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Golf courses have 18 holes - and millions of great stories.
Golf courses have 18 holes - and millions of great stories. (Chris Baldwin/WorldGolf.com)

True tales of loving (and sucking at) golf

Let's face it, people: There's only so much golf you can watch during work hours, only so many putting contests you can have in the hall when the boss isn't around, and only so many times you can play online video golf for money before you're broke. So, what to do then? Well, if it's 3, you sneak out for a quick nine at the local muni. But if you have to stay at work, you drag out the old mail bag and read some letters that golfers have been kind enough to mail in. At least that's what we do. So, here goes ...

Car trouble

When I was about 12 or 13 yrs. old I went with my father to one of his favorite golf courses in Medina, Ohio. It was a very challenging course (rolling hills hidden sand traps and some other evil strategically placed tree's and bushes). One hole in particular ran along Rte. 82, when my dad teed off the ball made a sharp left turn. As he watched to see where the ball would land, he realized that it wouldn't land in bounds, but kept on flying towards the road. On a collision course for a very nice car on 82, we hard the "thunk" as the ball connected with the car's front end. The guy driving the car whipped off the road and jumped from the car looking for someone to beat on and severely damage whom ever it was that hit his new car. As my father approached to apologize, they recognized each other as workmates at Ford Motor Co. After my father apologized and offered to pay for the damages, they started talking and after a short while his friend just told him to straighten his drives. Later on, they became good golf buddies.

I took a day off work to play golf last week and was playing badly and having an average time when we got to the 12th. One of the guys I was playing with, a retired gent who was about 65, hit 2 tee shots into the drink on this par 3. He then walked to the green and as I was about to putt, he said, "Well I may as well do something this hole," and grabbed the flag. At this point he let go of his buggy which took off down the hill and into the dam as well. I made a late dash to grab it to no avail. So I quickly got my shoes and socks off and, as it was a hot day, I waded in wearing just my shorts to get his bag and buggy as it started to sink. I'm only 5' 6" and it wasn't long before I was in to deep so I grabbed the flag and tried to drag his bag back. It came back to us and I pulled it out of the water, amazingly his car keys were still in his open bag but he was 5 clubs short.

After we continued, all of playing poorly, we reached 18. I decided to try to drive the green, a mere 379 meters, so I wound up and carved the ball up and over the 12th green and into the same dam. So there was only one thing for it, I stripped naked, replaced my shorts (didn't want wet jocks for the rest of the day) and dived in. Amazingly I found all 5 clubs in about 30 seconds and threw them out, this must have looked highly suss to the group that had just arrived at the 12th tee. Old Bob, the owner of the clubs, was saying, "They must have thought I really spat the dummy and tossed all my clubs in!" We really had a good laugh over it and everyone at the club is now calling me "The Waterboy!"

Submitted by: Kevin Nolan,
Melbourne, Australia

Down in the valley

Four of us were playing on a very hilly golf course at a resort in the Caribbean. It had rained heavily for the previous two days and the course was soaked. We were playing a hole that had a 70-foot-deep valley between the tee and the landing area and another larger drop down to the green. My cart mate and I drove to the right and had just found our balls and played our second shots when we noticed the other twosome headed down the hill toward the green. Suddenly, one of them bounced out of the cart, did a quick roll and came up to his feet. I thought he was bounced out but he was clearly all right. We then noticed the cart going backwards down the hill and the other person came sprawling out of the cart, sliding in the water and mud toward a bunker. The cart continued spinning to a drop off and was caught by heavy vegetation just before going over. We made sure both were OK, got the cart out and continued to play the hole. I made a comment to the second guy out of the cart about the accident and he said, "But I wasn't the driver." The driver abandoned the cart and did not tell the second guy who looked over when the cart was doing 25mph backwards down a steep slope and found he was alone.

Submitted by: Peter D.

Bye bye, blackbird

Bad Golf deserves to be spread around for all to enjoy! Our company sponsored a Scramble tourney every year and a non golfing co-worker wanted to "learn the game". Being the pro that I am I took him to the range and taught him everything I knew (3-5 minutes tops). He then proceeded to hack, slice, hook every ball in sight. Then the unexpected happened, with a mighty Driver in hand he unleashed a screaming worm burner. Unfortunately a blackbird was in competition for that very same worm. Smack, the bird fell dead over. My friend watched in horror as two other blackbirds came up to it and seemingly tried to revive it to no avail, it was dead. I on the other hand was laughing as hard as I can remember. He never played golf again.

My wise-ass golfing buddy (Mark) decided that for Christmas that he would give me an entry into the SF City golf championship, along with himself as caddy. I'm sure he thought this would be good for a few laughs...it was. I qualified with a raging 104 for the 16th flight? The next week we showed up for my match but my opponent didn't ..simple all I had to do was play 10 holes and victory was mine...well 11. It turns out that the 5th hole had a blind landing area and with my ability who knows where the ball would end up so my caddy decided to forecaddy for me. He gets down the the landing area , drops my bag by the trees and comes to the top of the hill so he can see us. I then scream a wonderful drive, except that it sliced and hit my own bag 240 Yards away. In match play that's the loss of hole. I figured I was the first guy ever to lose a hole to no one.

Last but not least, Mark and I were playing the local links with an unknown 2 some, we are having our usual "bad-but-fun" game as always. I doubt that our companions were too thrilled with us. The 5th hole is a long par 5 with water on the right. Determined to crush it, I sent a worm burner out about 125. My partner was smirking as he had hit his about 230 in the middle. Trying to make up for lost distance I topped the next one another 75. I was kinda pissed so I walked with 3 wood in hand to do battle again. Whomp, a grand topper going a whopping 30-40 feet! I swear I could hear our companions groaning while my partner was trying to keep from losing it. Walking ahead with determination I swung so hard I whiffed and my pants fell down to my ankles. Whoops, no underwear that day either! Well Mark was facing me and he lost it completely, the other guys were getting Full Moon over Diablo Creek! The three of us then joined Mark for a good long laugh. I have to admit the rest of the day we had a more relaxed round!

Submitted by: Swarthog - Concord Ca.

The deep

Being a "Bad Golfer" of the kind that believes that equipment will cure my game, I bought a used set of Ping Eye 2 square grove irons. The second round I played with the miracle clubs were going great, especially my 8 iron. I was killing that 8 iron and was planning on sleeping with it forever more. On the 13th hole, a par 5, I hit a monster drive off the tee. Now I was left with a good strong 8 iron to hit the green in two. As the mighty swing descended and the club struck the ball a terrible schraaang noise echoed throughout the course. Naturally my up-turning head saw the head flying ever so gracefully towards the left and right into a pond about 6 feet from the shore. Without a second thought, I dived in after it, trying to save the precious metal hero to no avail. Later that day I called the Karsten Mfg. Corp. and was shocked at the price of only one club. So early the next morning I returned to the course and asked if they minded if I searched for the club. The attendant was a little reluctant until I told him it was a Ping Eye 2 square groove. He then said, "Heck I ought to go in and help you, go right ahead!" Armed with rakes and shorts in I went into the brackish waters. At first knee deep, then waist deep, and on to neck deep I searched. But I kept being interrupted by course employees and other folk telling me that diving for golf balls was not allowed here. I'd tell them what I was looking for and they'd all reply the same....that they ought to help me....but no one ever did. After a two-hour search I found nothing but water balls, beer cans, and a crawfish. So walking out of the pond my barefoot bumped something. YEEEEHAAA!, there it was in four inches of water was the 8 iron head. Now reshafted we share a special fondness for clearing water hazards!

Submitted by: Terry Ranes - Tecumseh, Okla.

This one's for Nancy!

Several years ago, I played in a pro-am with Nancy Lopez. Well, I and four other guys did. One - my cartmate who was a former member of the Army Airborne - said that being paired with her made him more nervous than jumping out at 30,000 or whatever altitude those guys jump from. The pro-am format was one of those scrambles where everybody hit from the same spot. I was doing fine until the gallery started showing up in the middle of the back nine. Then, I couldn't get a ball off the ground. I couldn't even roll them on the ground very far. Or, very straight, either. At the apex of my embarrassment, Nancy's caddie said, "John, why don't you be the DP?" I said, "What 's a DP?" He said, "designated putter - you could go up and wait on the green until we get there." Yeah, well, thanks. Noticing me sulking onto the 18th green where several hundred people looked on, Nancy felt sorry for me, I guess, and said, "John, why don't you take the first crack at this (50-foot) putt?" It seemed like my effort rolled through 2 or 3 zip codes before getting to the edge of the cup. And, in one last reluctant turn, it dropped. That night on the San Jose television channel, there was one small segment from the day's pro-am. It was Nancy Lopez running over and hugging me like I had just won the U.S. Open.

A couple of years ago, my brother-in-law, and I were playing at a small golf course in Dansville, N.Y. All day he was having a problem getting under his tee shots, and skying the ball. We were starting the second nine, from the blues, and as had happened previously he skied another one. We both lost track of it in the sun, but heard it bounce off of something. He figured it was the clubhouse roof and OB, so he hit a second shot. As I was getting set at the tee, I noticed several people, who had been sitting outside at a covered patio, getting up to look in the parking lot. Curiosity getting the best of me, I moved forward to see what they were looking at. "Hey, I think I know where your first shot went. It went into the parking lot and hit a car." He felt bad enough till I added, "And it took out the rear window." I hated to make things worse, but I guess he had to told. "It's YOUR car." Sure enough when we went over to inspect the carnage, there was his ball on the ground next to his car. After deciding that there wasn't much we could do now, we figured we might as well finish playing the second nine. now the questions were 1) since there were no OB markers, could he have played the found ball?, and 2) how many stories could we come up with to tell the family when we got back home.

Submitted by: J Margolis - Minoa, N.Y.

On the hunt

Geese. Big deal. Several of your readers claim they've hit a goose with a golf ball. True, the story about the one who was knocked out of flight was a truly unusual shot, but still...a goose is a large animal and a relatively easy target. Child's play. Now a squirrel...

My tee shot was a screamer, low to the ground but not quite low enough to burn worms. More of a worm terrifier. The cute little squirrel 80 yards out never knew what hit him. One minute he's munching on a nut or a grub or whatever it is that squirrels find to eat on the fairways of fertilizer-blasted golf courses, the next minute he's leveled by a dirty Titleist. I swear you could hear a tiny, "Ooof!" when the ball made contact.

I don't hunt anymore. Not enough room for animals anymore. Too many golf courses. And there's plenty to eat at the grocery store. So I felt bad when I nailed the little rodent. Besides, the old insistent eat-what-you-kill adage didn't seem appetizing at the moment, despite the unexpected windfall of free game. I've always liked squirrels (they're so entertaining when they persist in trying to climb the bird feeder pole after I've greased it with vaseline) and I was sorry to have flattened this one. I walked out at a quick pace to remove the body. It was the least I could do.

