MR. DOOLEY ON GOLF
by Finley Peter Dunne
"An' what's this game iv goluf like, I dinnaw?" said Mr. Hennessy,
lighting his pipe with much unnecessary noise. "Ye're a good deal
iv a spoort, Jawnny: did ye iver thry it?"
"No," said Mr. McKenna. "I used to roll a hoop onct upon a time,
but I'm out of condition now."
"It ain't like base-ball," said Mr. Hennessy, "an' it ain't like
shinny, an' it ain't like lawn-teenis, an' it ain't like forty-fives,
an' it ain't"--
"Like canvas-back duck or anny other game ye know," said Mr. Dooley.
"Thin what is it like?" said Mr. Hennessy. "I see be th' pa-aper that
Hobart What-d'ye-call-him is wan iv th' best at it. Th' other day he
made a scoor iv wan hundherd an' sixty-eight, but whether 'twas miles
or stitches I cudden't make out fr'm th' raypoorts."
"'Tis little ye know," said Mr. Dooley. "Th' game iv goluf is as old
as th' hills. Me father had goluf links all over his place, an', whin
I was a kid, 'twas wan iv th' principal spoorts iv me life, afther
I'd dug the turf f'r th' avenin', to go out and putt"--
"Poot, ye mean," said Mr. Hennessy. "They'se no such wurrud in th'
English language as putt. Belinda called me down ha-ard on it no
more thin las' night."
"There ye go!" said Mr. Dooley, angrily. "There ye go! D'ye think
this here game iv goluf is a spellin' match? 'Tis like ye, Hinnissy,
to be refereein' a twinty-round glove contest be th' rule iv three.
I tell ye I used to go out in th' avenin' an' putt me mashie like
hell-an'-all, till I was knowed fr'm wan end iv th' county to th'
other as th' champeen putter. I putted two men fr'm Roscommon in
wan day, an' they had to be took home on a dure.
"In America th' ga-ame is played more ginteel, an' is more like
cigareet-smokin', though less onhealthy f'r th' lungs. 'Tis a good
game to play in a hammick whin ye're all tired out fr'm social duties
or shovellin' coke. Out-iv-dure golf is played be th' followin' rules.
If ye bring ye'er wife f'r to see th' game, an' she has her name in
th' paper, that counts ye wan. So th' first thing ye do is to find
th' raypoorter, an' tell him ye're there. Thin ye ordher a bottle iv
brown pop, an' have ye'er second fan ye with a towel. Afther this
ye'd dhress, an' here ye've got to be dam particklar or ye'll be
stuck f'r th' dhrinks. If ye'er necktie is not on sthraight, that
counts ye'er opponent wan. If both ye an' ye'er opponent have ye'er
neckties on crooked, th' first man that sees it gets th' stakes.
Thin ye ordher a carredge"--
"Order what?" demanded Mr. McKenna.
"F'r to take ye 'round th' links. Ye have a little boy followin' ye,
carryin' ye'er clubs. Th' man that has th' smallest little boy it
counts him two. If th' little boy has th' rickets, it counts th'
man in th' carredge three. The little boys is called caddies; but
Clarence Heaney that tol' me all this--he belongs to th' Foorth
Wa-ard Goluf an' McKinley Club--said what th' little boys calls
th' players'd not be fit f'r to repeat.
"Well, whin ye dhrive up to th' tea grounds"--
"Th' what?" demanded Mr. Hennessy.
"Th' tea grounds, that's like th' home-plate in base-ball or
ordherin' a piece iv chalk in a game iv spoil five. It's th'
be-ginnin' iv ivrything. Whin ye get to th' tea grounds, ye
step out, an' have ye'er hat irned be th' caddie. Thin ye'er
man that ye're goin' aginst comes up, an' he asks ye, 'Do you
know Potther Pammer?' Well, if ye don't know Potther Pammer,
it's all up with ye: ye lose two points. But ye come right back
at him with an upper cut: 'Do ye live on th' Lake Shore dhrive?'
If he doesn't, ye have him in th' nine hole. Ye needn't play
with him anny more. But, if ye do play with him, he has to spot
three balls. If he's a good man an' shifty on his feet, he'll
counter be askin' ye where ye spend th' summer. Now ye can't
tell him that ye spent th' summer with wan hook on th' free
lunch an' another on th' ticker tape, an' so ye go back three.
That needn't discourage ye at all, at all. Here's yer chance to
mix up, an' ye ask him if he was iver in Scotland. If he wasn't,
it counts ye five. Thin ye tell him that ye had an aunt wanst
that heerd th' Jook iv Argyle talk in a phonograph; an', onless
he comes back an' shoots it into ye that he was wanst run over
be th' Prince iv Wales, ye have him groggy. I don't know whether
th' Jook iv Argyle or th' Prince iv Wales counts f'r most.
They're like th' right an' left bower iv thrumps. Th' best
players is called scratch-men."
"What's that f'r?" Mr. Hennessy asked.
"It's a Scotch game," said Mr. Dooley, with a wave of his hand.
"I wonder how it come out to-day. Here's th' pa-aper. Let me see.
McKinley at Canton. Still there. He niver cared to wandher fr'm his
own fireside. Collar-button men f'r th' goold standard. Statues iv
Heidelback, Ickleheimer an' Company to be erected in Washington.
Another Vanderbilt weddin'. That sounds like goluf, but it ain't.
Newport society livin' in Mrs. Potther Pammer's cellar. Green-goods
men declare f'r honest money. Anson in foorth place some more.
Pianny tuners f'r McKinley. Li Hung Chang smells a rat. Abner
McKinley supports th' goold standard. Wait a minyit. Here it is:
'Goluf in gay attire.' Let me see. H'm. 'Foozled his aproach,'--nasty
thing. 'Topped th' ball.' 'Three up an' two to play.' Ah, here's
the scoor. 'Among those prisint were Messrs. an' Mesdames'"--
"Hol' on!" cried Mr. Hennessy, grabbing the paper out of his
friend's hands. "That's thim that was there."
"Well," said Mr. Dooley, decisively, "that's th' goluf scoor."
~~~~~~~ THE END ~~~~~~~