Beam Me Up Scotty
Some of the strangest nicknames, shots and events have occurred in golf over the years, and believe it or not, here are some of the strangest of them all. Has anyone ever hit a shot that you could call a "Captain Kirk"? I know I have on occasion. It ended up "where no man has ever gone before."
We all have been in a sand trap and had a partner or friend say, "You are on the beach, but how about playing in the kitty litter." Did you ever pull a "cleek" out of your bag on a long par 4 or par 5? If you did it was a two iron (hope you hit it straight).
Would you like to play in the Bob Jones Open Tournament (in honor of the great Bobby Jones) each year to raise money for medical research? If your name is Bob Jones or your first name is Robert, you can play with no problem at all.
At some point in your golfing career, you should check your GHIN! Not sure what that is? If you are serious about your game, then check the Golf Handicap Information Network, which is the computer system used by the USGA and most American golf courses to calculate handicaps.
Now, let's switch to famous golfer nicknames in a quiz format. I will give you the nickname and you guess who the golfer is or was in real life. He or she can be dead or alive and score one point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you know how he or she got the nickname.
2. The Squire
3. The Shark
4. The Slammer
5. The Black Knight
6. The Hawk
7. Super Mex
8. Boom Boom
9. The King
(Answers at the end of the column).
Strange but true golf shots
In the 1962 U.S. Open, Phil Rodgers tried to hit his ball out of a tree. The tree cost Rodgers the tournament victory, when he took four shots to hit the ball back to a playable lie. Sam Snead once lost the Cleveland Open by one stroke, when he hit a shot that went through an open door to the men's locker room, then into the bathroom. He was penalized two strokes. A wayward shot by Hale Irwin at the 1973 Sea Pines Heritage Classic at Hilton Head bounced and hit a female golf fan seated in the gallery (in the chest) and lodged inside her sun dress. An official ruled that Irwin got a free drop - after the "fan" removed the ball. (Irwin was not allowed to "pick clean and place.")
Ever lose your ball on the green? In the 1936 Irish Open, golfer Bobby Locke hit a shot straight at the flag on the 12th hole at the Royal Dublin Course. When he got to the green his ball was not in sight. After some searching, the golfers realized the ball was tangled in the flag. The ball fell out when the stick was removed and he made a short putt for a birdie.
And last, but not least, two different shots that include a hot dog and a beer.
A golfer named Curtis Sifford (not a household name) was playing in the Quad Cities Open in Iowa when his ball landed on a discarded half-eaten hot dog, still in the wrapper. The officials invoked the pick clean and place rule, so Sifford wiped the mustard off his ball and put his next shot on the green.
And finally, one for the road. In the 1949 British Open Harry Bradshaw hit a drive that landed in a broken beer-bottle on the fifth hole fairway at the Royal St. George Course. He decided to play from the beer bottle and when the ball only went twenty-five yards, he ended up with a double bogey. He lost the tournament in a playoff.
19th Hole Score Card:
15- 20 points: You are a golfing genius, probably a senior golfer with medium handicap.
5-14 points: Try watching old re-run highlights of the Master's, British Open and U.S. Open; you are probably a high handicap recreational golfer who needs work on putting.
0-4 points: Time to take up bowling, the ball comes back to you and your favorite beverage is only steps from your seat.
Answers to the Nickname Quiz:
1. Frank Urban Zoller, fuzzy comes from his initials, FUZ.
2. Gene Sarazen lived on a farm during his golfing hall of fame years.
3. Greg Norman comes from Australia, has aggressive play and great white sharks are common along the shores.
4. Sam Snead, hard hitter off the tees, also known as "Slammin Sammy".
5. Gary Player, dressed in black and had a black putter
6. Ben Hogan, intense stare with steel-gray eyes.
7. Lee Trevino, Mexican-American hall of fame golfer.
8. Fred Couples got the name for his consistent driving distance on tour.
9. Arnold Palmer, enough said!
10. Nancy Lopez got the name because she liked to "squeal her tires on the road."