My Round of Golf with Dorf's Taller, Wackier Brother

Categories: Fore!
Swear, I couldn't make this up if I tried.

Lessee, "World Series game ends in a tie"? Boring. "Brad Johnson sucks"? Yawn. "Texas Tech’s Mike Leach is the greatest offensive coaching mind ever"? Heard it.

Perhaps I can interest you in "Dorky sports blogger experiences the most bizarre round in the history of golf"? Thought so.

Imagine Tiger Woods caddying for Tim Conway. Yeah, that weird.

Seriously, anyone see Ashton Kutcher in town over the weekend? Because I think I was Punk’d.

Buddy of mine invites me to play in some season-ending tournament. It’s the culmination of a weekly gathering of car salesmen and his client bailed, opening up a spot. Handicapped, best-ball format with contests and prizes on every hole. Very cool.

It's sunny, clear, 78 degrees and glorious. Perfect day for playing hookie and golf in Rockwall.

On a good day, I’m about a 10 handicap. My buddy carries a 12. On this day we have two other partners, one let’s call “a bottle of Crown Royal” and the other, well, let’s call him “Dorf.” Looking at our scorecard, I notice that Dorf is a 36.

“Gawd, he must suck,” I say to buddy.

Retorts buddy, elbowing me, “Uh-oh.”

First off, he’s a portly gent. Probably 5-9, 240. And heavily mustached. Think Ken Hitchcock bathed in Just For Men (black). Dorf on steroids. He accents his top-of-the-line Nike metal spikes with bottom-of-the-line jean shorts, and pulls it all together with a maroon-and-yellow, long-sleeved, v-neck sweater.

I know. But compared to his clubs, he is dressed like Payne Stewart.

(It’s at this point in the story I’d like to remind you that Dorf supposedly plays golf with the same guys, on the same course at least two weekends a month.)

His clubs are fresh out of Fred Sanford’s attic. None of the irons match, in make or length or era. And the woods? There are no woods in his bag. Or, as we’ll soon find out, tees. Or sunscreen.

As we stand on the first tee, Dorf declines a drink. He does, however, insist me and buddy participate in what is the first of the day’s 207 high-fives.

“We’re going to do this!” he says. “I think we can get to 12-under and win this thing!”

We have yet to take a practice swing.

After watching Dorf’s initial offering, it’s apparent he’ll need his two-shot handicap on every hole. After casually dropping – not teeing, dropping -- his ball a good six yards behind the tee markers on our first hole, he sets up with his left foot to the right of the ball. Then, as the upswing of his club barely clips the top of the near-buried object, he wonders aloud why he consistently tops the ball.

"I keep doing that," he murmurs.

(It’s at this point in the story I’d like to remind you that Dorf supposedly plays golf with the same guys, on the same course at least two weekends a month.)

The first two holes are a toxic blend of “Let’s go get ‘em” high-fives and countless top-scuff-smothers ending in “I think I had an 8, or was it 9?”, all prefaced by his tee-box salutation of “See y’all up there!”, as if, without reminding, we’d lose focus, bypass the green and wander down to Piggly Wiggly for some bargain hunting.

To his credit, Dorf is open to suggestions. He – for the first time in his career, he claims – uses a tee on the second hole and addresses the ball in the middle of his stance, though each adjustment goes against the very fabric of his working golf doctrine. (“This feels weird!” he says.) He gets a ball aloft. So giddy at this achievement, he drives his cart not just past the “carts” signs, not just close to the bunker but, alas, onto and over the green.

(It’s at this point in the story I’d like to remind you that Dorf supposedly plays golf with the same guys, on the same course at least two weekends a month.)

Me: “I dunno, do we tell him? He either doesn’t know or doesn’t care … “

Buddy: “Nah, let’s just see what he’ll do next. Refill?”

With our team 2-under, enter the third hole. A Par 4. Me and buddy hit our approaches right of the green. Between a high-five and “See y’all up there!”, Dorf has skulled one and chili-dipped one and whiffed one, leaving him about 90 yards from the green. As we’re looking for our balls, we hear a clank. Followed by a bellow.

“Gentttttttlllllle-meeeeeeennnnnnn!” screams Dorf. “That’s the greatest shot of my life!”

No friggin' way! Way.

For at the bottom of the cup, nestled against the pin, lies a a dirty, semi-smileyed ball. Unless Criss Angel briefly became his caddy, the man who can’t hit a ball more than knee-high or more than 12 yards has holed out from 90 yards. For a par. Net eagle.

“We’re 4-under!” Dorf exclaims, driving over the green toward No. 5. "How many holes we got left?"

Funny how we adapt to our surroundings. Polar Bears are white and equator-dwellers are black and Dorf’s partners – characterized by red palms and a dwindling bottle of brown – are numb. He degenerates from partner into punch line. His miracle on 3 was the last remotely decent shot of the day. By our 16th hole Dorf’s face – protected neither by hat nor sunscreen – is screaming a most painful hue of pink.

But he saves his best for last – in the form of an inexplicable rules interpretation. On a Par 5, Dorf skank-squib-dribbles a shot low and hard and way right of Rush Limbaugh. Deep into the marsh.

“Drop one,” I decry.

What Dorf did next will likely scar me for life. Out of his bag he grabs a ball – a black-striped range ball. He then positions himself in generally the correct area, promptly turns his back to the green, extends his right arm directly up over his head and proceeds to gently toss the ball over his back.

“What on Earth,” I cackle, with a gentle nudge from Mr. Royal, “is thaaaat?!”

Says Dorf, incredulously, “My drop.”

(It’s at this point in the story I’d like to remind you that Dorf supposedly plays golf with the same guys, on the same course at least two weekends a month.)

Who are we playing with, Old Tom Morris?

Neither embarrassed nor remotely bothered that we force him to extend his arm from his side and drop the ball while actually facing his target, Dorf proceeds to salvage an 11. I make a par, net birdie.

“9-under!” he says, slapping some more skin. “How many holes we got left?”

After the 18th, we exchange pleasantries in the form of – you guessed it – high-fives. As Dorf drives over the edge of the green and toward the clubhouse for what we assumed would be a final destination of the post-round awards dinner, he pauses and looks back.

“See y’all up there!”

We never, however, see him again.

(It’s at this point in the story I’d like to remind you that Dorf supposedly plays golf with the same guys, on the same course at least two weekends a month.)

On the way home buddy and I ponder the possibilities. Either Alan Funt and his Candid Camera was somehow involved. We had just played golf with Forrest Gump. Or we need to let Crown Royal play through more often. – Richie Whitt


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