‘Fore! Lame golf jokes coming

I spent Thursday afternoon watching The Masters on TV. Which always puzzles me. I don’t play golf, have never touched a club. But I love watching it on TV.
When I do, I cannot help but think of all my friends, some alive, some not, who seemed to live for golf. You undoubtedly know what I’m talking about. Those friends who constantly do faux-swings, even when talking about something not related to golf at all. They also tell a lot of golf jokes. Lame golf jokes.
I know a golf joke, however, that’s not only funny but also a true story.
I’ll leave the names out to protect the not-so-innocent, but if you ask me, this story trumps all others. “Why did the golfer wear two pairs of pants?” comes to mind. “In case he gets a hole in one.” So does, ”Hit the ball, drag Jack.” If you don’t know that one, I’m not going to tell it here. Or maybe I will. We’ll see.
The true one I mentioned involves a couple of my friends and the golf term “fore.”
Even non-golfers know that “fore” is yelled by a golfer who hits an errant shot. It’s supposed to alert bystanders or fellow golfers up ahead about an out-of-control shot that’s gonna leave a mark if it bounces off your noggin.
Well, a couple of my friends were golfing, and when one hit a wild shot and immediately shouted “fore,” his golfing buddy asked, “I always wondered, why do golfers yell 4? Why don’t the yell some other number?”
“It’s not the number 4,” my friend informed him, “it’s the word ‘fore.’ I think it stands for “Fall, or Roll Elsewhere.”
“Really?” the other guy said. “No wonder no one moves when I yell it.”
Let that sink in for a minute.
He was yelling the wrong four. The number not the word.
I’m not sure about the Fall or Roll Elsewhere thing, by the way. Internet searches on the word usually indicate if comes from the nautical “fore” as in “up ahead,” opposed to “aft,” meaning “behind.” Or from fellows called “forecaddies” who once were employed to find lost balls. Who knows? Websites also say it originated in the 1880s, which I find pretty amazing.
So, you really want to hear the one about Jack, do you?
All right. It goes like this.
A guy goes golfing first thing Saturday morning and doesn’t come back home for ten hours.
“What kept you so long?” asks his wife.
“What a day,” the guy says. “We start out and Jack has a heart attack and dies on the first green. And for the next 17 holes, it was hit the ball, drag Jack.”
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Ed Ackerman