The most prestigious (to some) golf tournaments in America is the annual Masters Tournament held at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia traditionally held the first week of April and in 2022 the playing dates were April 7 – 10.
The ghosts of Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, and Arnold Palmer linger over the majestic setting of blooming dogwoods, azaleas, etc. and manicured putting greens. Jack Nicklaus still visits and Tiger Woods is still the biggest crowd attraction at the age of 45 in spite of a multitude of physical problems as a result of bad accidents.
On Tuesday, April 5, 2022, after a practice round on Tuesday, Tiger announced that he was going to play in the tournament starting on Thursday. By the time this article is published his ability to walk 72 holes and compete against the best golfers in the world will already be documented.
A local legal eagle who has been fortunate enough to obtain tickets to the Masters relates that they are being sold at face value for $375.00 for the 4-day tournament. However, rumors exist that if Tiger Woods is able to play the scalper’s prices may go as high as $10,000.
Lewis Grizzard (LG) in his 1990 book “Does a Wild Bear Chip in the Woods?” (Longstreet Press) devotes 150 pages of humor to his domestic and foreign experiences as a golfer in his 47 years.
His experiences in Scotland and Ireland on the topics of travel arrangements, available women, golf equipment, appropriate clothing, Scottish haggis as a food staple, whiskeys, beers, and international relations as Americans, plus humor of Gaelic caddies are described.
On a trip to Mexico LG and his group played four days at a course at Ixtapia. Evidently, they did not understand the rate of exchange of the American dollar and the Mexican peso and substantially over tipped their elder caddy who met them on the first tee each day. On the third day his wife welcomed the group at the turn (10th hole) with sandwiches she had prepared. After the fourth day when the American golfers announced they would be leaving the next day their caddy wept. However, LG did include in the publication a history of GRIZZARD’S (SEVEN) LIBERTARIAN RULES FOR MEXICAN GOLF. Amongst the 7 selections are the Tequila Rule, the Montezuma’s Revenge Rule, and the Pepto Bismo/Rule.
LG described a golfing trip to Hawaii on courses around mountains and volcanoes as “long waits and pineapples.”
The traditions and customs of Bermuda golf did not impress LG in spite of playing on beautiful courses. He ran afoul of the dress code when his golf attire did not conform to the proper length of Bermuda shorts, and he had to purchase an expensive pair before being allowed to play on the course after he was advised of that requirement in a typical British manner.
He brags of his solitary hole-in-one, the sanctity of a “men only” grille in the clubhouse, his thrills experienced by playing behind women golfer foursomes, as well as other topics that endeared and angered his multitude of readers prior to his death in 1994 at the age of 47.
Being a veteran of three divorces and four marriages LG shares with the readers the unfortunate story of an acquaintance who at one time had four tickets to the Holy Grail in Augusta that he had originally paid $15 for each one but inflation had run the cost up to $70 after 23 years.
The grounds at Augusta were described as “hallowed” and the tickets during the era mentioned in his 1990 treatise were either inherited or purchased many years ago before television, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods made the game more accessible to the non-elite.
One story that he relates is where a golfer’s spouse got upset each year because he took three of his buddies to Augusta each April, lived it up, and enjoyed numerous liquid beverages.
When his number of four tickets got cut from four to two, he made the unfortunate decision to take his spouse to Augusta in the hope that the trip would gain him some additional time to enjoy a few beers with his male companions at the local Elks club.
This did not happen and after a few trips that gave the happy housewife the opportunity to be seen among the fashionable spouses amongst the dogwoods and azaleas, she decided that it was time to end the holy bonds of matrimony and filed for divorce.
Having endured as much pain and suffering as he could stand the bereaved marriage partner decided to let his estranged non-golfing lover have all of the community property and wealth that they had accumulated and quickly signed the legal documents that his former bride’s lawyer had prepared in an effort to get out of his misery.
The victim of his ex-wife’s cruelty had innocently signed away his rights to his two final Masters tickets as part of her final act of humiliation imposed on the poor “lover of the links!”
When asked by a colleague as to whether he had taken her back to court and attempted to retain possession of his former prized possessions, the victim of female treachery weakly replied:
“I am afraid to…A woman who’ll take your Masters tickets would kill you if she got half the chance.”
Also attached to the book is a glossary of 18 standard golfing terms and 27 golf cliches that are modernized and bastardized in Lewis Grizzard style.
(Once again Lewis Grizzard creates many belly laughs even if you have never picked up an eight iron or putter!)
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You can reach Jerry Summers at firstname.lastname@example.org)