Recently, I myself had an interesting dweam, although it was about golf: I was either playing in or attending a tournament of some kind—or maybe I was a caddie. One of the competitors made a succession of poor chips and putts, and his ball ended up in a clump of tall grass next to a tee marker. Another player—or maybe it was the first player’s caddie—attempted to extricate the ball by swatting at it with a driver. The attempt failed, and a rules official said that the player was now required to make “a throw”—that is, to pick up his ball and throw it into a better lie, or onto the green, at a penalty of a stroke.
I said that I had read the rule book from cover to cover several times (a lie), yet didn’t remember anything about “throwing.” My friend Rick (see photo at the top of this post) and Jim Nantz (the television announcer), who were both there, for some reason, assured me that the official was correct. Nantz did acknowledge that the rule book referred to throws by a different name, which I’ve now forgotten, but that it was all explained in a book called The Begnin’ Throw, although he said I’d be unlikely to find a copy because it was “the rarest of all golf books.” (Even in the dweam, I didn’t know what “Begnin'” means.) I thought, Wow—this will make a great Golf Digest article! But then, after a few other things happened, I woke up.
When I woke up, I was in the house of a member of our Enemy Club who died several years ago, in his early forties, and I was crushed when I realized that all that stuff about throwing hadn’t been real and that, therefore, I wouldn’t be able to write an article about it. Meanwhile, I was involved in an important match, and at some point I accidentally interfered with my opponent’s putt by leaving a pair of nail scissors on a green. Then I woke up again—this time in my own actual bed—and realized that the throwing part had been a super-rare dweam-within-a-dweam, a first for me. (Most of my golf dweams are just about me playing an ordinary round on my home course. I once told my friend Jim, “You’d think that I could at least dream about playing someplace exotic, like St. Andrews or Pebble Beach,” and Jim said, “Yeah. After all, it’s free.”)
Anyway, upon reflection, I’ve decided that throwing might have a place in golf, and not just in S.M.G. playoffs. Some guys I know occasionally allow “a throw a side” as a handicap alternative: instead of receiving strokes, you are allowed to throw your ball out of trouble once per nine holes, at no penalty. In one memorable instance, a player won a match by using his throw to sink a six-foot putt. He reached over his head, fell forward, and slam-dunked his ball into the hole. Similarly, a throw might have been a better choice here: