID PLAYS IN THE U.S. OPEN
MARCH 2005

Iconvinced my teachers that I didn’t have to take final exams, and I went out a week early to play [in the 1955 Open at Olympic]. Junior in high school. I get out on the practice tee, I’m by myself. Hogan hasn’t arrived yet. I’m out hitting balls, and back then you brought your own practice balls. My practice balls were a real grab bag. Pretty soon, I hear a rustling behind me, and up comes an entourage with Hogan. The caddie has a brand-new box—a big box— of Titleists. The caddie cuts the box open and dumps the sleeves of brand-new balls.

Pretty soon, another guy walks in front of me, and it’s Bo Wininger. And he’s got this shag bag of all brand-new balls. Wininger hits about 10 balls, and now I’m down to a 4-wood. I hit this one ball that’s got a cut in it. It takes off, and you could hear this pfffft! Wininger looks over his shoulder, looks at me, looks down at the golf balls I’ve got, and he says, “Son, aren’t you afraid one of those things is going to explode?”


Dan Jenkins

DEALING WITH A CRITIC
1994

Back in 1970, I strongly suggested in print that Arnold Palmer should have won the PGA instead of Dave Stockton, then a member of the tour’s invisible rank and file. Stockton didn’t appreciate it, and legend has it that during a tournament in New Jersey, he went up to Bob Drum, and in a rather fierce tone of voice said, “Is Jenkins here? I want to talk to him!” Calmly, Drum said, “I don’t think he’s coming this week. Whom shall I say is asking?”


TEMPER TANTRUMS


David Feherty photographed by J.D. Cuban

David Feherty

DRIVING OVER HIS CLUBS WITH HIS CAR AFTER BLOWING A TOURNAMENT
NOVEMBER 2015

I drove over them lengthwise so that I got all of them from grip to clubhead. Unfortunately, my watch was still in there.


Lou Holtz

SALVAGING A PUTTER
APRIL 2009

At Lake Nona one day I had the yips something terrible, and I tossed my putter in the lake. Somebody fished it out and decided to donate it to a charity auction. They asked me to sign it, and I wrote, Great putter. Does not float. Coach Lou Holtz. Fetched a good price, too.


Peter Dobereiner

BERNARD DARWIN’S UNFORTUNATE PARTNER
JANUARY 1978

Darwin was justly famous for his writings on golf, and equally notorious for his abominable temper on the course. It is always said that Darwin was completely unaware afterward what he had done or said in these moments of passion, unlikely though that may seem. He must, surely, have known what he was up to when he was playing in a foursomes match in a tournament with an inept partner and he accosted a perfect stranger who happened to be out for a walk on the links. “It may interest you to know, sir,” said Darwin through clenched teeth, “that I am tied to a turd.”


BETTING AND GAMESMANSHIP


Jack Nicholson photographed by Nigel Parry

Jack Nicholson

RULES TO LIVE BY
DECEMBER 2007

I don’t always observe them, but I use them for amusement:

1. No double bogeys on the first six holes.

2. I don’t gamble. But if we must gamble, I only collect, I don’t pay.

3. Under pressure, I’ll cheat ya.

4. Any green in regulation, the second putt is called goo-oo-ood.


Rudy Duran

PLAYING WITH NICHOLSON AND DENNIS HOPPER
DECEMBER 2007

We were on the ninth hole at Sherwood Country Club. Hopper hits his ball in a creek and goes to look for it. He’s stomping around in there and chases out a bunch of quail. Now Hopper comes running out, yelling “Oh my God!” with this load of quail flying around his head—just as Jack is swinging! Jack’s ball goes off a quail, off a tree, bounces on a rock, and finally rolls into the creek. He watches it go in there and finally says, “Even I gotta take a stroke on that one.”


Samuel L. Jackson photographed by Ben Van Hook

Samuel L. Jackson

HOW TO BEAT HOGAN
DECEMBER 2005

I’ve read how hard it was to beat Ben Hogan. The old guys talk about how Hogan would give them the silent treatment. If it had been me, I would have fought back. Along the 15th hole, I would have hidden his cigarettes.


