“Fore!” Professor Plum said as walked into the mail room wearing plus-fours, argyle socks, and a plaid cap. He read the mail…. (More)

Professor Plum held out a golf-gloved hand to Ms. Scarlet, who took it and left with him to join the resident faculty in the wine cellar library, where they’ll spend the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”).

In the staff poker game, the Professor of Astrology Janitor teed off by raising with the Four of Hearts and Four of Clubs. Chef called and the Ace and Four of Spades fell with the Eight of Diamonds on the flop. Not wanting to putter around with the hazard of a flush looming, the Professor of Astrology Janitor bet the pot. After consulting her mental caddie, Chef again called. The Eight of Hearts on the turn cleared that hazard, as the Professor of Astrology Janitor had a full house and no longer feared a flush. He checked, planning to raise if Chef bet. Instead she checked behind him. After the Nine of Clubs came on the river, the Professor of Astrology Janitor bet half the pot. Chef calmly pushed the rest of her chips into the middle.

The Professor of Astrology Janitor looked at her and sighed. “You have the Nine and Eight of Spades,” he said quietly. “If I’d bet my Fours full at the turn, you would have folded. Instead I checked and let you make Eights full at the river.”

Chef said nothing. The Professor of Astrology Janitor folded and began his plaintive mewling. Chef went to the kitchen to make Vegetable Omelets, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

I squeezed in a round of golf during a trip to Florida this week. On a short par four, I hit my tee shot and my opponent said “I lost it.” I replied “I didn’t,” because I saw it sailing out of bounds toward a road. I hit another ball and when we got to the green we found three balls. There were only two of us, so I looked at the other ball. It was my brand and had my markings. My original tee shot must have hit a telephone pole and bounced onto the green. I went ahead and played my second ball, two-putting for a bogey five. When I got home, my wife said I could have putted my original ball and made a birdie or maybe even an eagle. I love her thoughtfulness, but was she right?

Mike in NY

Dear Mike in NY,

We applaud your sense of fair play, and you were both correct. Under Rule 27 of the USGA Rules of Golf, if you hit a shot that looks to be lost or out of bounds, but not in a water hazard, you have two choices. You may either go look for the ball and, if it’s lost or out of play, return to the previous spot and hit again with a penalty stroke. Or, to save time, you may hit a provisional ball from the previous spot and then go look for your original ball. If you find the original ball is playable, you may pick up your provisional ball with no penalty. However, because you putted your provisional ball, you must pick up the original and take the stroke-and-distance penalty.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

I saw the adorable video of the bear cub dancing on the golf green. After the cub gave up trying to reach the flag, it picked up the player’s golf ball. If the cub carries the ball away, how is the lost ball scored?

Norbrook in NY

Dear Norbrook,

We share your delight in that video. As to your question, USGA Rule 18 covers a ball that is moved once at rest. If the ball is moved by outside agency – say, a playful bear cub – the player must return it to its the original position on the green. If the cub carried the ball away to show momma bear, the player may use a replacement ball without penalty.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

So Todd and I and the kids climbed out of our stretch Hummer and teed off when Track saw one of Willow’s ex-boyfriends so Track had to tell the guy what a jerk he is because education matters don’cha know and fer sure the greens keeper comes out and looks at Bristol and says “Does she think she’s Marilyn Monroe?” and our brave troops yellin’ and swingin’ and I ask “Don’t you know who I am?” and someone else says “This isn’t some damned Hillbilly reality show!” and Paul Revere was ringin’ that bell and sayin’ the cops were comin’ so we had to leave. Should we have marked our balls before we got back in our stretch Hummer fer sure?

Sarah in AK

Dear Sarah,

We note that some facts of this story may have changed. That said, we note that the USGA has a primer titled Golf Etiquette 101, which states that “All players should conduct themselves in a disciplined manner, demonstrating courtesy and sportsmanship at all times, irrespective of how competitive they may be.” The primer concludes: “In the case of a serious breach of Etiquette, the Committee may disqualify a player under Rule 33-7.” We suspect your family had already done more than enough … ball marking … and your behavior met the standard for disqualification.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Wasn’t Stretch Hummer the third baseman for the 1936 Elmira Pioneers? Also, why is Chef making Veggie Omelets and how do I make them?

Stretching and Humming for Breakfast in Blogistan

Dear Stretching and Humming,

We’re sorry to say that Stretch Hummer was not the third baseman for the 1936 Elmira Pioneers. You have him confused with Packy Rogers, who played 141 games, posting a .941 fielding percentage and a .279 batting average with 5 homers.

Chef notes that she chose Veggie Omelets because a Golf Digest Fitness Friday article recommended to avoid the heaviness of a too-fatty breakfast or the sugar crash of a too-sweet breakfast. To make them, chop 1 small onion and 1 small green pepper, then sauté in 1 Tablespoon of butter until just tender. Remove the veggies from the skillet and beat 4 eggs with 2 Tablespoons of milk, and then pour them into the skillet. Tuck the edges with a rubber spatula and, when the eggs start to bubble, sprinkle the veggies on one half of the eggs, along with 2 ounces of shredded Swiss cheese. Season to taste with salt and black pepper, then fold the omelet and let it cook for another minute or two, until the cheese is melted. Chef serves this with rye toast and a small bowl of fresh fruit. Bon appétit!



Mike in NY; USGA Rules, Rule 27.

Norbrook in NY; USGA Rules, Rule 18.

Sarah in AK; “Does she think she’s Marilyn Monroe?”; “Don’t you know who I am?”; USGA Golf Etiquette 101.

1936 Elmira Pioneers; Golf Digest Fitness Friday article; Veggie Omelet.


Happy Sunday!