Ouch, That Had to Hurt!

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

Huck Tales

Ouch, That Had to Hurt![1]

A character called “Duff” or “the Duffster” is the leader of the “Linksmen,” another group at Golden Eagle Golf and Country Club. Formerly, every Saturday, the “Linksmen” played a five man Wolf Game.

A Wolf Game, if the reader does not already know, normally pits two golfers against three or, on occasion, one against four. The players take turns teeing off first, and the first player to tee off either declares “wolf” (i.e., plays against the other four players by himself) or picks a partner based upon the tee shots and handicaps.

Normally, the monetary damage in the Linksmen’s Wolf Game was not much, six to eight dollars per loser. On one particular Saturday, however, the Duffster found himself deep in the Wolf money pit. When his group arrived at the sixteenth hole to begin the “lightning round,” Duff could play for ten bucks. The lightning round, consisting of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth holes, enables a loser in the Wolf Game to get back to even or, perhaps, become a winner. The loser has the privilege of watching everyone hit, and then he can either declare “wolf” or pick a partner. The loser can also play for half of what he has lost thus far, and declaring “wolf” doubles the bet. Consequently, if he declares “wolf” on a lightning round hole, that is, if he plays against the other four players, every other player could each owe him the amount he had formerly lost. Conversely, though, should he lose to the other four players, he could owe each of them the amount he had formerly lost.

On the sixteenth tee, playing for ten Washingtons, Duff watched with interest as Sparkles, Teddy Tourette, and Dougie the Ad-man hit their drives deep into the woods on both sides of the fairway. Spence’s tee ball, at first glance, appeared as though it would make it over the hill and around the corner, in perfect shape for a short, slightly uphill, second shot into the par four. As the golf gods would have it, however, Spence’s ball nicked a corner pine tree, feel back behind the hill, and settled into the deep rough. The chances of Spence hitting the green from there were about as good as balata golf balls making a return to the game.

It was Duff’s turn now. He stepped up to the tee and stroked his pellet over the hill and down the right side of the fairway. The ball came to rest near a bunker but still in good shape. Spence, looking out for Duff, offered the following advice. “You know, Duff, you should howl wolf. None of us is going to make better than bogey!”

The wheels of avarice began spinning in the Duffster’s head. He thought of the money he could win and envisioned himself spending his winnings on something extravagant, perhaps a few dozen new Titleist golf balls. “You’re right, Spence!” Duff exclaimed. “WOLF!!!,” Duff yelled across the fairway to his playing companions.

Duff, with Spence aboard, stopped his cart at Spence’s ball so that Spence could chip his ball out of the rough and around the corner. Spence, however, did not grab a chipping iron. He grabbed his five metal instead. Spence slashed violently at his “Duncan Floater, No-cut, Distance Ball.” The ball exited the rough as though shot from a mortar, and the line was a hard, arching hook. As Duff stared at the ball, he thought, “This can’t be happening to me!” In a second, though, he realized that the ball was moving with such velocity that Spence would be playing his next shot from the ladies tee on the seventeenth hole. As the shot was in the air and the group climbed the hill to get a better look at the ball’s destination, the players saw that there was a foursome still on the green. Spence’s ball, traveling with immense speed, found the ample backside of a Huck known as Tuna, who was trying to putt out. Tuna, a large and strong man, almost went to the ground. His knees buckled, but they did not collapse.

Tuna’s “padding” absorbed the impact of the Duncan Floater. The whitened sphere, shocked into a calmer state, fell softly onto the green and came to rest six inches from the cup. Spence, in fear for his life, made the appropriate apologies to Tuna. He then tapped in for his birdie. Duff made par. Duff walked off the green having gained in wisdom but having lost eighty more of his best friends. Instead of buying new Titleists, he would be relegated to fishing Century 21 balls out of Golden Eagle’s lakes.

[1] A large part of the credit for this story belongs to a character known as Duff or “the Duffster.”

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

Leave a Comment