Riddle me this, Batman?

August 15, 2019

During my college years at the U of D in the sixties, I fell in love with an off-the-wall TV show called Batman. It starred Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. It was really comfort food for the mind, which through the ridiculous scripts and comedy pitfalls, made you relax and forget about your next term paper or exam for thirty minutes each week.

One of my favorite characters (besides Catwoman) was the Riddler, played by Frank Gorshin. He always left clues to his robberies, kidnappings and mayhem in the form of a riddle.

One of his classic riddles came during a scene in which Batman and Robin were trying to find a key to get into a room through a locked steel door. Inside the room was a pretty female citizen of Gotham City in peril, as a time bomb clock ticked down to zero. A note taped to the door read: “When is a door not a door?” Think about that for a moment (answer later), while I give you a riddle to involving three golf stories.

Riddle Me This: A note pinned to your golf bag reads: When is a golf story not a golf story? I am going to tell you about three golfers, all of whom have an amazing tale involving the game we love. However, one is false and the answer will be revealed in the 19th Hole Trivia section.

Story #1: A Scotsman named Graeme Dawson was born without an arm below the elbow, but in later life didn’t let that small problem keep him from playing golf.

Using a homemade prosthesis, he became a scratch golfer in 2002.

During his amateur golf career, he captained the University of St. Andrews golf team, shot a 62 at his home course at Ranfurly Castle near Glasgow, hit his drives over 300 yards and once shot a 68 at Shinnecock Hills (South Hampton, NY), from the back tees.

Story #2: Air Force Major James Nesmith enjoyed golf, but struggled at times, shooting in the low nineties on average. During his seven-year captivity as a POW in Vietnam, he played eighteen holes of golf every day in his mind.

As a technique to stay sane, he spent four to five hours each day visualizing his grip, swing, ball placement and each shot on his favorite golf course(s) back home. After his release and rehabilitation, he took up the game again and shot a hole in one the first day back on his home course; a par three playing 152 yards. He later said, “I had played this hole over 100 times in my mind while in captivity.”

Story #3: In 1959, Judy Street won the national golf championship as a junior for the University of Miami, but soon got married and dropped out of school. After her divorce many years later, she decided at age 62 to finish her college education.

An avid golfer during her married life, she found out she had one year of eligibility left to play golf at the college level. In 2002, she was the number three golfer on the Barry University golf team in Miami, Florida and helped her team to a sixth place in the NCAA rankings.

19th Hole trivia

Adam West, who played Batman from 1966-68, later turned down the role of James Bond in the movie Diamonds are Forever.

In 2012, West received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

When is a Door Not a Door? The answer: when it is ajar. Batman and Robin had to find “a jar” with the correct key inside to open the door.

Julie Newmar, Lee Merriweather, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ann Hathaway, Halle Berry and Eartha Kitt have all played Catwoman on TV or in the Batman movies.

Detective Comics released a first-edition Batman comic in 1939. Today it is worth $4.23 million in mint condition.

Number one is a true story. Number two is a bogus legend about Major James Nesmith and number three is true.

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter