Every now and then, from one of the incredible minds behind GOLF Magazine, comes an idea that puts a smile on the face of sports journalism. Our joke contest was not one of them. In fact, the following selection of rotten, lame, and exhausted old chestnuts did nothing but produce an expression that would suggest that sports journalism might need more fiber in its diet.
With the benefit of hindsight, a more realistic contest would be as follows: If you, having read this list of jokes, can honestly say that there was one in there that you had not heard before, we, at GOLF Magazine, will give you a life, because you obviously do not have one. Either that, or you are just visiting Earth to pick up McCord for his annual alien probing.
On a positive note, at least this little experiment might serve as notice to all those well-meaning folks who assail me wherever I go with the immortal, "Stop me if...," which is as far as I should ever let them get. I've heard them all, but then, so have you.
-- David Feherty
(Editor's Note: Thanks to the thousands who sent in their favorite jokes. Unfortunately, those thousands sent in the same dozen or so over and over and over. After throwing out the overly misogynistic or irreligious, and cleaning up the language in the rest as best we could, here's the best of what was left. Sorry if any still offend.)
Three unmarried men were waiting to tee off when the starter walked up to them and said, "You see that beautiful blonde practicing her putting?"
"Her? Wow, she is beautiful," they all said.
"She's a good golfer," he continued, "and would like to hook up with a group. None of the other groups will play with a wom- an. Can she play with you? She won't hold you up, I promise." They looked at each other and said, "Sure! She can join us." Just as the starter said, the woman played well and kept up. Plus, they kept noticing, she was very attractive.
When they reached the 18th hole, she said that if she sank her 18-footer, she'd break 80 for the first time. "Guys, I'm so excited about breaking 80 that I have to tell you something. I had a great time playing with you. I can tell you all really love golf. I want you to know that I'm single and want to marry a man who loves golf as much as I do. If one of you guys can read this putt correctly and I make it, I'll marry whichever of you was right!"
All three jumped at the opportunity. The first one looked over the putt and said, "I see it breaking 10 inches left to right." The second looked it over from all sides and said, "No, I see it breaking eight inches right to left."
The third man looked at the woman, looked at the ball, and said, "Pick it up. It's good!"
Jesus and Moses are playing golf in Heaven when they come to the par-three 17th hole, a long carry over water to an island green. Moses tees off with a 3-wood and hits the green. Jesus takes out his 5-iron and says, "I'm going to hit a 5-iron because Arnold Palmer would hit a 5-iron from here."
Jesus tees it up and hits a lofted iron shot that finishes 25 yards short of the green and in the water.
Jesus turns to Moses and says, "How about parting the water so I can play my ball where it lies?"
Moses says, "No way. You foolishly chose the wrong club because of your Arnold Palmer fantasy and I'm not going to be a party to it!"
Jesus shrugs and starts walking on the water to where his ball went in. Just then, a foursome approaching the tee box sees Jesus walking on the water.
One of them asks Moses, "Who does that guy think he is, Jesus Christ?"
Moses turns and says, "No, he thinks he's Arnold Palmer!"
A golfer standing on a tee overlooking a river sees a couple of fishermen and says to his partner, "Look at those two idiots fishing in the rain."
A young man with a few hours to spare one afternoon figures that if he hurries and plays very fast, he can get in nine holes before he has to head home. As he is about to tee off, an old gentleman shuffles onto the tee and asks if he can join him. Although worried this will slow him up, the younger man says, "Of course."
To his surprise, the old man plays quickly. He doesn't hit the ball very far, but it goes straight. Furthermore, the old man moves along without wasting any time.
When they reach the ninth fairway, the young man is facing a tough shot. A large pine tree sits in front of his ball, directly between it and the green.
After several minutes pondering how to hit the shot, the old man says, "You know, when I was your age, I'd hit the ball right over that tree."
With the challenge before him, the young man swings hard, hits the ball, watches it fly into the branches, rattle around, and land with a thud a foot from where it had started.
"Of course," says the old man, "when I was your age, that tree was only three feet tall."
Noting that her husband looked more haggard and disgruntled than usual after his weekly golf game, his wife asked what was wrong.
He answered, "Well, on the fourth hole, Harry had a heart attack and died. It was terrible! The entire rest of the day, it was hit the ball, drag Harry, hit the ball, drag Harry!"
A man and his wife are playing the fifth hole at their club when he slices his drive so far to the right it rolls into an equipment barn. He finds the ball and plans to take a drop when she says, "Let me go down to the other end of the barn and hold the door open. Then you can hit your ball through the door and back to the fairway."
He thinks this is a good idea, so she holds the door. He takes a big swing, but rather than flying through the door, the ball hits her in the head and kills her.
A year later, the same man and his new bride are playing the same hole when he again slices the ball into the shed. He finds it and plans to take an unplayable lie when she says, "Let me go down to the other end of the barn and hold the door open. Then you can hit your ball through the door and back to the fairway."
He looks at her, shakes his head, and explains, "No way. The last time I tried that, I took a triple bogey on this hole!"
O'Keefe regularly plays golf on Sunday mornings with three Orthodox Jews. Every Sunday, they break par while he shoots 90. At the end of the season, he asks for their secret. It's their religion, they tell him. They go to synagogue, study, pray, celebrate the festivals and Sabbath, then play golf on Sundays and have great rounds.
Desperate to play well, over the winter O'Keefe converts, joins a synagogue, prays, celebrates the festivals and Sabbath, and looks forward to spring.
Come spring, he meets his friends and they tee it up. Again, they break par and he shoots 90. Frustrated, he explains that he converted, prayed, worshipped, and studied, but his golf didn't get any better.
One Orthodox Jew asks, "Which synagogue did you join?"
"Beth Shalom," O'Keefe replies.
"Fool," comes the reply. "That's the synagogue for tennis."
It was a sunny Sunday morning, and Murray was beginning his preshot routine, visualizing his upcoming shot, when a voice came over the clubhouse loudspeaker. "Would the gentleman on the ladies' tee please back up to the men's tee."
Murray remained in his routine, seemingly unfazed by the interruption.
A little louder: "Would the man on the women's tee kindly back up to the men's tee!"
Murray raised up out of his stance, lowered his driver, and shouted, "Would the announcer in the clubhouse kindly shut up and let me play my second shot?"
An avid golfer found himself in Africa with time to play. He asked at his hotel for the nearest golf course, was put in a cab, and spent two hours being driven deeper and deeper into the jungle until he arrived at a course.
He checked in with the pro and asked to rent some equipment and, since he'd never played the course before, for a caddie. In a few minutes, he was escorted to the first tee, where his caddie was waiting with a bagful of clubs under one arm and a rifle under the other.
The golfer was taken aback, but composed himself and hit a good drive down the fairway of the opening hole, a tough par four. As they were walking to his ball, a tiger sprang out of the rough and charged the golfer.
Without missing a beat, the caddie dropped the bag, aimed his rifle, and shot the animal dead.
Again, the golfer had to compose himself, taking a minute to catch his breath. But he quickly recovered, hit a good approach, and parred the hole.
The same thing happened on the second hole, a long, twisting par five. But this time it was a lion that bolted out of the jungle, charged the golfer, and was dropped by a single shot from the caddie's rifle.
By now the golfer was visibly shaken, but the caddie looked unflappabl -- and obviously was a good shot -- so they played on.
The third hole was an easy par three surrounded by water. The golfer hit a good short iron, which landed near the cup. As he was walking onto the green, a crocodile slid out of the water and began moving toward him.
Unfazed, the golfer looked to his caddie for help. But the caddie stood motionless. The crocodile moved closer, and the golfer, beginning to get upset, again glanced at the caddie, who didn't move.
Finally, with the crocodile just inches away, the golfer screamed, "Aren't you going to do something?"
The caddie looked at the scorecard and said, "I'm sorry, sir, but you don't get a shot on this hole."
As a couple approaches the altar, the groom tells his wife-to-be, "Honey, I've got something to confess: I'm a golf nut, and every chance I get, I'll be playing golf!"
"Since we're being honest," replies the bride, "I have to tell you that I'm a hooker."
The groom replies, "That's okay, honey. You just need to learn to keep your head down and your left arm straight!"
A man who has been stranded on a desert island all alone for 10 years sees a speck on the horizon. "It's too small to be a ship," he thinks to himself. As the speck gets closer, he rules out the possibility of it being a small boat, then a raft.
Suddenly, a gorgeous blonde woman emerges from the surf wearing a wet suit and scuba gear. She approaches the stunned man and asks, "How long has it been since you've had a cigarette?"
"Ten years!" he says.
She unzips a waterproof pocket on her left sleeve and pulls out a pack of fresh cigarettes. He takes one, lights it, takes a long drag, and says, "Man, is that ever good!"
Then she asks him, "How long has it been since you've had a sip of bourbon?"
Trembling, he replies, "Ten years!"
She unzips a waterproof pocket on her right sleeve, pulls out a flask, and gives it to him. He opens it, takes a long swig, and says, "That's fantastic!"
Then she starts slowly unzipping the long zipper down the front of her suit, looks at him seductively, and asks, "And how long has it been since you've played around?"
The man, with tears in his eyes, replies, "Don't tell me you've got golf clubs in there!"
A pretty pathetic golfer was getting frustrated with his lousy game and began blaming his mistakes on his experienced caddie.
