Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Golf Digest - Readers Confess

This compilation of golfer confessions was found in the latest issue of Golf Digest magazine, it gave me a few laughs so I figured I'd share them...

While playing in a high school regional tournament, I made a long putt for a bogey 5. As I walked to the next tee, a competitor congratulated me on my "par saving" putt. I didn't say anything, wrote down the incorrect score and played off for the individual title, which I won on the first hole with a par. I've never been proud of that victory. I cheated because I was young, dumb and got caught up in the moment. I'm sorry to the guy whose title I stole. I wish I could give it back. I would've been proud to have shot 77 to finish second. Instead, for 22 years I've been ashamed because I cheated.

As a reverend I welcome the opportunity to confess my golf sins and at least one in particular. About eight years ago I was caddieing for a pro-am group that included Bob Uecker, the legendary baseball announcer. It happened to be Uecker's birthday, and when we came to the last hole, he hit his approach to a par 4 into the desert. I went ahead and found it under a scrubby bush, and with only slight hesitation, I wedged it out with my foot and thought Happy Birthday, Bob! I then called him over, and he chipped the ball onto the green and two-putted for what he thought was a bogey. He was unaware of my transgression, and though we weren't in contention, it was still a breach of the rules. I welcome hearing words of absolution through this column, and I trust Mr.Uecker and God will forgive me, too!

I recently played a match against this guy who's a rival of mine. We're similar in ability, and we had a $100 bet going. On 18 we were all square and both hit good drives in front of a pond. My opponent was slow to get to our drives. Both of us were safe but close to the water. I saw he wasn't looking, so I kicked his ball into the water. When he got there I said his ball had gone in. He made double bogey, and I made par to win the match and $100.

My freshman year of high school I played in our district championship. On 18, I hit my tee shot into the woods. When I got to where I saw my ball enter, I couldn't find it but did find another ball. So I played the one I found as if it were mine. I hit it on the green and made birdie, and our team qualified for the state tournament by one stroke. I felt terrible. If I could do it over, I'd go back and take the stroke and distance penalty.

As a young caddie at a private club in Rockland County in New York, it was customary for a caddie in each group to go up to the green on the par-3 14th. Only the top of the flag was visible from the tee. I'd always volunteer to be the forecaddie because I had an idea that I hoped would result in a larger tip. It took several rounds, but finally one of my players hit an almost perfect shot that stopped a foot from the hole. I started jumping up and down and yelled "It's in! It's in!" I then ran onto the green and pretended to remove the "ace" from the cup. I'm sure he has enjoyed telling the storey of his hole-in-one for years. By the way, the tip was substantial.

I was part of a foursome that played golf twice a month. One member of our group always arrived late. After the round, he'd throuw his clubs and shoes in the trunk of my car before we'd have a pint. His clubs would remain in my car until the next outing. I decided to exact some revenge-and laughs. I took by buddy's clubs out of his bag and filled the bottom with rocks and then put the clubs back. After a month my buddy said he must be getting out of shape, because he could barely carry his bag for 18 holes. The other members of our foursome and I could hardly contain our laughter. We let him carry the weighted bag until the end of the season and then I emptied the rocks out. To this day he doesn't know he carried an extra 15 pounds the entire season.

Enjoy your rounds and try not to let competition get the better of you!