To my eternal surprise the squirrel had somehow survived the dimpled Tomahawk missile attack. He saw me coming, kind of rolled one eye up at me as I loomed over him. You could see the panic in his face. He thought I was on the way to finish him off. He tore off for the trees as fast as any healthy squirrel could have.

Later that week, I saw him up in the trees with his ribs wrapped. He was yelling at me. Something about a cold day in Hell before he threw any of my slices back into the fairway again...

Submitted by: Billy Hughes - Savannah, Ga.

A real Bronx cheer

About two years ago I was playing a friendly round with some friends at a local municipal course. I was a bit gassy from the previous night's Mexican dinner but managed to maintain decorum for the first 12 holes. Finally on the 13th green, I could control myself no longer. I was shooting my usual 50-over par round and my partners were doing similarly.

The thirteenth is a 160 yard three par with a severely sloped green from back to front. This particular day, one of the local car dealerships was sponsoring a promotion. For five dollars, you had a chance to win a new Thunderbird with a hole in one. As a backup contest, however, if you hit your ball within 6 inches of the cup and made the subsequent birdie putt, you would win $2500. My friend Weyland McCovey miraculously hit a 7 wood within 2 inches of the cup. A lock for the $2500. We high-fived all the way to the green. The dealership sponsor accompanied us to the green and actually took a couple of pictures of Weyland next to the flag, grinning like an idiot. He finally lined up the putt, and in the middle of his backswing I lost it. An incredible burst of wind blasted out of my backside with a sound previously unfamiliar to man. I mean this was the gas explosion of a lifetime. I can't deny that it was an inopportune time, but it was two-inch putt!!! Needless to say, my former friend Weyland McCovey gagged the birdie and gakked his putt about 6 feet past the hole. Two putts later, the bogey secured, we moved on to the next hole.

Submitted by: Nuke Chiyops

Golf lesson and a TKO

Some 30+ years ago, as a young lad of ten, my father decided it was time for me to experience that sacred right of passage into manhood...my first golf lesson. After tacking a hack saw to a discarded nine iron to accommodate my height and regripping the club we set off to tour the local park for my first ever swing of the club. After demonstrating a few shots and giving me the basics, good ole' Dad decided it was time for my first attempt at striking the ball. Dad immediately got behind me and showed me the proper grip, stance and address. After completing this ritual, he then said, "When I say OK, I want you to take a nice full backswing and try to make Contact with the ball...OK? Thinking I had been given the command to begin, I took a fierce backswing, unfortunately connecting with the right side of my father's neck, somewhere below his jaw under his right ear. As you could imagine, he went down like a 50 pound sack of spuds, unconscious before he hit the ground. Needless to say, I thought I'd killed him. There I was, a 10 year old kid, standing alone in the middle of a park after just hacking his father to death with a golf club. Dad was only out for a couple of minutes but it seemed like a lifetime. After regaining consciousness, we silently gathered our equipment, loaded the car and made the short drive home. The next week, I was signed up at our local Y for my second (and all subsequent) lesson(s). Looking back, I now know that all things happen for a reason. It was obviously an omen, sent by the gods of golf, telling me to quit before it was too late. If only I had heard their message.

Submitted by: Jay - OKC, Oklahoma

The eagle as landed

This is a true story of a particularly bad hole-in-one. How can a hole-in-one be bad you say? Here's how it happened. I was with a foursome at Ironwood G.C. in Wauseon, Ohio. We were on the No. 8 hole which is a straight par 4 about 300 yards or so. About 175 yards out and parallel is the No. 4, par 3 hole. I teed off and hit a banana ball like you wouldn't believe. I walked over to the No. 4 hole right into a foursome who had just hit onto the No. 4 green. I couldn't find my ball and was just about to take a drop and a stroke when the group on No. 4 said, "There's a ball in the hole!" I asked timidly whether the ball was a Dunlop Titanium and sure enough, it was my ball! So I had a hole in one with seven witnesses and couldn't even get my name on a plaque or anything. Go figure!!!!

Submitted by: Rick Gray - Defiance, Ohio

Dress for success

After work one early fall day I called my buddies Bret and Brad Blankenship who agreed to meet me at Dan Valley Golf Course. It was getting chilly so I grabbed a sweatshirt out of the dryer and flew out the door. I arrived at the course about the same time they did, we got out put our bags on the pull carts and headed for the first tee. Before we could tee off several other guys were standing waiting for us to start. Well, I started feeling a bit chilly, so before I hit my tee shot I grabbed my sweatshirt. I stuck my head and one arm through, when I tried to put the other arm through I felt something in the sleeve. When I got my arm through I was holding a pair of my wife's red ruffled panties! Well, everyone busted out laughing except for me. I just wanted to climb under a rock.

Submitted by: Jeffrey Morgan

Can you buy one shoe in the pro shop?

On the 18th hole of a little par 3 course in Ohio named Leisure Time there is a pond. This pond is only about 110 yards out, and of course my ball reached 109 of those yards. After going around the pond, I noticed my ball on a small ledge just off the bank. So like so many golfers with egos, I took off my shoe and placed it on the grass. While bending over, I watched my shoe pass by me and disappear below. I entered the clubhouse with one shoe on! I still have people telling this small story that happened to me over 10 years ago. Hope you get a chuckle.