Mia Parnevik

HOW TO MEET A HUSBAND
SEPTEMBER 2002

My girlfriend and I wanted to dance with Jesper’s friend. Jesper and his friend wanted to dance with my friend. Jesper and his buddy flipped a coin. Jesper lost, and he got me.


CAN YOU TAKE A JOKE?


Ken Venturi

A BIG TIP FROM SINATRA
DECEMBER 2004 / AUGUST 2013

Frank Sinatra and I were waiting for our car to be brought up after dinner. A kid brings the car and hands me the keys. I reach for my money clip, but Frank pushes my hand aside. “Kid, in the whole time you’ve been doing this, what’s the most you’ve ever been tipped?” The kid kind of blushes and says, “A hundred dollars, Mr. Sinatra.” Frank pulls off two C-notes and says, “Here’s two hundred. Have a nice night.” The young man is ecstatic. Frank, obviously proud of himself, says to the kid, “By the way, who tipped you the hundred bucks?” The kid says, “You, Mr. Sinatra, when you were here last week.”


Dave Marr

A PRO-AM GONE BAD
NOVEMBER 1982

The best one I remember hearing involved Tommy Armour, who was acute, to say the least, in his observations of people. He was playing in a pro-am with a guy who showed up the first day in an all-blue outfit, including his bag and headcovers—even his shoes. And he shot a 95. The next day he came out in an all-red outfit—bag, shirt, shoes, everything—and this time he shot a 96. And he said, “Mr. Armour, I’ve played two days with you, and I would really appreciate any comments you have about my golf game.” Armour looked at him a minute and then said, “I think you’re a shot better in blue.”


Caddie Mark Long

GETTING THE BEST OF SEVE
SEPTEMBER 2012

My nickname on tour is Seve because I do a pretty good imitation of Seve Ballesteros—I’ve done it on television, at tournament parties and had a lot of fun doing it with Seve when people could close their eyes and not tell us apart. One of my favorite Seve stories is when he was a young player just starting to get appearance fees around the world. He was playing in Europe, and Pete Coleman, who caddied for Bernhard Langer for years, was working for Seve. Back then you had your own shag bag and balls. Pete goes out and shags balls, and Seve typically is hitting a few in the bushes. Pete comes back and drops the balls down, and Seve counts ’em and says, “Pete, you’re six balls short—you owe me for six balls.”

The next day, Pete goes by the range early and picks up two dozen extra balls and shoves them in his pockets. Later he goes out with Seve. Seve’s firing a few in the junk, and Pete’s not even going in to look for them. He comes back in, dumps out the bag, Seve counts the balls—and there are 14 extra. Pete says, “You owe me for 14 balls, Seve.”


Tim Mickelson

A BAD BET WITH BROTHER PHIL
JANUARY 2016

Phil is seven years older than me, so when we played football indoors, he’d level the playing field—a little. He had to play on his knees, and I got to run. He had to tackle me, and I just had to two-hand touch him. He’d hike the ball to himself, and just when I’d go to touch him, he’d toss the ball in the air and claim the touch didn’t count because the ball was airborne. He did a lot of stuff like that. He always won.

One afternoon it was so hot outside we stayed in the houseboat. Phil had taught me how to play poker—for money—and all I had was a small bucket full of pennies. I left to use the bathroom, and when I came back, Phil dealt me a straight flush, king-high. I ran to my room, got the bucket and dumped the whole thing into the pot. Phil calls the bet and reveals he’s got a royal flush. Imagine that. He took every penny.

Much later, he admitted he’d stacked the deck when I left the room. He bought me a lot of dinners to make up for it. But he never did give me my pennies back.


Casey Martin

TIGER’S WEAKNESS AS A DANCER
MAY 2001

He’s got nothing. He’s got no game. And I love him. He’s the greatest at his sport—maybe ever. I mean, there might not be another athlete who is as dominant at their sport as Tiger is. However, you’ve got Michael Jordan crossing over, playing other sports. Tiger will never cross over to be a basketball player, or anything else.

I remember Notah [Begay] and I were in Sigma Chi fraternity as seniors [at Stanford], and Tiger had pledged Sigma Chi as a freshman. At some of the parties, I’d come and kind of sit up on the stairs overlooking this big mosh pit where everyone would dance. I’ll never forget one time a bunch of us were having a grand time watching Tiger dance. You know a guy that’s so dominant, you’ve got to bring him down a little. You’ve got to look for his weakness and really expose it. I think we found it: dancing. It’s a bad deal.


Mark O’Meara

TIGER THE FISHERMAN
JANUARY 1999

I ’ll never forget the first time we went out fishing. I asked Tiger, “Have you ever thrown a big cast?” He says, “Oh, yeah, I can throw. Sure. No problem.” I took out my rod and gave it to him. He throws it, and it’s . . . linguini.”


ALCOHOL WAS INVOLVED


Jack Nicklaus photographed by Chris Buck

Jack Nicklaus

BEER AND OTHER DELIGHTS
AUGUST 2003 / APRIL 2004

I ’m  not much of a drinker at all. Today, I might have three beers over the course of a year, if that. Sure, when I was younger, I was like a lot of college kids. I tried to drink all the beer in Columbus. Then I found out they just kept making more.

And I could eat! At Lafayette, La., where they played the Cajun Classic in the early ’60s, I’d go crazy for oysters. There’s a picture of me from that period hoisting a big fork full of oysters into my mouth. I put away eight dozen oysters, went back to the hotel and changed, then went out to dinner, where I ate two dozen more oysters before the entree arrived.

Yes, I could put the food away. During Hell Week at Ohio State, for breakfast each day they made us eat a garlic bud, tie an onion around our neck and eat a few goldfish to tide us over for the day. This stayed with you all day long, as you can imagine. The heartburn alone was unbelievable. And by the way, there’s not much of a taste with goldfish—just a little bitter.


Peter Dobereiner

THE WOES OF LEGENDARY WRITER AND BROADCASTER HENRY LONGHURST
OCTOBER 1978

He accumulated a huge stockpile of anecdotes, many of them of a disreputable nature, which made him the most wonderful talker I have ever met. I once sat up all night while Longhurst and Alistair Cooke swapped stories. It was like a tennis match as they capped each other’s offering for hour after hour while I just poured the gin and listened.

As I know all too well, following the golf trail is not all beer and skittles, and Longhurst also suffered private tragedies which must have made the cheerful tone of his writing excessively difficult to sustain. Later, after a good recovery, I asked him about his health. “I have to go back every three months for a checkup,” he said. “I always ask for the last appointment of the day so that if the prognosis is unfavorable, the pubs will be open.”


Steve Elkington

CRAIG STADLER’S MAGIC JACKET
JUNE 2004

We were flying  together a few years ago, so we switched up with someone so we could sit together.

“Wanna beer?” he asks me. “Of course,” I said. So, he reaches inside his jacket and pulls out two beers, one for him and one for me.

Little while later, he says, “Want another beer?” I said, “Yeah, let me get the lady’s attention.” He says, “No, we don’t need any flight attendant.”

He reaches in the other side of his jacket, and pulls out two more beers. He must have had a case on him. We drank his jacket.


CLASSIC PUNCHLINES


The USGA’s Tom Meeks

A SPECIAL RULING AT AUGUSTA
JUNE 2004

Charlie Yates at Augusta National tells of Bob Jones’ dad being pressed into service as a rules official in one of the early years of the Masters. It had rained hard the night before the final round, and at the 12th hole a player requested relief from casual water. The Colonel asked him where he stood in the tournament.

“Eighteen over,” the player says. The Colonel says, “Hell, do anything you want,” and walks away.


Cal Brown

THE GREENBRIER AND THE HOMESTEAD
SEPTEMBER 1970

The style at both places has always been very much ladies and gentlemen. But not all of The Greenbrier ladies were so sedate. There were the Langhorne sisters, one of whom, Irene, married Charles Dana Gibson and became the original Gibson girl. Nancy became Lady Astor and was on the receiving end of at least one Winston Churchill classic.

“If I were your wife,” spat Lady Astor, “I should put arsenic in your coffee.”

