Wednesday, February 16, 2005

My Dog Bogey Gives Up Golf

There are two true stories that I sometimes tell that always leave me wondering if anyone believes me. The first, my encounter with The Ghost of Maco Station has already been shared on these pages, and now I'd like to try the other one. - D.H.

About sixteen years ago when my dog Bogey, a Lhasa Apso, was still a puppy I decided to take him with me on a golf weekend to the Outer Banks. On the morning I was to go home I had an early tee time at Seascape Golf Links and decided to leave him in the Bronco with the back glass down since it was a cool morning.

All went well on the golf course but as I made the turn the weather turned pretty warm so I asked the club pro if Bogey could ride with me the rest of the way in the golf cart. To my great surprise the pro said okay so I loaded ole Bogey and off we went to the next tee.

Now Bogey is an extremely smart dog. He has always understood nearly every word I've ever spoken to him, and he was happy sitting like a good dog on the cart seat, watching us play. He has seen a lot of golf on TV since that's all I ever watch on the tube and I began to kid myself that he was actually keeping up with the action, but he never got in the way. Bogey is a good little boy.

Finally we came to the last hole, a short 115-yard par 3 and since there was a group ahead of us still on the green putting out and I had the honor, I teed my ball and stood back waiting for my turn to hit up.

Bogey saw his opportunity. He slid down from the seat, jumped out of the cart and headed for my tee. Since I was teed up over the prettiest grass on the sandy tee box I figured Bogey was about to answer a call of nature somewhere close to mark his spot, but he was walking toward my teed-up ball. He has chewed up a few balata ball covers back at home and I thought my Titleist sitting dead still on the tee was chew bait for sure.

But no. As Bogey approached the ball from the player's side he looked left at the flagstick down below and then stared right at the ball as if actually considering walking off with my game ball in his mouth to go off somewhere while chomping a few holes and scratches into the cover.

Instead, Bogey looked downrange at the flagstick, which had by now been replaced in the hole, then turned to the teed ball and swatted at it with his right paw. It was nothing like a perfect swing; he wore no gloves and his four-point stance looked funny but the "palm" of his paw caught the ball and it came completely off the tee and rolled about three feet -- straight for the hole which was now a hundred fourteen and a quarter yards away.

He looked down at his shot, sniffed at it disapprovingly, left it where it lay just past the tee box, climbed back into the cart, and never played golf again.

What a dog. -- Dalton Hammond.

My Other Golf Stories

No comments: