Posted tagged ‘golf hustlers’

Bookie (Pronounced Boo-Key)

August 18, 2010

        The best thing about my writing is all the new friends I’ve met. Someone read the golf passages in “The Mandolin Case,” and wanted to introduce me to a character named Boukie (pronounced Boo-Key) Murdock. “Doc,” they said. “I promise you there ain’t but one Boukie in the world. There ain’t another one like him.”

        They were right. Boukie is 6’1′ and about 230. He walks with a limp after a scaffolding collapsed at a construction site in the 80s. He lost his left eye years ago. (It wasn’t a fight; he got hit by golf ball.)

        Here is my warning. Do not be fooled. Boukie is past Medicare age, but still can drive the ball 260 yards. He holds scores of course records and has 13 hole-in-ones. Unless you have played professional golf your entire life I would not play Boukie for more than a  hot dog and I would only do that if you just want to see a good game and buy the man’s lunch.  That swing is as sweet as maple syrup.

        He kinda reminds me of Snookers Molesby. My matches with Snook were just one extended golf lesson for Doc punctuated by a perpetual cheeseburger plan for my old buddy.

        Before I met up with Boukie I did my usual background check. The last time I played the choose-up at River Run I went out to the practice range and asked the boys, “You guys know a cat named Boukie?”

        Snook stopped mid-swing. “Boukie Murdock? Doc, you ain’t gambling are ya?”

        “Naw, Snook. I know better.”

        “Well, it’s a good thing. You’ve got some game, but you can’t hang with Boukie. He’s the only cat within three counties I gotta play straight up. Used to run with that Crump fellow out of Charlotte.”

        “Yeah, I remember Crump. Heck, Trevino only gave him a shot a side when he was in town at Quail Hollow.”


        Boukie is a gambler, but he’s not a hustler. There’s a difference. A hustler tries to sandbag you, and get shots he doesn’t deserve. A gambler will tell you straight up; he wants a money game and he can play.

       Again, don’t bet more than a hot dog. Boukie’s been known to play for a house. And by the way, I wouldn’t play gin with him or shoot pool either. I haven’t seen him shoot pool, but I can just tell. His nephew used to own a pawn shop and pool hall before he retired, and I understand Boukie always hung out there when he wasn’t on the golf course.

          I don’t know everything, but a man is best off to stick to what he knows to make a living. A doctor ain’t gonna whup a guy with one eye named Boukie. I’m glad he’s my friend. 

Dr. B


Bones and Bogey

September 8, 2009

        My editor Jenny Lynn got a lot done for ‘The Mandolin Case’ while she was in Harvey County.  As I have mentioned, one of the most important things she did was to convince Bones to tell his part of the story.  When you read the book you are gonna understand.  He was a key player, and if had not consented it just wouldn’t have been the same.

        Perhaps the best benefit of all is it rekindled a relationship between me and Bones.  After ‘The Mandolin Case’ he left Harvey County.  He still won’t give up his whereabouts but at least now he’ll come through every so often to visit.

        I got to play golf with him last time he was here.  He is retired now.  His handicap is two.  I think it might be better than that.  When your traveling handicap is two you are a player.  

        Bones is a tall skinny fellow with bright gray/steel blue eyes and wavy gray hair to match.  He wears a visor and sunglasses, ’cause he’s afraid of cataracts.  The back of his neck looks like shoe leather from the sun.  He says he can’t play like he used to ’cause his back bothers him. 

        Nowadays Bones travels with a little short stout fellow named Bogey.  Bogey is swarthy and might be Mexican.  He wears a tank top, Bermuda shorts, and blue tennis shoes with black socks.  There is a tattoo of a heart and a naked woman on his right shoulder.  

        These guys have read too much about Titanic Thompson, the great golf hustler.  Bogey only carries four clubs, a driver, a putter, and also a shovel and rake.  (He says he keeps up Bones’ garden)  He wears a cast on his left arm but says it is half-way healed.  They’ll bet fifty dollars he can play three holes with what he has in his bag and not make more than a bogey.  

        Bones changed after the Mandolin Case.  Before that I always thought he was just a nice Southern boy.  Now he has the heart of a gambler.  He plays fair and he is 100% ethical, but I wouldn’t bet against him.  It’s like Martin Taylor said, “Always fear the nice guys.”  (I still fear and respect Martin too.)  

        I have to go to work.  I promise I’ll tell you more about the exploits of Bones and Bogey later.  You will enjoy getting to know them.

Dr. B