Growled Churchill: “And if I were your husband, madam, I should drink it.”


Mark Long photographed by Brian Kelly

Caddie Mark Long

THE LEGEND OF BULLET BOB BURNS
SEPTEMBER 2012

One of my  favorite player/caddie combos was Fulton Allem and Bullet Bob. Bullet is a pretty tough guy. The story has it that Bullet grew up with Bob Costas on Long Island, and in grade school Costas used to buy Bullet lunch all the time—though not necessarily voluntarily. Bullet and Fulty were made for each other. Their skin’s so thick it’s more like armor. Fulty was having a terrible day and said, “Bullet, I’m so frustrated, I just want to break something.” Without hesitating, Bullet said: “How about par?”


Leonard Lyons

BING CROSBY BESTS BOB HOPE
NOVEMBER 1965

The two stars once were paired in a tournament, and their scores for 17 holes were identical. Hope, lining up his putt on the 18th green, asked the caddie: “Was the grass cut this morning?” The caddie nodded. Hope putted, and missed.

Crosby lined up his putt, studied the grass, and then asked the caddie: “What time this morning?”


Turk Pipkin

A FAMILY FRIEND VISITS DAD IN THE HOSPITAL
MARCH 2005

“There’s good news and there’s bad news,” Marshall said. “Good news first,” my father replied. “Well, it turns out there is golf in heaven. We’ve got a track just like Pebble Beach.” “That’s great,” my dad said with a smile. “So what’s the bad news?” “You and I are playing Hogan and Jesus at 8 a.m.”


David Feherty

A LESSON LEARNED FROM CHRISTY O’CONNOR SR.
NOVEMBER 1992

Remember that 90 percent of the people don’t care what you shot, and the other 10 percent wish it was more.


DISAGREEMENTS, MISUNDERSTANDINGS & INSULTS


Larry Nelson photographed by Ben Van Hook

Larry Nelson

LIFE ON THE MINI-TOURS AFTER TAKING UP THE GAME LATE IN LIFE
MAY 2008

Iknew very little about the rules and proper etiquette. In one tournament, I hit my ball down in a hazard. I went in and started picking up rocks, sticks and stuff so I could hit the ball. One of the guys I was playing with stood there, stunned. I started to pick up a leaf and said, “Can I move this leaf?” He stared at me for a minute and said, “If you pick up that leaf, you’ll be lying 12.”


Jack Newton

TROUBLE BETWEEN NICKLAUS AND PALMER
JUNE 2008

Jack was always my idol. The crowd always pulled for Arnie against Jack, but Jack put up with it. I remember sitting in a clubhouse when Nicklaus and Palmer had a bit of a blue [an argument]. I played early with Arnold. We came into the locker room, and a storm started to brew. Anyway, the storm got worse, and the players were called in. Jack was something like eight over par playing the ninth hole. Arnold said, “You know what’s going to happen here, don’t you? They’re going to cancel the round because Jack is eight over.” And just as he said it, Jack walked in behind him and heard him say it.

Jim Thorpe, when I first met him, said to me that we “Frenchmen” had to stick together out there. He and I were on the bench as Jack walked in. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but when Jack gets nervous or angry, he has a little twitch he does with his chin, and he goes bright red. Well, he did both. And as he walked past, he said, “Yeah, Arnold, just like they did for you all those times.”

At that, Jim Thorpe turned to me and said, “Newtie, this is no place for we Frenchmen. There’s an argument going on between God and Jesus Christ, so we better get out of here!”


Bob Rosburg

THROWN UNDER THE BUS
DECEMBER 2002

The Senior Tour has small events for the guys who are too old to compete. It’s a beautiful thing. The first three I played in, the average age of my partners was 88. I had Paul Runyan, Freddie Haas and Sam Snead. Snead, as usual, was a beauty. After nine holes, he said, “I’m real embarrassed by how I’m playing—I’m going in.” I said, “Sam, it’s your choice, but they’re paying us $12,000 even if we finish last. So what do you say? Let’s finish.”