As the round came to an end, the golfer said, "You have to be the worst caddie in the whole wide world."
To which the caddie replied, "I don't think so, sir. That would be too much of a coincidence."
A multimillionaire bachelor goes to his club to play golf with two friends. Not knowing who would be joining them, they walk to the first tee.
As they finish teeing off, a tall, beautiful, raven-haired woman asks if she can join them. Although the bachelor thinks this is going to slow down their play, he agrees. The woman tees up a ball and, without a practice swing, smacks it straight down the middle.
This goes on all day and she finishes even par for the round, beating all the men.
They invite her back the next week. They have a great time, and she shoots the same score. The bachelor thinks to himself, "This is the girl of my dreams!" So he asks her out on a date. They go out, find they have much in common, and have a great evening.
They make another golf date, during which she shoots two-under and gives a clinic in shotmaking.
The millionaire is now convinced that they are meant to be together. He invites her back to his apartment, where they talk for hours. Everything is progressing smoothly, so he invites her to his bedroom. Their passions run riot, but she doesn't let things go too far and he drives her home.
This pattern continues for a month: Great golf, great dates, but nights of abbreviated passion. The bachelor can't take it any more.
"I know the time we spent on the golf course and in my apartment is wonderful. And even though we haven't been fully intimate, I know that I love you, you love me, and that you are the girl I want to marry!"
"Darling," she says, "I have something to tell you. I can not hide it anymore. I am a man!"
His mouth drops open, his face turns red, he begins to shake. She's convinced he's going to have a heart attack, or worse, when finally, in a blind rage, he shouts, "And all this time you've been playing from the red tees?"
A friend of Henry's dies suddenly. A week later, he comes back to tell his friend how great Heaven is.
"Henry," he says, "you won't believe it, but there is golf in Heaven."
"That is wonderful!" Henry replies.
"Don't be so thrilled," his friend tells him. "You have a tee-off time scheduled for Saturday."
The Pope met with his cardinals to discuss a proposal from the Prime Minister of Israel.
"Your Holiness," said one of the cardinals, "the Prime Minister wants to challenge you to a game of golf to show the friendship and ecumenical spirit shared by the Jewish and Catholic faiths."
The Pope thought this was a good idea, but he had never played golf. "Do we have a cardinal who plays who can represent me?" he asked.
"None that play well," the cardinal replied. "But there is a man named Jack Nicklaus, an American golfer who is very devout. We can offer to make him a cardinal, then ask him to play as your personal representative. Besides showing our spirit of cooperation, we'll win the match."
Everyone agreed it was a good idea and the call was made. Of course, Nicklaus was honored and agreed to play.
The day after the match, Nicklaus came to the Vatican to report to the Pope. "I have some good news and some bad news, your Holiness," the golfer told the Pope.
"Tell me the good news first, Cardinal Nicklaus."
"I don't like to brag, but even though I've played some great golf in my life, this was the best I've ever played, by far. I must have been inspired from above. My drives were long and true, my irons accurate and purposeful, and my putting perfect. With all due respect, my play was truly miraculous."
"And there's bad news?" asked the Pope.
"Yes," Nicklaus sighed. "I lost by three strokes to Rabbi Woods."
After slicing his tee shot into the woods, a golfer heads off in search of his ball, which he finds behind a large tree. After considering his positio -- and not wanting to take a drop and lose a stroke -- he decides to hook the ball around the tree. He swings, the ball hits the tree, ricochets back at him, and instantly kills him.
When he opens his eyes, he sees the Pearly Gates and St. Peter standing before him.
"Am I dead?" he asks.
"Yes, my son," replies St. Peter, who looks the man over and notices his clubs.
"I see you're a golfer," St. Peter says. "Are you any good?" "Hey, I got here in two, didn't I?"
Okay, it you were able to handle reading through these again, here is one more that didn't appear in the magazine:
There's a golf course where the parking lot is just to the right of the first fairway. Separating the fairway and lot is the access road to the pro shop.
One day, a ball comes flying off the first tee, hits the rear window of one car and shatteres it, ricochets into the windshield of another car and cracks that, then bounces and hits a golfer in the head as he is unloading his clubs. He has to be taken to the hospital.
After surveying the damage, the golf pro asks each golfer as he walks off the ninth green if anyone hit a slice of the first tee. After numerous negative replies, the pro finally finds his culprit. The golfer admits that, yes, indeed, he hit his first tee shot to the right, but it went out-of-bounds, he and the rest of his group didn't bother looking for it.
The pro explains about the two car windows and the golfer in the hospital. By the time he finishes re-creating the scene, the entire foursome is visibly upset, and the golfer who hit the errant shot moans,""Oh, that's terrible. What can I do?"
The pro says, "You should probably trying rolling your hands a little to the right to strengthen your grip."