Posted tagged ‘golf stories’

Putting Practice With Arnie

June 11, 2009

        When I was a kid, Arnold Palmer was our hero.  We paid extra attention to the Masters in the even years, ’cause he always won then.  We were mad they hadn’t kept the PGA a match play event.  Everyone knew no one could beat Arnie one-on-one.

        Mr. Palmer turns 80 on September 10.  The USGA has set up a message board so anyone can send him a birthday greeting and a favorite Arnold Palmer memory.  Given that Arnie has answered every piece of fan mail sent his way since 1950 something, I thought that was the least we could do.  I sent in one about putting practice with Arnie.  If y’all have some favorite Arnie stories, I hope you will send them in too.

        The link is:  www.usgamuseum.com/arnoldpalmer

        Here is my blip on his radar:

        An imaginary sports announcer droned in the background.  “Folks it’s Arnold Palmer to win the Masters.  This crowd is hushed.”

        I’d stand over the putt knock-kneed, as much like Arnie as I could.  I’d draw back and putt, and then agonize.  Was it gonna go in?  Plunk!  “Yes. Yes!  Arnold wins again!!”  the announcer would shout. 

        Then I’d putt another ball.  This time it was Casper.  The announcer would speak again.  “Billy Casper for the Masters, folks.”  If the ball got ready to drop, the imaginary announcer suddenly would say, “Wait. Wait a minute… No, sports fans.. I’ve made a mistake!  That was Arnie.  It was Arnie!  Arnie wins again.” 

        I made a bunch of putts and I missed a bunch too, but in my putting practice Arnie never lost.

Dr. B

Saltillo Golf Match

October 5, 2008

        While we were in Saltillo, Smitty arranged a golf match.  I was teamed with him against Conway and the preacher.  We flipped a tee in the air on the first hole and it pointed right at Conway, so they led off.  Conway hit a Texas Leaguer right down the sprinkler line- a frozen rope they call it in baseball.  Preacher played a power fade to the right center of the fairway.  Smitty turned to me and said, “All day long Doc.” 

        I nodded.  It was gonna be a dogfight.  We had been riding all through Alabama and Mississippi and I was stiff as could be.  I tried to loosen up, but my first drive came out the right barrel.

        “It’s O.K., Doc,” Smitty said.  We call that Green Acres over there.  It opens up more than what it looks like from here.” 

        Somehow we scraped out a par and halved the first hole.  Conway kept the pressure on- every drive was one of those mid height wind cheaters, and Preacher proved to have either an excellent short game or divine intervention.  He chipped in on number three and they clipped us a shot to go one up.  Smitty said if you didn’t have the preacher whupped by the time you get to fifty yards and in you were doomed.  His predictions were accurate- the man could chip and putt. 

        On number seven the preacher stood over an eight putt to save par and had to back away when he got a phone call.  “Well, honey that is wonderful.  A boy?  As soon as we finish I’ll be right over.”  Then  he drained his putt without a blink.

        “Dang, Smitty.  Preacher got a new baby and that cool headed?”  I asked.

         “It’s a grandchild, Doc.  They’ve been expecting their third.  You ain’t gonna rattle preacher.”

        “No kidding.”

        Preacher reached in his golf bag and handed us all a small wooden cross, (he was agin cigars) led a prayer for the baby’s good heath, and resumed play.

        We managed to get back to even by the turn, and had to stop in the parking lot for some young women who wanted Conway’s autograph. (he’d sung in the Hee-Haw show the night before) We got a Coke and a pack of nabs and then teed it up on the back.  Smitty got on a hot streak and had a couple of birdies.  I had a good back nine but hit a rope hook out of bounds after a good drive on twelve and we were back to just one up.  Somewhere in Mississippi there is a Titleist with a green and a blue dot, but I don’t reckon they’d find that one.  It was WAY out of bounds. 

        On sixteen I hit my best Sunday punch so hard my hat flew off.  Smitty caught it, stuck it back on my head, then stepped up and proceeded to out drive me five yards.  He made birdie and the match was closed.  Conway and the Preacher were tough, though.  And, win or lose I ain’t never seen as many women to chase a foursome on a golf course since Freddie Couples at the Masters.  Poor Freddie.  He deals with the problem all men wish they had.  Conway is a kindred spirit though.

        We shook hands and went to get a shower.  Smitty’s mama was gonna have her best chicken cooked up in a black skillet, and that was about half of why I drove to Mississippi all by itself.  It turned out as good as advertised and more.  I tell you what’s the truth, there’s an awful lot to like about Mississippi.

