Golf Short Stories

These short stories all have golf as a prominent part of the plot.

“Archibald’s Benefit” by P. G. Wodehouse

Archibald Mealing is an enthusiastic and devoted golfer, but his performance is poor. He practices and studies to no avail. Despite this, at age thirty-one, after playing for six years, he won a championship. He was a member at the Cape Pleasant Club, and was well liked by everyone. The club secretary, McCay, wanted to help Archibald out.

This story can be read in the preview of The Golf Omnibus.

“The Coming of Gowf” by P. G. Wodehouse

Two writers submit a historical golf story to an editor. King Merolchazzar of Oom overlooks his garden on a beautiful day. He’s upset because his courting of a neighboring Princess isn’t going well. He notices an unfamiliar man wielding a hoe over a rounded stone placed on the gravel. The Vizier says he’s a Scotsman and one of the King’s gardeners. His actions are part of a savage religious ceremony. The King wants to learn more.

This story can be read in the preview of Fore! The Best of Wodehouse on Golf.

“Golf Dreams” by John Updike

A man has an out-of-season golf dream. He’s at the tee with his regular foursome. He surveys the difficulties of the shot, which always seem to get worse in dream golf. He questions whether golf “nightmares” are worse than the embarrassments suffered in real matches.

This story can be read in the preview of Golf Dreams: Writings on Golf. 


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“An Unlucky Golfer” by A. A. Milne

The narrator claims to be the world’s unluckiest golfer. He doesn’t mean the ordinary bad luck that befalls all golfers. Fate seems to conspire to prevent him from teeing off at all.

The following 4 stories are in the anthology Golf’s Best Short Stories.

“The Phantom Card” by John Kendrick Bangs

The narrator needs forgiveness for a sin he has suffered over for five years. He has committed the greatest golfing crime—turning in a false card. What’s more, he won from that card. He didn’t celebrate his win in the usual ways, knowing he was undeserving of the honor. He finally unburdens his conscience.

“The Pro” by John Updike

Mr. Wallace is on his four-hundred-and-twelfth golf lesson, but he still makes his familiar mistakes. His pro, David, points out that his right shoulder is dipping and his knees are locking. He demonstrates a shot, and it’s beautiful. He tries to identify where Mr. Wallace is going wrong.

“Mr. Frisbie” by Ring Lardner

The narrator is personal chauffeur and private caddie to one of the wealthiest men in America, Mr. Frisbie. Reporters are always trying to interview Mr. Frisbie, but he doesn’t say much. The narrator decides to tell the story of Mr. Frisbie’s golf game. He started playing regularly after buying a property with a 9 hole course. A notable incident occurred when Mr. Frisbie lost count on a hole and the narrator took a stroke off the total.

“The Ooley-Cow” by Charles E. Van Loan

Perkins is a retired, rich man, who takes up golf to get some exercise. He’s given the nickname “Ooley-cow” because of his similarities to a cow.  He’s immediately noticed by Uncle Billy and Old Man Sprott, two confidence men. They’re accomplished players, but they keep that as quiet as possible. They play with Perkins, always making side-bets on the game. They milk him for a lot of money. Eventually, something makes Perkins suspicious.

Read “The Ooley-Cow”