Submitted by: Bill

One hell of a par

I was playing a round of nine after dinner at my local muni. Conditions were perfect. Sun starting to set as I arrived at the 6th hole. A short 101 yd. par 3, with water on the left and sand on the right. The wind was blowing left to right at about 10 mph. The flag was set 5 yards from the front of the green. I pull out a SW from my bag, place the ball on the tee, and promptly hit my Titleist 4 right into the water. I mutter to myself as I walk to my bag, not upset, but more surprised at the poor effort I had just made.

I take out a Spalding 3, tee it up, and magically hit it in the hole!!! It was perfect. High and mighty like a SW would go, came straight down and bounced softly 3 times on the front of the green, rolled about a foot, then just disappeared right into the hole!!! I was loving it!!! I was by myself, but the twosome on the 5th green saw it and were going wild.

Pathetic thing is that it doesn't count as a hole in one! Oh sure, it's one hell of a par, but does not count as a hole in one. Can you believe that crap? In fact, thinking about it some more, I think what I did is even more special than a hole in one. What are the odds!!!
Maybe I should take this experience as a sign to give up golf while I have some self respect left.

Submitted by: Rick Nincheri

It happened right under his nose ...

Three stories make up my personal bad golf highlights.

1) Our course has older gentleman named Jess who drives the refreshment cart. Our 7th hole is a 155ish par 3 across the Willow River. There's a two-cart-wide, 65 foot long bridge over the river, with substantial steel beams girding the sides. Jess was driving the "beer cart" across the bridge in our direction at the time I teed off on 7. I pull-hooked my 7-iron through some trees over toward the bridge, which I struck on the steel beams on the left side. The ball bounced back right, crossing the bridge by going between Jess' nose and the windshield of his cart. He and I now have a great rapport, always stopping for a brief, friendly exchange every time we pass, with the common knowledge that we could fairly easily have shared a tragedy. Since that day, there's been a mesh net installed to prevent that from ever happening again... I also saw some insurance types walking the course with the head greenskeeper not long afterward.

2) Our number 12 is a 165ish par 3, heading back to the clubhouse with the groundscrew's maintenance building and office to the right. (see previous story... par 3s are my real nemesis) Teeing off with my 6 iron, I clocked one with an open face high, right, and slicing, through some trees, across a parking lot, hitting a dumpsite on the far side. The ball bounced back, through the open overhead door to the maintenance building, bouncing inside there through the open door to the head greenskeeper's office. Nobody was in there, and I'm still not sure if Tom, the head of the grounds crew, has ever heard the story by word of mouth.

3) At a tournament with a left-handed buddy, single digit handicapper at that, I saw the first known case of cigarettes SAVING a life. My southpaw sidekick, again a very good player, wound up for his tee shot only to almost fan on it, sending it off the toe of the driver perpendicular to the intended line of flight, with great speed and force. It struck this fellow's caddie square in the chest, and we all expected to see an ambulance forthcoming for at least broken bones to the chest cavity, if not worse. Amazingly, the ball had stuck the caddie on the shirt pocket, and the only thing broken were twenty or so Marlboros!

Submitted by: W. Mark Hay

Death before dishonor

About five years ago, a buddy and I were playing along on a gorgeous Saturday, minding our own business, when we arrived at the third tee of the Maplewood Country Club in Bethlehem, NH...and that's when IT happened! One of the men in the mixed foursome ahead of us gave us the dreaded "play through" sign.

"That's okay," we said, "We're in no hurry."

"Oh, please, we insist!" (I hate it when that happens)

So...having the honor, I step up to the tee and, with one hand clutching my throat, send one screaming into the woods on the right. Not to be out-done, my buddy, who shall remain nameless (Paul Britton of Ayers Cliff, Quebec), promptly launched his drive an equal distance into the woods on the left. Sufficiently humiliated, we motioned to the polite group to carry on, we were just fine thank you.

Upon arriving at the next tee, we surveyed the landscape to find, a hundred yards down the fairway, our charming foursome again urging us to play through. God, how this game makes one suffer! Fortunately for me, Paul had just wrested the honor away, but the heartless bastard closed his eyes, contemplated his navel and sent a decent drive safely into the fairway beyond the sadistic foursome. Breathing through my eyelids to calm myself (hey, it worked for that kid pitcher in "Bull Durham"), I stepped up and drove a foot-high screamer smack into the golf cart of Mr. and Mrs. Golf Etiquette. Fortunately for all, the ball then careened down the fairway, and we set off...me with my hat pulled as far down over my eyes as I could manage.

Just as I was passing the newly dented cart, Mrs. Etiquette says to her husband, "See, Harold, you're not that bad!" Paul and I laughed so hard we had to change our pants before we could finish the round. Ain't golf a grand game?

Submitted by: David Wood

The Ringer

Several years ago while playing at the Patrick AFB golf course, one of the regulars from our foursome failed to make the tee time. As is always the case the starter pulls a name from a hat and you join the lottery of singles waiting to play.