How To Win A Charity Golf Tournament

September 26, 2008

        O.K. folks, here is Dr. B’s primer on how to win a charity Captain’s choice golf tournament.

        We won Wednesday, and here is our formula.  It has worked many times.

        First, and most obvious, your ‘A’ player must be an ace.  Ours, ‘Birdman’ Graylord, was that and more. 

        Second, your ‘B’ man must be reliable, boring, and good for about 60% pars.  He should play like you want your family doctor to be-conservative, not flashy, few mistakes, and only lose two or three golf balls a summer.  Just plum dull except for the brain.  That would be me.

        Your ‘C’ man should be rated as such only because he can’t hit far anymore, but still chips and putts like a wild man.  Take a guy like Sammy.  He spent his youth jumping outta airplanes all over Europe in WWII with dynamite strapped to his chest.  He ain’t gonna fret over a three foot putt.

        But your most important player is your “D” man.  Now I know you must think, ‘Dr. B that don’t make no sense,’ but it does.  He must be a REAL genuine ‘D’ player – like one with a 36 handicap.  That way you have a bunch of strokes to work with.  And Barry Graylord, Birdman’s big brother, is a legitimate 36.  He plays once a year and only in this tournament.  We have signed him to an exclusive lifetime contract, and he belongs to us.  All he has to do is show up and drive the cart.

         Barry is my insurance agent, and he has a string of trophies on his shelf at the office.  Only problem is his clients keep asking him to play golf and rather than explain he politely declines.

        But before you feel sorry for him, don’t.  He is a fine athlete who once tried out for the Braves and was an All-Conference linebacker.  He just doesn’t play golf.  And don’t make fun of his game either, ’cause he is also an expert in jujitsu.

        But I have to say, for an insurance agent he sure has come by his string of golf trophies in an unusual way.  All of them were won for him by his little brother and an old doctor who only plays golf on Wednesdays.  Golf can be a strange game sometimes.

Dr. B

Banjo Picking Golfing Rasslin’ Preacher

July 16, 2008

        You remember me telling y’all about Preacher Vincent, the banjo picking minister who rassled the rangatang?

        Not long ago me and Darrell and his cousin Robert went out to play golf, and Preacher Vincent wanted to go along.  Now Robert is a good player, so he asked the Preacher what kinda game he played.  Preacher said “Well, brother Robert I ain’t as good at golf as I am picking the banjo, but yes, I can play.” 

        We hadn’t been out there long and it became apparent golf was not Preacher Vincent’s long suit.  But, me and Darrell didn’t care.  We was just out there to have fun.  Robert was a serious player though, and after a while all the shenanigans began to wear him down.  All that cutting up and so on made it hard for him to concentrate.

        We came to number seven, and Robert wasn’t happy ’cause he’d just made a double bogey.  He started to rag the Preacher, and it began to get on Preacher’s last nerve.  Well, Preacher proceeded to hit a low rope hook what dang near hit Robert in the leg.  The ball scooted out over the water, took a few skips about like a flat rock you’d skim across the lake just right, and then sunk.

        “Preacher, I thought you said you could play this game,” Robert said.

        “Well, maybe I ain’t much of a golfer, but I can rassle.  You wanna rassle?”  Preacher replied.

        “Yes sir, buddy.  I’ll bet twenty bones you can’t whup me.”

         I wouldna done that myself.  Before I could say a word the two had squared off.  Preacher let Robert have a few points to get him overconfident, then proceeded to do some kinda whirly-gig like maneuver, hoisted Robert up over his head and tossed him right in the lake.  That was one more embarrassed boy to have a Preacher out-rassle him like that.

        Robert hadn’t ever been around Preacher, and I know he didn’t realize what he was getting into.  Preacher is myopic from all that Bible study, but the glasses’ll fool you.  If you size up the situation he is a stout boy.  Robert had his blood up, though, and let testosterone poisoning trump reason.  A man should never do that, but you see ’em do it all the time.

        They say in golf if you’re at the 19th hole, and a man wants to bet you he can fling the ace of spades across the room and land it in your beer mug, you better think twice.  He’s been around and figured out some way to do it.  Same way with a preacher- if he bets he can out-rassle you, you can count on the fact he’s done some rassling in his day.  

        Too bad Robert didn’t ask me for advice.  I’d no more bet against a preacher who can out rassle a rangatang than place wedge shot wagers with an old Doctor who only plays golf on Wednesdays. 

        Gone to tee it up.  It is Wednesday, isn’t it?  I’m getting some age on me, and can’t keep my days straight when I’m off duty.    

Dr. B