The Wedding Blessing

Roybob’s Book on Golf: The Hucks, A Golfer’s Divine Comedy, and a Religious Philosophy of Golf

Huck Tales

The Wedding Blessing

Soon after joining Golden Eagle, I became rather close friends with guys named Rick and Joe. For good reason, the three of us acquired the nickname, “The Three Stooges.” Instead of Larry, Curly, and Moe, though, we were Rick, Roy, and Joe. We soon added two more, Fuji and J.K., to our little cadre and recreated another classic gang, “The Five Amigos.”

Several years ago, one Saturday morning, The Five Amigos set out on one of many golfing adventures. Joe was a lineman on the Army football team, and he also served as an Army Ranger. He is a strong and large man. He has always been able to launch the ball like an M-198 howitzer; but, at the time, one never knew where the ball would land. Joe would frequently hit 350-yard drives, but even on those rare occasions when his ball found the fairway, he would frequently follow up his 350-yard drive with an equally long lob wedge (just not at the height one would expect for a lob wedge). Joe turned more sixty-yard, second shots into double bogeys than anyone we had ever seen. Whenever that happened, we would always comfort him with sarcasm, “Nice drive, Joe.” He has improved immensely over the years, dropping his handicap from fourteen to scratch. At the time, though, I was the low handicapped golfer.

Joe and I were partners. Joe was playing poorly; I was playing well. Good play, however, never kept Joe from spitting jibes at his partners. Despite the fact that I had carried him for a good part of the round, he was casting plenty of barbs my way, as was his custom.

We reached the par-five eighteenth, and all of us took notice of a sizeable wedding that was in progress just behind the green. Golden Eagle is utilized quite often for weddings, so much so that I have sometimes referred to the club as The Golden Eagle Wedding Chapel. The outdoor weddings are often held at the rear of the clubhouse within a few yards of the eighteenth green.

I hit a good tee shot. Joe, my partner, drove his ball off somewhere. Golden Eagle Drive? Lake Diane? I do not remember where he hit it. I hit the green in two, giving promise of a game winning birdie or eagle. The wind was behind us, blowing toward the wedding party, and my ball wound up on the back of the green.

I was lining up my thirty-foot putt. Behind me, the minister was talking about the significance of the marriage vows, how marriage should not be entered into lightly. I hit the putt with a demon possessed stroke that sent the ball about eight feet past the hole. The minister was into the portion of the ceremony when the bride and groom exchange their vows: “Do you … take this …. to be your ….” Joe, taking one last stab, said, “Roy, you’re killing me. I rely on you one stinking hole, and you can’t come through?”

The disappointment I experienced over my putt nullified any former awareness of a wedding ceremony behind me. I was marching after my putt, and having had my fill of Joe’s undeserved jabs, I yelled in a strong, clear voice, “FUCK YOU, JOE!” The four other Amigos were facing me, and I quickly noticed a somewhat chagrinned expression appearing on their faces. They looked down at their feet and begin scurrying about the green, trying to finish the hole. It was then I remembered that a wedding was in progress behind me.

Mustering my focus, I made the eight-foot birdie putt, winning money for the provocative Joe. We avoided eye contact with the wedding guests as we made our way toward our carts and the clubhouse. As we enjoyed beverages after the round, I was told that as soon as I sounded out my “blessing,” a hundred sets of eyes turned in our direction. I explained to the Amigos that I was an ordained minister (a true story) and that this was just my way of blessing the marital union. Since that time, all such utterances have been regarded as blessings, and I have even ordained other ministers, from amongst the Hucks, who wanted to learn my mysterious ways.

I regret the incident, but I sure would like to view the video tape of that wedding. Even though I have officiated at several weddings, that wedding is the only wedding for which I have offered such a special blessing.

Roybob’s Book on Golf: The Hucks, A Golfer’s Divine Comedy, and a Religious Philosophy of Golf

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mauice Barineau March 4, 2011 at 7:29 pm

This is really funny and well written.

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Blessed Joe March 4, 2011 at 7:34 pm

And I still feel blessed today.

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Reverend Roybob March 12, 2011 at 9:44 am

Thanks Bubba! Glad you enjoyed. Joe, I cannot count how many times I’ve said, “God bless Joe.” Or was that, “God bless it Joe!”?

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