Well, the guy that joined us looked like he just stepped off the PGA tour. This guy had it all matching visor, bag, clubs, etc..etc. He proceeded to hack around all day and was needing a par on the 18th to finish an astounding 40 over par. Of course, as he testified, this was the worst he had ever played. Well, his approach shot into the 18th green found the water to the left and following two sculled chips was looking at a putt for a quad. Needless to say, the putt lips out and this guy launches his putter into the lake behind the green. Then he goes and throws his entire bag into the water, leaves the green, gets in his car and takes off. As the other three of us are rolling on the green, hysterical with laughter, this guy comes back. He wades into the water, retrieves the bag, unzips the side pocket to retrieve his wallet and glasses, then throws the bag back in.

Submitted by: Marshall Bassett

A leftist golfer

My name is Chris and I'm a left-handed golfer. (And not a very good one, at that!) I haven't always played left-handed, though. When I started, I played right-handed because the only clubs at Wal-Mart were right-handed. Here's how I figured out I needed left-handed clubs.

I was playing with two friends at the local course (Harry Pritchet Moore in Tuscaloosa, AL). About four holes out, I was shooting about 65. I decided I had had enough, but then someone suggested that I might need "wrong-handed" clubs.

Here's the kicker! I finished the round with one club - a right-handed Lynx putter! The back of the club was sloped (except for a cavity to take out some of the weight), so I just used it backwards.

Believe it or not, I was the only player in our three-some to make it 90 yards across the water on the eighteenth hole - With the course ranger watching! He just shook his head and drove off.

Submitted by: Chris

The miracle on 17

The first time I played golf was in May 1961 at the Laurel Golf Club in Richmond, Virginia. I don't believe the golf course still exists; hopefully, my early rounds were not the cause of its demise.

I was working my way through college, had little money to spare, didn't own golf clubs and had never even swung a club -- other than a putter at a miniature golf course. When I agreed to join some friends to play golf I was both excited and somewhat intimidated by the opportunity. The day before I was to play, I spent about an hour at a driving range unsuccessfully trying to learn how to hit a golf ball. As I recall, I only practiced with a driver and never managed to hit a ball in the air.

As I entered the pro shop on the following day, I noticed a sign admonishing those playing: "Each golfer had to play out of his own bag." I was sharing my friend's clubs. The other golfers in our foursome assured me a new golfer didn't have to pay attention to that sign, but I was still worried I was about to commit a cardinal golfing sin. I hadn't played my first hole and I was already violating the rules.

I don't remember what I really anticipated, but I managed to hit the ball the same way I did the previous day at the driving range. Never more than a foot or two off the ground, seldom more than 100 yards (unless I was close enough to the green to hit beyond it) and only occasionally straight. My putting was somewhat better than the rest of my game. I only four-putted three times on the front nine and even had one hole where it only took me two putts to get the ball down.

By the time we had finished the front nine we had already let several foursomes play through. I was not only frustrated, but I was embarrassed. I don't recall if I was more worried about the players behind us or the ranger finding out I was playing out of another player's bag. I must of had 80 or 90 strokes on the front nine.

The back nine was only slightly better. Mainly, because the end was in sight. I imagine that day in May at Laurel Golf Club would have been my last round of golf, but then I experienced my own "miracle on the 17th green."

The 17th hole was a par three about 140 yards from the white tees with traps on both sides and water behind the green. My friend had just hit an 8-iron into one of the traps. I took the 7-iron quickly from his bag and walked toward the tee. I was afraid the foursome approaching from the 16th green would see I didn't have my own clubs and would also get a close-up view of my golfing skills. My friend said, "That's too much club for this hole. You'll hit the ball in the water." "Give me a break" I replied. "I haven't hit the ball off the ground in 16 holes. It will probably take me four stroke just to reach the green."

The golf gods must have smiled down on me or they wanted to sucker in another devotee to the worship of this crazy game. I don't believe my swing was any different than the previous 130 plus I had already made, but the shot was pure, it was magnificent. It soared high against the blue sky straight toward the green. The ball hit the pin on the fly just under the flag and dropped about three feet to the right of the hole. The group behind had just reached the tee box and someone shouted "great shot". The group ahead had just finished teeing off on the 18th and they all turned at the sound of the ball hitting the stick.

And, what did I do? I grabbed the handle of my playing partners pull cart, put the 7-iron over my shoulder and proceeded down the fairway as if this was an every day occurrence and my partner and not I was the lousy golfer slowing down the pace of play. I truly hope none of the players on the tee box saw me three putt from three feet. But that didn't matter. I was hooked.

Now after more than thirty years of golf with numerous memorable shots, I still remember most clearly my personal "miracle on the 17th green" at Laurel Golf Club in Richmond, Virginia.

Submitted by: Nate Kleinberg

Nice putting!

I took up golf about 15 years ago, intending to benefit from the fresh air and sunshine, and as a recreational, non-competitive alternative to my main sport (bowling) I was fortunate to have a good friend who worked at Fort Washington CC, and was willing to trade golf tutelage for bowling instruction. An added bonus: we got to play on the day the course was closed to the members, so we could take as many "do-overs" as we wanted. Every Monday for four months, we played as many holes as daylight allowed. Brimming with overconfidence, I signed up to play in my company's annual golf tournament. Not wanting to appear ignorant on tourney day, I insisted that our little Monday group play "according to Hoyle" for the three Mondays preceding the event. This meant abandoning Mulligans, as well as our own rule revisions (tee shot landing short of the ladies' tee: never happened; fairway shank may be dropped at landing place of thrown club, etc.) and of course, everyone took great delight in enforcing the "play it where it lies"rule.