Sam gives in, and I proceed to birdie 10, 11, 13, 15 and 16. We’re tied for the lead, and suddenly Sam is all pumped up. I three-putted the last hole, and we lost by one. The next day in the paper, I read a quote by Sam: “If Rossie wouldn’t have three-putted the last hole, we could have won the tournament.”


Peter Andrews

A RECKONING AT ST. ANDREWS
JULY 1990

That the Scots are dry and quick of speech is legendary. Their talk is the conversational equivalent of the poisoned ear dagger. You can be dead on the ground before you know you’ve even been hit. My grandmother was known to alienate entire wings of our family wishing them a happy Christmas. I was struck by this when I went into one of St. Andrews’ many fine bookstores. I counted seven but there are more, I am sure. I bought a couple of Balzac novels to read on the plane home. When I took them to the woman at the counter she wrapped them for me and observed crisply, “I see. An American comes to Scotland to buy French novels. It seems an Irish thing to do.”

For those of you who are connoisseurs of such matters, as I am, note the deftness of stroke and economy of line. In a single aside, a white-haired lady from a small town in Scotland managed to dismiss the United States of America, the Republic of Ireland and the literature of France. Well bowled, madam, well bowled.


Jackie Burke Jr.

A TIP GONE WRONG
MAY 2004

When I taught at Metropolis Country Club in New York, there was a fellow who shanked chip shots, nothing else. The man smoked a pipe, and after a lot of thought I began placing his best pipe just outside his ball. He was terrified of hitting the pipe with the toe of the club, you see, and I cured him quick. I was telling this story in Houston not long ago, and a member overheard it and disappeared. He came back an hour later and placed his pipe, which was shattered to bits, in front of me. “Your tip doesn’t work for long irons,” he said.


Lee Trevino

ESTIMATING GALLERY IQ
FEBRUARY 1978

One Time I’m walkin’ off the 15th with Nicklaus. Big gallery. Just as we get through the ropes, this big, doe-eyed blonde steps right in front of Jack and coos, “I just love to watch you play . . . Johnny!” I’ll never forget the look on Jack’s face. I tell him, “Make two more birdies and you tie her IQ.”


Henry Longhurst

BENEVOLENT DICTATORS AT GOLF CLUBS
SEPTEMBER 1976

My British benevolent dictator, and he really did dictate, was the late J.F. Abercromby, universally known as Aber and certainly one of the outstanding architects in all golf. About 40 years my senior, he used to wear a green velour porkpie hat and habitually carried under his arm an ancient wooden putter. We younger members were in considerable awe of him. I was standing beside him at the bar at Addington one Sunday morning when a member came in and pre-emptively demanded of the steward, “Where’s the suggestion book?” Aber turned slowly and prodded the luckless fellow with a bony finger. Then, pointing to himself, he said, “I’m the suggestion book!”

That’s the way to run a golf club.


TO TELL THE TRUTH


Colin Jost photographed by Andrew Hetherington

Colin Jost

OPENING WITH A GOLF JOKE
OCTOBER 2015

As a matter of fact, the first joke I ever told on stage was a golf joke. It was a comedy club in downtown Manhattan, and I opened with this story about playing golf with my dad on a family trip to Arizona. The course was built around Native American land, and certain out-of-bounds was marked as burial ground. Signs read, “If you hit a golf ball into the sacred burial ground, please leave it as a sign of respect.” This struck me as so funny and ridiculous. As in, a chieftain spirit could get bonked in the head with a golf ball and be like, Thank you, this is such a nice token of your affection. Or if you’re going to hit a minority with a golf ball, at least let them keep the ball. The bit got a good laugh. I kept telling it for a while.


Jim Furyk

GOING BALD, AND OTHER WORRIES
NOVEMBER 1999

Started losing hair in college. My dad’s mother pulled me aside last Christmas and said, “You know, they have drugs for that now. Then she said, real quiet, “But you gotta be careful . . . might decrease your sexual appetite.”


Gary Player

DIET CONFESSION
OCTOBER 2002

It’s True:  You are what you eat. The worst single food in the world is bacon, because it’s pure animal fat. But I have a piece on occasion. I’m not a martyr.