While Scott Simpson and Webb Simpson have combined to win two majors, Homer Simpson is still working on his first. Meantime, though, he’s reached another milestone: The animated sitcom that he stars in has just become the longest running scripted show in television history.
In its 30-year run, The Simpsons has left few topics untouched. Our favorite game has not escaped its satire. In honor of Homer and Co.’s prolonged success, we give you the 7 greatest golf moments in Simpsons history.
7. Mini Golf, Major News
As if its cosmopolitan appeal weren’t clear enough, it turns out the town of Springfield even has a miniature golf course. It’s part of an entertainment complex called Sir Putts-a-Lot Merrie Old Fun Center. In the 12th episode of the third season, we learn by way of flashback that Homer and Marge have a history here: They conceived Bart in a castle on the course.
6. Lisa Channels Chevy Chase
Under pressure to perform well in a putting competition, Bart is at a loss, until Lisa comes to his aid with the greatest short-game lesson since Danny Noonan’s tutelage by Ty Webb. Enlightened by his sister on the use of angles in carom shots, Bart declares: “I can’t believe it. You’ve actually found a practical use for geometry.”
5. The Lamest Game Ever Played
What Bart really wants is a violent video game called Bonestorm. What Marge gives him instead is Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge, a paint-dry boring sendup of the golf video genre. “Welcome to Lee Carvallo’s Putting Challenge. I am Lee Carvallo.” Desperate for excitement, Bart tries to play a power game, ignoring Lee Carvallo’s dead-voiced advice. “You have chosen a three-wood (beep). May I suggest a putter? (beep). Three-wood. Now enter the force of your swing. I suggest feather touch (beep, beep, beep). You have chosen power drive.” Bart uncorks a shot. “Ball is in . . .parking lot. Would you like to play again? (beep) You have selected, no.”
4. The Itchy and Scratchy (golf) Show
Now here’s a style of golf that Bart can get behind: an Itchy and Scratchy episode entitled “Par for the Corpse,” wherein the sadistic mouse decapitates the cat with a full-throttle swing, sending Scratchy’s head rocketing into orbit… with hilarious consequences!
3. The Jack Nicklaus Fanny Club
Who knew Marge harbored such naughty thoughts? In the run-up to a local beauty pageant, a distraught Lisa tells her mom that she’ll never be able to beat Amber Dempsey, a contestant she describes as “the Jack Nicklaus of the pageant circuit.” To which Marge replies dreamily: “I don’t know that anyone is as attractive as Jack Nicklaus,” as a thought-bubble appears beside her, showing the Golden Bear and his derriere as he bends over to retrieve a putt.
2. The Snobs and the Slobs
The fancy private course in town is Springfield Glen Country Club, and in an episode entitled “Scenes from the Class Struggle in Springfield,” Marge is invited to join. While she suffers indignities in the clubhouse, mistreated by the snooty ladies-who-lunch, Homer takes up the game and proves to be a natural. Among the highlights is a cameo by Tom Kite, who advises Homer not to think too much. “Not an issue,” Homer tells him. Another tip from Kite, as he watches Homer mark down his score: “The traditional way to cheat at golf is to LOWER your score.”
1. Playing Golf with the Boss
In that same episode, Homer pegs it with Mr. Burns, who plays with loyal Smithers as his caddie. Soon we learn that Smithers is like Oddjob in Goldfinger, a looper who cheats on behalf of his boss. Caught red-handed, Smithers claims that the extra balls he’s carrying around are actually endangered reptile eggs. Homer isn’t buying it. “Those aren’t reptile eggs,” he says, taking a bite of one of the balls to prove it.