Golf is a very religious game. Think of all the people you hear yelling on the course, “Oh, God!”
And then there’s this great Catholic golf joke.
The priest calls the bishop. “Bishop, I’m sick and I can’t say mass today.”
The bishop says, “This happens all the time. You know your main responsibility is to say mass on Sundays.”
The priest apologized and says he’s really sick.
The annoyed bishop says he will find a replacement.
The priest hangs up the phone, picks up his golf clubs, put them in the car and drives to a course outside of his parish.
Who’s He Going To Tell?
No one is there. He walks to the first hole, a par-4, 420 yards. He hits an incredible drive. The ball hits the yardage marker and bounces forward. It runs onto the green, and into the hole for a one, an albatross.
Saint Peter and Jesus are looking down on the priest.
Saint Peter says to Jesus, “I thought you were going to teach him a lesson this time?”
And Jesus says, “Who is he going to tell?”
Arnie Shows Revenge on Rivers Edge 9, But Mercy on 17
Something similar happened to me on the 17th hole at Rivers Edge. It’s another classic par five that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves because of Arnie’s Revenge, the famous 9th hole, that, as we have written here, could be one of golf’s greatest and toughest holes.
The 17th hole at Rivers edge is still a memorable hole designed by the late, great Arnold Palmer.
And you will see one of my escapades on the segment below on The Traveling Golfer.
The escapade you won’t see here happened a year ago during a Stableford team event with members at Rivers Edge.
I actually hit a decent drive so my team and I are about 210 yards out for our second shot. The pin is in the middle of the green which is fairly accessible.
When it comes my turn to hit, I crush a four iron. The ball is like programmed laser heading right at the pin.
It lands, takes a few bounces, and disappears.
We think we have an albatross, a two on a par five.
Jesus, St. Peter, and Arnie
Now, my notion of golf glory is, and has always been, the albatross — either a hole in one on a par-4 or a 2 on a par-5. Nothing against a hole-in-one on a par-3. But an albatross is far more rare and difficult.
So as we’re driving up, we think we have it. But as we get closer we can see the ball, still on the green about 2 inches away hidden behind the pin.
So we had a tap-in Eagle.
But typical me, seeing the glass half full, I imagine what could have been.
First, if that had gone in, we would have won the tournament because the Stableford scoring system that day gave you 18 points for an albatross. We were out of first place by six, so we would have crushed them.
Second, I would’ve finally had that great golf moment that I’ll remember to the day I die. For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been playing golf, since I was a young kid, more than half a century. I have never had a hole-in-one. I’ve come close, but never completed the deal.
Arnie Joins St. Peter and Jesus
Then the revelation — and an addendum to that Catholic joke.
As my shot is soaring at the pin, Saint Peter, Jesus, and Arnie are gathered above.
Peter turns to Jesus and Arnie and says, “Instead of who’s he going to tell, in the case, for this Daly, it will be who WON’T he tell.”
Arnie says, “It would be an albatross around everyone’s neck in the Rivers Edge community to endure this Daly talking about his albatross and nothing else.”
Jesus agrees about offering mercy to the Rivers Edge community and the entire golfing world.
Now that brings me to the segment I did here for the Traveling Golfer.
The show’s producer Dustin Gilder introduces me, and does all the camera work for this almost as crazy journey on the par-5 17th hole.
As you will see, this time Arnie shows me some mercy.
Take a look.
John Daly is the Real John Daly, not Long John Daly, the two-time Major champ who tells Real John, “you’re killing my name.” Besides playing on the Celebrity Players Tour, John is the Co-Host, with Susan Anzalone, of Undercover Jetsetter. He is also the nephew of three Catholic priests, so he can get away with this column.