Players had finished their final practice round as the shadows lengthened over the beautiful Detroit Country Club, home of the prestigious Pine to Palm Golf Tournament. Mike, “The Shocker,” Shanessy, a Twin Cities bartender and avid golfer was dressed in cut-offs, a Zorba’s t-shirt, sneakers with the laces untied and a new Ping hat, cocked on the back of his head. He was standing on the side of the putting green with a can of Bud in his left hand and a $100 bill in his right. The blurry-eyed sunburned, Shocker announced in his never-met-a-stranger-silly-sounding-bartender voice, “I got a $100 bill that says, The Shocker, that’s me, can beat anybody in a putting contest. I will putt with one hand and never sit my beer down.” Then, in dramatic fashion, he raised the $100 bill high over head and watched it flutter to the ground. “All you got to do is cover that hundred; we will go once around the putting clock, 9-holes.” All eyes focused on The Shocker. Balls stopped rolling and there was stunned silence!
“Is he serious?”
“That’s right, that’s right and I got more where that hundred came from.” The Shocker dropped two more $100 bills on the green. “Just cover my hundred with yours and line up. Easiest money you will ever make. Just started on my second case of Bud, the nectar of the Gods!” The Shocker grunted as he pointed toward an open case of Budweiser sitting on the side of the green. “Hurry up now, the light is getting short and my Bud is getting warm!” With that, The Shocker took a long pull from the red and white can. Then belched, leaned over and picked up his putter and ball with his right hand.
It took a few minutes, then a neatly dressed middle aged guy with a military haircut, FootJoy Classics and an Interlachen CC logo on his Izod shirt, walked up to The Shocker. He looked The Shocker dead in the eye and said, “Match or Medal?” Then dropped his hundred on The Shocker’s.
The Shocker casually took a tee from his pocket and pined the twin “big bills” to the green said, “you pick.”
“Match, backwards around the clock,” said the country cluber. The tee Shocker flipped in the air hit the ground pointing in the direction of the country cluber.
“Winners pick the teeing spot, it’s your honor,” Shocker said with a wide grin. Amazingly, the green cleared and a gallery formed.
The country cluber rolled his first putt about 10” past and Shocker said, “that’s good.” Then, The Shocker dropped his ball on the green and assumed a relaxed slightly open stance. With his beer-can-filled left hand secured on his left hip and with a long smooth stroke, The Shocker lipped-out his first putt. On the second hole, he drained it. The country cluber yipped a 2-footer on the third. The Shocker was 2-up and had the honor. With deft touch from long range, The Shocker picked long distance putts for 4, 5, 6 & 7. Another three putt by the country cluber. Shocker wins 3 & 2. “Grab a beer from the box,” he said as he pocketed the money.
The second match was better, a collegiate All-American at the U of NM, who’s buddies each put up $20. The All American took The Shocker to the eighth hole, where The Shocker registered his fourth ace. The Shocker wins 2 & 1.
Over the years I have been witness to The Shocker and his one-handed-putting-magic many times. He is not unbeatable but The Shocker is never without a Bud! And a smile!!!