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A Duffer's Saga

You won't have heard of him, I think, although he is a pro
But recently he explored a realm that most will never know
No matter how much golf they play, how many shots they take...
Poor Mr. Tateyama made a terrible mistake
By setting out at all that day to try to play the game...
It may be that the world of golf will never be the same.

Upon the par three tee he stood. Who knows what he was thinking?
There is no evidence that in the clubhouse he'd been drinking,
But Mr. Tateyama launched his drive into the rough,
And hit his second shot astray, but that was not enough.
His third shot found some bushes far from the illusive green,
From there he whacked away until his tally was fourteen.

Yes, fourteen times did Mr. Tateyama swing his club
Against the fearsome bushes. Fourteen times the luckless schlub
Kept swinging. "I lost count," the tired golfer'd later say,
But others still were counting, and they counted all the way
To nineteen shots. That was the number Tateyama had
When he had finished up that par three hole. And was that bad?
Oh, that was not just bad, that nineteen was the worst, my friend.
It was the hole that Tateyama feared would never end.
And when it ended, Tateyama held a record score,
For no pro in Japan had hit a golf ball any more
Than Tateyama had, which was remarkable, 'cause, see
The hole was not par five or four. That hole was a par three.

So should we grieve for Tateyama? I don't think we should,
For out of his disaster there has come, I think, some good.

See, Mr. Tateyama never let it get him down --
I don't mean to suggest that he's a goofball or a clown,
But when the round was over, he could smile, and of the day
When on that par three hole he'd gone so thoroughly astray,
He said, "My mind went blank," and asked "Have I a record now?"
Yes, Tateyama, yes, you do. And so, to you, I bow.

Bill Littlefield Twitter Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield was the host of Only A Game from 1993 until 2018.

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