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It's parlance, often used in self-defense

Two guys are talking in the grill room. One says, “What the heck happened to you on the last hole?”

The other guy says, “An absolute Van de Velde (meltdown). I’d been serving cake (slicing) all day and all of a sudden I hit a mallard (duck hook) into the mahoofka (rough), a real Captain Kirk (a shot that goes where no man has gone before).

“I figure it’s a Hoffa (a ball that’s never seen again) but I find it and try to hit it over the watery grave (hazard), which is usually a Kervorkian (suicide).

I yank the trench wrench (wedge) out of the quiver (golf bag), hit a Liz Taylor (a little fat but still beautiful) and it comes up just short and goes to sleep with the fishes (falls into the water).

“I finally get on the dance floor (green) but I’m so far away, I can’t hear the music. I hit a Mick Jagger (a putt that lips out) and wind up with a Bo Derek (10). That gives me double snowmen (88) and I go straight to the emergency room (bar).”

Golf has a language of its own, probably because golfese softens the reality. There’s a kind of swagger to it. It’s our way of trying to sound unruffled when, in fact, we have left the last shred of dignity out there on the course.

Say you had a Bo Derek and you can shrug as if it didn’t bother you. Say you had a 10 and there’s no way you can shrug it off.

Several years ago, some friends of mine, Hubert Pedroli and Mary Tiegreen, who live just outside New York City, wrote a book entitled “Let The Big Dog Eat, A Dictionary of the Secret Language of Golf.” (William Morrow).

I thought of it Sunday when one of my putts lipped out and my playing partner said, “You tasted it.”

Some of my favorites from "Big Dog:"

Cadillac strut – A swinging, nonchalant style of walking to the cup after making a long putt.

Yassir Arafat – An ugly lie in the sand.

Breaking some eggs – Hitting some practice balls at the hospital zone, the practice range.

Archie: – A shot in the bunker.

Bacon strips – Toupees, rugs, dead cats, beaver pelts, loaves, names for divots.

Worm burner – Grass cutter, snake kisser, gopher killer, quail high, moon ball, flare, skyball, rainmaker, all terms for the trajectory of shots.

Cabbage pounders – Golfers.

Divorce court – A mixed alternate shot tournament in which husbands and wives are paired.

Pizza ball – A slice.

Chunky tuna – A ball that is hit fat and winds up in the water.

And, of course,

Let the big dog eat – Hit the driver.

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