January 19, 2007
Golf humor is not an oxymoron, like “jumbo shrimp” or “pretty ugly”.
Really, it’s not.
Of course, there are an awful lot of golf jokes out there, and therefore it’s inevitable that a lot of them would be awful. Nonetheless, there are some good ones, and many golf fans are keen to share them with others of a similar bent.
Recently I showed up to play with the Ball Tossers at Shawnee Country Club. This informal group of mostly retired gentlemen plays every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, weather permitting. They draw cards to divide themselves up into threesomes or foursomes, and bet just enough on the single winning team for each competition to make it interesting.
Almost as soon as I walked by the pro shop, Cape Region golfer Jim Brittingham called out and asked me to wait right where I stood. He dashed into the locker room and returned with a printout of an email a buddy had sent him. “Here—you need to run this in your column,” he said.
Well, need is a relative term—but in this case I was happy to comply, since the following “Rules of Golf for Seniors” are well worth reprinting here, with some slight editing.
Rule 1.a.5—A ball sliced or hooked into the rough shall be lifted and placed on the fairway at a point equal to the distance it carried or rolled into the rough, with no penalty. Senior golfers should not be penalized for tall grass which groundskeepers failed to mow.
Rule 2.d.6(b)—A ball hitting a tree shall be deemed not to have hit the tree. This is simply bad luck and luck has no place in a scientific game. The senior player must estimate the distance the ball would have traveled if it had not hit the tree, and play from there.
Rule 3.b.3(g)—There shall be no such thing as a lost ball. The missing ball is on or near the course and will be eventually be found and pocketed by a younger golfer with better vision, making it a stolen ball. The senior player should not compound this felony by charging himself or herself with a penalty stroke.
Rule 4.c.7(h)—If a senior golfer’s putt passes over a hole without dropping, it is deemed to have dropped. The law of gravity supersedes the Rules of Golf.
Rule 5. If a putt stops close enough to the cup that it could be blown, it may be blown in if the senior golfer has enough lung capacity. This does not apply to balls stopping more than three inches from the hole, as this would make it a travesty of the game.
Rule 6.a.9(k)—There is no penalty for so-called “out of bounds.” If penny-pinching golf course owners and country clubs bought sufficient land, this would not occur. The senior golfer deserves an apology, not a penalty stroke. If a fence marks this imaginary boundary, the senior golfer shall drop a new ball at the point where it crossed the fence line, and play from there without penalty. Senior golfers could hurt themselves climbing these obstacles, so they shouldn’t even try.
Rule 7.g.15(z)—There is no penalty for a ball in a water hazard. Golf balls used by seniors should float. These golfers should not be penalized for the golf ball manufacturers’ design flaws. Any ball that goes into water and does not immediately return to the surface for retrieval may be replaced without penalty, at a point between the hole and the water hazard. Why run that risk a second time?
Rule 8.k.9(s)—Advertisements claim that golf scores can be improved by purchasing new golf equipment. However, senior golfers usually live on fixed incomes. Therefore, if a senior golfer uses old equipment, he or she may deduct one stroke for every two holes from the total score. It’s only fair.