My wife said to me -- George, it is about time that
you learned golf -you know, golf -- that's the game where you chase a ball all over the
country when you are too old to chase women.
So I went to see Jones and
asked him if he would teach me how to play. He said, "Sure, you've got balls, haven't
you?" "Yes," I said, "Sometimes on cold mornings they're kinda hard to
find." "Bring them to the clubhouse tomorrow," he said, "And we have
to tee off in front of the clubhouse." "Not for me," I said, "You can
tee off there if you want to but I'll tee off behind the barn somewhere." "No,
no," he said, "A tee is a little thing about the size of your little
finger." "Yeah, I got one of those." "Well," he said, "You
stick it in the ground and put your ball on top of it." I asked, "Do you play
golf sitting down? I always thought that you stood up and walked around." "You
do," he said, "You're standing up when you put your ball on the tee.
Well, folks, I thought that
was stretching things a little too far, and I said so. He said, "You've got a bag,
haven't you?" Sure, I said. He said, your balls are in it, aren't they? Of course, I
told him. Well, he said, can't you open the bag and take one out? I said, I suppose I
could, but damned if I was. He asked if I didn't have a zipper on my bag, but I told him
no, I'm the old fashioned type. Then he asked me if I knew how to hold my club. Well,
after fifty years, I should have some sort of an idea, and I told him so. He said,
"You take your club in both hands," -- "Folks, I knew right then he didn't
know what he was talking about." Then he said, "You sling it over your left
shoulder." "No, no, that's not me, that's my brother you are thinking
about." He asked me, "How do you hold your club?" And before I thought I
said, "In two fingers". He said that wasn't right and got behind me and put both
arms around me and told me to bend over and he would show me how. He couldn't catch me
there, because I didn't put four years in the Navy for nothing. He said, "You hit the
ball with your club and it will soar and soar." I said I could well imagine. Then he
said, "And when you're on the green" -- "What's the green?" I asked.
"That's where the hole is," he said. "Sure you are not color blind," I
asked. "No, no. Then you take your putter" -- "What's the putter", I
asked. "That's the smallest club made," he said. "That's what I've got, a
And with it, he said, you put
your ball in the hole. I corrected, you mean the putter. He said, the ball, the hole isn't
big enough for the ball and the putter too. Well -- I've seen holes big enough for a horse
and wagon. Then, he said, after you make the first hole, you go on to the next seventeen.
He wasn't talking to me. After
two holes, I'm shot to hell. You know, he said, you can't make eighteen holes in one day?
Hell no, it takes me eighteen days to make one hole, besides, how do I know when I'm in
the eighteenth hole? He said, the flag will go up.