So, 14th hole - 345 yds., dogleg right - Tee shot over water but only 90 yards to far shore - I smoke a inch-high drive squarely into the ladies tee marker. We all watch as the rebounding ball arcs gracefully over our heads, takes a high bounce off the paved cartpath and bounces merrily down the parking lot, coming to rest an estimated 520 yards from the tee box (865 yards from the green). I two-putted for a 27.

Submitted by: Its Miles

Man's best friend indeed

Just before the first hole I was playing around with all my golf toys... shoes and tees and other interesting things when a golden retriever runs up for a pet. So I pet the beast and he/she runs off (I didn't check) to the clubhouse. So, I tee off at the first hole and I manage not to slice into the pond. I'm having a career type day already and my three buddies all plunk balls in the swamp/pond/forest. So, I walk to mine and wait a good 5 minutes for them to give up and hit. One of them decided that on this particular par 4 that his shot was "almost" on the green when it went into the pond. Soooooo.... he drops there and hits up on the green and waits. So, I hit a 5 iron onto the green and the golden retriever, who must have been stalking me, races by me at full speed and runs after the ball. He/she picks up the ball and carries it toward my cheating friend but half way to my friend the hound thinks better of it and decides to drop the ball.... (big grin here) into the hole.

Submitted by: Ken Blanchard

Muther goose, what a shot!

My friend and I were playing on the local public course in the rain, not doing to badly, ( that means we haven't killed anyone yet ) when I got my first eagle. Second shot on a par 4, I grab my 4 iron and address the ball and notice a flock of geese roaming across the fairway about 15 yds. in front of the green. So I wait until I don't see any more geese and take the shot. A line drive about a foot off the ground hooking to the left of the green. At that moment a goose comes back and I clock it with the ball, feathers, noise and ball go in different directions. The Goose goes down, the feathers go up and the ball ricochets, hits the pin and drops in the cup. I am happy to say that the Goose was fine. The feathers will eventually become compost and I had the best game ever (82).

Submitted by: Scott

Buddies for life, I think

This is a story of what goes around, comes around. About 20 years ago I was 14 yrs. old and learning the game from my father. I use the term "learning" loosely. Well, one day I was on the 4th hole at Randolph AFB in a trap, dad in his infinite wisdom gives me all the coaching I can stand, "Follow through, hit behind the the ball (like I would "try" to hit in front of it), get a good stance," etc. Meanwhile, I hit the ball into the opposite trap across the green....I go to that trap....and proceed to hit the ball in the trap I was in the first time. As I was walking to the trap, one of the foursome behind us yells out "HEY PARTNER ..... HOW MANY TIMES YOU GONNA HIT THAT BALL?" Well, dad didn't take to kindly to someone yelling at his son so he yelled some comments back. They yelled all through the round and after the round as well. Well, just like when your a kid, you fight with someone, and after the fight you become friends...they did, and have been golfing together ever since. Then, just last week, I went with them for my rare round of golf and we came to the same 4th hole...and Chuck promptly hits the ball into the trap and proceeds to do the same thing I had done 20 yrs earlier. They had forgotten about the whole thing but when I said "Hey PARTNER, HOW MANY TIMES YOU GONNA HIT THAT BALL!" We damn near all fell down from laughing so hard. What goes around, comes around. Ain't life great!!

Submitted by: Robert Wicks

A dirty golf tale

I'm certainly no low-handicapper. I count any round below 120 as something close to perfection, but my partner Cloy (no last name, but with such a screwed up first name who needs it?) is genuinely pathetic.

Last year we were playing in a three-man captain's choice tournament and had the back luck to face one of Furman University's top lady golfers on the opposing team. Bad enough to have this cute little thing stomping our butt on every hole, but then came Cloy's tee shot on the par five 10th at Rolling Hills in South Carolina. The ground was soft and Cloy hit about a foot behind the ball. The resulting divot, roughly the size and shape of a welcome mat, was also a slice. An elderly gentlemen waiting by his cart in the group behind us was fortunate his back was turned, but not so lucky when the huge chunk hit him squarely between the shoulder blades, muddy side first. It stuck for a moment, before slowly sliding down his bright yellow windbreaker. Cloy had tried to warn the gentleman, but his "Watch out!" (he said later he forgot the proper term) had no effect. The pretty little thing from Furman showed she had a compassionate side. Although she quickly turned away, she must have been crying over the tragedy. At least her shoulders were shaking violently.

Submitted by: Willia

What do caddies know?

I am Mr. Bad Golfer. Several years ago while entertaining clients at an "exclusive" club in Illinois that required caddies, I was faced with a 150yd. shot onto an elevated green. I chose my club and took my stance. Then I noticed my caddie shaking his head. "What's wrong," I asked quietly. "I think you're lined up to hit that tree," came the reply. I looked, and slightly to the left and well downrange, there was a large tree that I had not paid any attention to until now. "Naw," I replied, "I'm shooting way right of that big tree." With that I took my swing and hit the ball beautifully. I posed and watched the ball sail away and smack the huge trunk of that tree. The ball came right back at me. The caddie hollered "Watch out!" but I didn't move an inch, keeping my original stance, and watched as the ball bounced before me and landed just inside the divot I had made. "Wow! What a shot," my caddie exclaimed. "I've never seen a shot like that." " Well, you're still young." I said patting him on the back,"... and I've had years of experience."

Submitted by: Joe Mastroianni

The art of the short game

I was out at the driving range having just purchased my first set of clubs. I had never played before and I was determined to take up the game. As I was whacking away, I looked around and started to wonder why everyone else at the range was driving the ball so much farther then me. I was whacking the ball as hard as I could but I just wasn't getting my ball to go as far as anyone else. When I turned to the man next to me and asked "why is everyone else hitting the ball so much farther than me?" He said "Lady, quit using your putter and you might be able to put some air under the ball." Thus began my bad golfing career.

Submitted by: Sheryl J.

"Throw" for show?

I have been taking golf lessons at our local golf course for about 3 years now, and for a 13 year old I thought I was really improving. I was wrong. My 3rd day at golf lessons I just did all out terribly. I looked like one of the beginners there. If that wasn't embarrassing enough.......one shot I just got so frustrated that I tried to swing way too hard. The club just flew out of my hands before I knew what was happening. It sailed over the driving range until it was about 50 yards out. Everybody was laughing hysterically. So, after that the golf instructor had to stop everybody on the range from hitting and I had to run out there in front of everyone and get my club. It was probably one of the most embarrassing moments in my life. But, I tell you what, I can throw a club farther than anyone there......

Submitted by: Kenny W.

Can I get a ruling, ladies?

On the 11th hole at my local course, I scored my first birdie ever. I followed this up on the 16th hole by putting 7 shots in a row in the water hazard. The 16th is about 345 yards, the last 40 over water. My tee shot was about halfway to the water and I followed that up with a shot right to the top of the bank before the water (a perfect shot for a bad golfer like me). I had it planned that way, so that I could put my third shot over the water and onto the green (Yeah, right). Well, I proceeded to hit seven straight shots into the water. Needless to say, the old ladies behind us had caught up by this point, so I just walked across the bridge and dropped a ball behind the green (no penalty except for the loss of 7 balls). My brother didn't mind though, he's as bad as I am.

Submitted by: Jeremy Tressler

Golf is a very private matter

Back in high school I found out that I could join my school golf team. For me (having a mother that would never sign the release form for any other sport) this was a really cool way for me to get a HS Letter. Why I wanted a HS letter is to this day beyond me, living in Southern Florida it was not like I was ever going to be able to wear a jacket to show the thing off.

It was a pretty cool setup. I was told to show up at the local country club anytime after 3:00 PM. They then told me to play nine holes up to three times per week. This was cool! I got to play free bad golf. I shot and still shoot around 60 on nine, so the fact that I was not supervised in my bad golfing was really cool too!

About the third time I was teeing up, one of the seniors was playing behind me. With my way bad golf he rapidly caught up to me and was wanting to play through. As I waved him on, he politely stopped and asked if I wanted him to give me any pointers on my swing. Figuring that maybe he could somehow point out a flaw in my swing I said sure! As I addressed the ball, I decided that I would really knock the hell out of it. As I was pulling back the club I brought it down hard, missing the ball and and the ground. I then started falling on my ass due to the over rotation in my posture. Picking myself up I grinned and said "Let me try that again." Again I addressed the ball, determined to drive at least 250 yards. As I contacted the ball it shot off the tee hugging the ground. It then reached an altitude of 5 ft., turned sharply to the right and struck a tree.......then I fell on my ass. It was then I realized that I would actually have to play in competition at some point. I soon quit the team after than realizing a valuable lesson: Bad golf is best done in private, and not in competition.

Submitted by: Chris G.

The curious case of the missing putter

I was having my usual bad time at Rancho Park when we finally got to number 17, an easy downhill par 5. After two good shots I shanked my third terribly and ended up taking a 6. Not really a catastrophe, but for some reason it was the straw that broke this hacker's back. On my way to the 18th tee I flung my putter high into the air. It was a nice, satisfying heave. The putter zoomed into a tree and didn't come down. My buddies caught up with me and I had to confess what I had just done. "Schmuck" was one of nicer words used to describe me. Everybody kept looking for the stupid putter until a foursome of women caught up with us. Then I got to describe to them what a genius I was. Finally, when I was looking straight up into the tree, the putter fell out and almost hit me on the head. Much hilarity all around. The morale of the story: throw your clubs under or over the trees, but not into them.

Submitted by: Keith S.

Nice drive, sweetie!

I was golfing in a best ball tournament and we were on the 15th hole, a long par 5 with a very wide fairway. My teammate had a great drive right down the middle of the fairway, so I figured here is my chance, I can really kill it because we already have one good drive that we can use. I stepped up to the tee and gave a swing so full even Tiger Woods would have been proud. It was the farthest drive I have ever hit. My teammate and I started driving down the cart-path and as we got closer to my ball we noticed that it was very close to the longest drive marker in the fairway. Could this be? Could I be the new longest driver at this Country Club? As I got up to the marker I realized that my ball was actually 3 feet behind the sign that said, "LONGEST DRIVE FROM THE LADIES TEE !!!" I hope this never happens to you, my friends have never let me hear the end of it.

Submitted by: David Oldenburg

Golf: A contact sport

I play golf for my high school team. It works like this, each player on the team plays a player of equal ability on the opposite team. Of course, I was the worst golfer on the Varsity squad. It just so happens I played two people that day. After I hit my drive straight down the middle, my opponent duffed his tee shot 50 yards in front of a stone wall. His teammate had a drive similar to mine. The three of us walked to the duffed tee shot and waited. My opponent pulled out his three wood and unleashed with an ungodly swing. The ball proceeded to bounce off the stonewall and smacked his teammate standing behind him in the groin. This is grounds for a two stroke penalty in high school golf. I am now in pain from laughing so hard. My opponent is now laying four and practically ten yards off the tee. To make a long story short, he gets on in two and one putts for an eight. As for me I get on in 5 and four putt four a nine and lose the hole.

