Red Man GolfTales RJSmiley

Lawyer Bill and His Leafy REDMAN

For three or four years I played a lot of golf at a private club where there was a lot of action. The place was full of characters. Lawyer Bill was one of the best.

The reason most golfers belonged to this south suburban private club was for the ACTION.  Some games were huge but most were for a nickel ($5) or a dime ($10) Nassau.  The same group was there everyday around 1:30pm and they played with full handicaps.  After all, every score was recorded at the club, the handicaps were accurate.  On the first tee each day 5 balls were thrown into the air (they almost always played a 5-some) with the two nearest balls being partners, playing each of the combination of the other three players.  Meaning the two partners had three games going at the same time.  The games were always high ball, low ball – automatic presses at 2 down.  Meaning that a team received a point for getting the lowest net score on a hole and lost a point if they had the highest net score on that hole – against each of the teams.

As you can imagine the score keeping was, for someone not use to this game, quite complicated.

Lawyer Bill, who ran his own one-man law firm was in his office by 5am and left each day during the golf season at 12:30.   Lawyer Bill grew up playing football, basketball and baseball in high school.  He received a basketball scholarship to play for a DII school and earned all-conference honors in his last two years.  In the summer, during college, he played fast-pitch softball on a really good team where he was famous for his strong arm, throwing out base runners from his left field position.  While playing baseball he learned that competing at a high level and chewing REDMAN, leafy chewing tobacco, were a natural together.  After law school, Lawyer Bill stopped playing softball, but continued chewing REDMAN.  He first started playing golf with his muni friends who thought nothing of him spitting on the tees and greens.  Being a smart guy and a great athlete, his golf game got good and his law practice grew.  

Soon he made the decision that he should join a private club for business reasons.  Lawyer Bill loved the club for the ACTION and he loved to keep the scorecard. 

Lawyer Bill did not look like or dress like a lawyer who belonged to a private club.  Each morning he put on a pair of clean but unpressed khakis and a golf shirt.  His shoes were never shined, including his golf shoes, after all the locker room attendant would shine them for him.

Lawyer Bill became famous for two things at the club: One was keeping the neatest, except for the tobacco stains, scorecard.  Two for getting tobacco stains all over his shirt, pants and shoes.  When he walked out of the locker room with his stained golf cap on, Lawyer Bill would reach into his pocket and pull out his pouch of REDMAN, candy he called it.  He would fill his mouth with the brown leafy stuff and start chomping, talking, grinning and laughing and making jokes without knowing or caring that the brown juice was dripping down his chin onto his shirt and pants.  He was just another character, at a club full of characters, having fun!  He would chew and spit then refill his mouth with more candy on top of the candy that was left from the previous fill.

About every two holes Lawyer Bill would say, “Let me give you boys a reading on the games.”  Then he would proceed with something like this, “T you and B are 4 down, 2 down and pressed with F and J, and 2 down, even and 2 up and pressed with F and me, and 2 down and even with me and J.  Nobody ever questioned his bookkeeping and as far as I know he never made a mistake.  

Layer Bill became famous for THREE things at the club: ONE, keeping the neatest, except for the tobacco stains, scorecard.  TWO, getting tobacco stains all over his shirt, pants and shoes. Oh, and the THIRD thing Lawyer Bill became famous for was writing a law firm check to cover his ACTION.  No matter how much REDMAN he chewed, no matter how neatly he kept the scorecard, Lawyer Bill could never make the 4 footer for the money.  In the grill after a typical round he would write out a law firm check for the full amount he had lost to all players and throw it into the middle of the table and say, “You guys split it up, I will see you tomorrow.”        

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