November 12, 1999
Usually, an article about golf is interesting only if you’re a player. This Editorial, although about golf, is helpful to those who play and those who don’t. Whether you swing a club or not, you need to be on the cutting edge of today’s terminology so you’ll be able to keep up with discussions about the sport.
Because so many of us in the industry are golfers, and because so many of us actually believe we’re good, I thought I should compile a list of record and radio terms that refer to the game. Because we certainly play a different brand from that on tour, we must have our own descriptions of golf as we play it and say it. We all have hit enough “fore” irons in our time.
The following terms refer to “our” game. It’s only a beginning. I hope you’ll contact me with more phrases that you’ve heard or invented so I can update this “primer” from time to time.
Linda Rondstadt: When you hit a ball past another in your group, as in, “That was a Linda Rondstadt. My ball blew by you.” (Referring to her hit: Blue Bayou, for those of you who are a little slow.)
Chilliwack: When you hit a ball out of bounds, as in, “Gone, gone, gone…”
Carpenter: When you hit a ball near your partner’s, as in, “Close To You.”
Milli Vanilli: When you can’t find your ball, you wait until your opponents aren’t looking and drop another. Since you didn’t really hit it, your partner will say, “I that a Milli Vanilli?”
U2: If you hit a ball into the rough or woods and are having trouble locating it,you tell your group to wait, you’re U2, as in, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”
Peter Gabriel: When you ask your caddy for the driver, you say, “Give me The Peter Gabriel” (“Sledgegammer”).
Eddie Floyd: When you hit a ball into the trees and it bounces off a limb, It’s an Eddie Floyd, as in “Knock On Wood.”
Queen: If you hit a ball out of bounds, drop another and hit that one out of bounds too. The second shot is called a Queen, as in, “Another One Bites The Dust.”
Dolly Parton: A person who cheats and takes less on the card than the actual strokes. In other words, if the person changes a “9 To 5,” it’s a Dolly Parton.
Christopher Cross: A ball hit into the water, as in “Sailing.”
A Commodore or a Tony Orlando: When a person birdies a par four, as in, “Three Times a Lady” or “Knock Three Times.”
Paul Simon: If your score for nine holes is a 50, it’s a Paul Simon, as in, “50 Ways (To Leave Your Lover).”
Silver Convention: If you hit a ball that needs more distance, it’s a Silver Convention, as in, “Fly, Robin, Fly.”
Billy Preston: If a person makes a putt that spins around the hole before dropping, it’s a Billy Preston, as in, “Will it Go ‘Round In Circles.”
Ode To Billy Joe: When you hit a ball into a lake, It’s an Ode To Billy Joe, as in, “…dropped in the water off the Tallahatchie bridge.”
Jan And Dean: When you hit a ball into the ocean, it’s Jan And Dean, as in, “Surf City.”
And it’s not all about famous artists or songs that make the rounds on the golf course. If you play with enough people in your business, their personal habits become a part of golfing lore, particularly when their actions are consistent with others on our “tour.”
Here are but a few examples of people whose names have become synonymous with their routines.
A “Kid Leo” is when a person hits a ball out of bounds and immediately drops another. To be a perfect “Kid leo,” the second ball must actually be in place before the first one crosses the out of bounds line. Example: “He did a Kid Leo before the first one cleared the tee.”
“Fontaine” or “Morris” (for Justin and Rob) is any kind of intense whining. Example: “He was Fontaining (Morrissing) so badly, I wanted to quit after the first nine.”
A “Louis Kaplan” is a very short backswing.
To hit an iron off a tee is to “Kilgo,” (John) as in, “I was afraid I would hit my driver in the trap so I Kilgoed.”
Anytime a new club is purchased during a round, it’s called a “Grierson” (Ross).
A “Kiely” (Dan) is when you improve your ball position in the rough. Example: “I was in a hole so Kieleyed it.”
A “Fitzgerald” (Rich) is a person who takes a long time to explain the last shot, as in, “I don’t have time for the Fitzgerald, just tell me what club you used.”
Then there’s the famous “Gary Bird.” When you take many strokes on a hole or pick up entirely and want to enter some kind of respectable score, you ask for a “Gary Bird,” as in “Gimme a six.”
And finally, when you hit a ball 300 yards right down the middle with a slight draw, thats a “Gerry Cagle.”