Submitted by: Paul Johnson

Cuts like a knife

I've been playing at golf for over thirty years, and actually have hit a few nice drives (three, I think), which gives you some idea of how badly I really suck.

When I started playing, I had a horrible slice, so I went with a buddy who was a decent golfer to a local driving range. About the third ball I hit started out absolutely straight...for about a hundred yards, then took a beautiful, 90 degree right turn, left the range, over a road and through the front window of a house. We looked at each other, then walked (running draws attention) to the car and never came back.

I no longer slice because I now never hit the ball in the air and haven't been able to since. The tops have been almost as spectacular, like hitting the tee marker for the ladies' tee and tearing it completely out of the ground. Oh yes, that ball ended up in a lake bordering the fairway about 100 yards out.

Submitted by: Bill O'Rourke

Who's laughing now?

A few months ago, my friend John (last name not included to protect him from further ridicule) and I were taking in a round at the local links. On a 165 yd par three I teed off over the water. My ball hit the rocks on the other side and made a return flight across the water, almost to the green. John laughed and took great pride in poking fun at my unusual attempt. John then stepped up to the tee box, fully intending on getting close to the pin. He took a beautiful swing and sent the ball flying. The ball, of course, landed in the water but only after his huge, fat divot landed on his head, perfectly centered from back to front and grass up. So much for laughing at others' misfortune.

Submitted by: Luvtwogolf@aol.com

The shame of it all

I was playing the Emerald course of the Bahamas Princess Resort in Freeport, with my son caddying for me. We were alone. At the second hole there were two elderly couples getting ready to tee off in front of us when we arrived. Of course when they saw us they immediately said "Play through." So I asked my son for a 4 iron, which he gave me, at the same time saying "Whack it, Dad." So I gave it the wiggle, stared straight down the fairway, and decided to give it my all. Slow takeaway, coiled to burst, then release - POW! - I smack the ball with the heel of the club. It flies between my legs, zooms behind me, smacks the distance marker, comes back towards me and finally comes to rest on the tee four feet further from the pin than when I started. Oh the shame of it all.

Submitted by: Robin

You owe me a Coke!

I was playing with my father-in-law at Hilton Head Island. I must be the most dangerous person to play golf with. While he was sitting in the golf cart drinking a Coke, I tee off. I hit the ball off of the toe of my driver and knocked the can out of his hand. To this day he stays about 50 feet behind me when I tee off.

Submitted by: Jlgj2@aol.com

Walkin' on water

We were playing a best ball format golf tournament, where everyone tees off, then you pick the best shot and everyone hits their ball from there and so on. The only other rule is that you have to use at least two tee shots for each person in your foursome on both the front and back nine. Picture this...we're on the 18th hole and we have only used one of my tee shots on the back nine, so we have to use my tee shot on this final hole. There is a huge pond right smack in front of the tee...water is my most feared obstacle! The other three members of my team are very confident that my tee shot is going to end up at the bottom of this pond. The ball is on the tee and I'm ready to swing, my knees quiver as everyone is watching. Then with a crack of the iron, the ball goes sailing on a line drive directly for the pond, with the expected splash the ball hits the water. And then before I could even curse...the ball skipped on top of the water not once, not twice but three times...gliding across the water to the other side where it landed safely in the fairway.

Submitted by: Joe Stanko

How golf SHOULD be played

I belong to a private club in PA. Our club has a very active caddy program and is mainly served by youngsters under 15 who act as fore-caddies. As you can imagine, many of them know very little about the game when they start out with us. A few years ago, on opening day, a young lad who I'll call Tim forecaddied for the first time. He was taken out by an 'experienced' caddie (this young man had been out at least 3 times). The format that day was a four-man scramble so that we all could meet and play with members who we probably didn't like and would never play with again. But I digress.

Tim finished his round and was properly rewarded by the players. He was so pleased with his remuneration that he was back bright and early the very next day. Our foursome was fortunate enough to draw Tim as our forecaddie that day. Being the 'bad' golfers that we are, our loop usually places a small wager on the day's match. This will naturally make us play better because we will concentrate so much more!

With the partners chosen and the wagers made we couldn't wait to tee it up. Tim was by himself today as he was now considered to be a 'vet' after his one day of training. Each of us took out our drivers as Tim jogged down the middle of the fairway and positioned himself to better see our drives. One after the other we sprayed our drives in different directions. All except Big Bob who knocked a 250 yarder right smack over the rise in the middle of the fairway.

We got in our carts and drove off. There was much banter about the bad tee shots and how it was going to 'cost' them. I was fortunate enough to be Big Bob's partner that day so I wasn't too worried about my shot which was far far far right. As we came over the crest of the hill on the first fairway, we were met by a truly astonishing sight. There in the middle of the fairway, 250 yards from the tee, were FOUR golf balls and a proudly smiling Tim!!

You see gang, Tim had never played golf and knew absolutely nothing about the game. During yesterday's scramble he spent the day picking up the poor shots and placing them next to the best ones. To our boy Tim, that was how the game was played! Maybe he has a point.

Submitted by: JUSnAVGJOE

Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.

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