SI Vault
Dan Jenkins
August 16, 1965
Goat Hills is gone now. It was swallowed up almost four years ago by the bulldozers of progress, and in the end it was nice to learn that something could take a divot out of those hard fairways. But all of the regular players had left long before. We had grown up at last. Maybe it will be all right to talk about the place now, and about the people and the times we had. Maybe it will be therapeutic. At least it will help explain why I do not play golf so much anymore. I mean, I keep getting invited to Winged Head and Burning Foot and all those fancy clubs we sophisticated New Yorkers are supposed to frequent, places where, I hear, they have real flag sticks instead of broom handles. It sounds fine, but I usually beg off. I am, frankly, still over golfed from all those years at Goat Hills in Texas. You would be, too, if.... Well, let me tell you some of it. Not all. I will try to be truthful and not too sentimental. But where shall I begin? With Cecil? Yeah, I think so. He was sort of a symbol in those days, and...
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August 16, 1965

The Glory Game At Goat Hills

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Raymond said, "All I know is I can make five."

"Well," Spec said, "I don't know a whole lot about it, but I know a man can't make five off a table."

"Just get it on," Raymond said.

"On?" said Spec. "On's here in my hand."

A few others got in, do or don't, and Raymond, who was a fine player, hit a crisp four-iron right off the tabletop, out the door and down the fairway. It was clear that he would have only a three-wood and a long iron to reach the green in three. Spec said, "Oops. Step on the fire and call in the dogs. The hunt's over, boys."

And it was. Raymond made an easy five.

After that, I remember, we hit a lot of shots off the shingle roof of the Goat Hills clubhouse and did a great deal of chipping off the hoods of our cars and, in fact, designed one hole that started on top of the gin-rummy table in the locker room, went through the restaurant, noted for its cheese crackers and R.C. Colas, out the golf shop, around the putting course and concluded on the first green.

It was in the last few years at Goat Hills, before the city sold those 106 acres to TCU so the school could build more yellow-brick buildings, that the games got too big, too outrageously expensive. One reason was that most of us were working by then, or were supposed to be. We somehow managed always to have the afternoons free. Anyhow, we virtually were wealthy. For instance, I had ingeniously slithered my way up to $87.50 per week at The Fort Worth Press. So I was a high player now. And then there was Moron Tom, who worked terribly hard at eight ball, poker, gin and pinball. He could high-play you.

Moron Tom was a likable, muscular West Texan who had gone to TCU to play football but had quit when he discovered you had to practice every day during the season. He was a brilliant hustler who talked in a fast code, often describing his long tee shots with such immodest expressions as "quadruple unreal." He almost never spoke English, only a weird gibberish that you had to learn or not know what bets you had with him.

There was one special day—the day of the last truly big game—that began with Moron Tom saying, "I'll take toops and threeps from Youngfut, Youngjun, Youngmut and Youngrus." Translated, that meant he wanted 2 up and 3 up from young Foot, young John, young Matty and young Rush. He wanted the same from Magoo, too, but Magoo said, "Kane go-fert," which was Moronese for "Can't go for it."

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