Picture: Doc Jarnagin/TSM

“Reeks Like Rank” kind of means what it says. It smells and it smells bad. The term was borne from a naturalized citizen who still struggles at times to convert his native tongue to our English slang. In this case, he was sitting next to a woman at a Pai Gow table who apparently skipped a shower or three and did not smell too good. As he explained to me and another friend, she “reeked like rank”. This analysis was met with confusion at first as we tried to understand what he was saying, and then laughter at his attempt at our language. This is a common occurrence when all three of us get together.

“Reeks Like Rank” not only became a punch line, it evolved into a mini-golf tournament that we play in one week to determine…..you guessed it…the worst golfer among us. Our friend, who we call “Butters” (he comes from Holland which is famous for wooden shoes, windmills, and churning butter) is the best golfer in the group. He works on his game constantly. I am not as good as him, but I have had rounds that were close to his. The third member of our “Reeks” tournament rarely plays at all. So, how do we even the playing field? We agreed to handicaps (strokes taken off overall score based on skill) and other arrangements prior to play. We also go in with a respectful level of optimism that we won’t receive the “Reeks Like Rank” trophy. I use the word “we” loosely. I do not have that optimism.

For reasons I still cannot explain, I do not and have not ever played good vacation golf. My game (I’m mid to upper 80’s golfer at home) completely falls apart when I’m on vacation. It matters not where I live. I can play well at home. When I pack the bags and go somewhere, I’m optimistic and excited about it. But, when I swing at that first shot on the first tee, the wheels come completely off. Such was the case during our most recent “Reeks Like Rank” tournament. I had maybe five shots in four days of playing that I can claim as great shots. The rest was a nightmare. I averaged around 109 per round during the tournament. That’s about a 20 stroke difference from my usual game. And, with all the handicapping and adjustments, there was nothing to help me from receiving this year’s dishonor. I am in fact the winner of the “Reeks Like Rank” trophy for 2017. It was earned, that’s for sure.