Golfers sometimes joke about inexperienced caddies who confuse a “sand wedge” with a “sandwich.” Puerto Rican professional golfer Chi Chi Rodriguez often joked:
“I asked my caddie for a sand wedge and he came back ten minutes later with a ham on rye.”
The “sand wedge/sandwich” golf joke has been cited in print since at least 1955. Chi Chi Rodriguez told the joke in 1966.
“Why does no one starve in a desert? Because of all the sand which is there” is a desert “sandwich” joke. “What would you find on a haunted beach? A sand witch” is a popular Halloween “sandwich” joke.
30 July 1955, Evansville (IN) Courier, “Women’s Golf in the Tri-State” by Laura Anne Rumpf, pg. 12, col. 7:
There was also the incident of the caddy who looked blank when asked for a sand wedge. After the request was made several times, he stated, “the only kind of sandwich I know about are those made with bread.”
6 July 1957, El Paso (TX) Herald-Post, “As I Was Saying” by Bob Ingram, pg. 8, col. 2:
And (Frank—ed.) Redman’s frequent resort to the sand wedge is remindful of the story about the golfer who had an inexperienced caddy He asked the club toter for a sand wedge and the caddy, dropping his bag and starting for the club house, wanted to know if the player preferred mustard or mayonnaise.
17 April 1966, Austin (TX) Statesman, “Longhorn Golf Team Still in Race for Title” by Bill Little, pg. D6, col. 1:
Latest release from Doc Giffin of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America has some interesting tidbits, namely that of Chi Chi Rodriguez, the Puerto Rican who is always a gallery favorite, once asked his caddie for a sand wedge.
The caddie, having a bit of trouble with Chi Chi’s accent, promptly produced a sandwich.
9 November 1975, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Ask Brockington if fullbacks get hit” by Cooper Rollow, sec. 3, pg. 5, col. 1:
Harry Sheer’s favorite Chi Chi Rodriguez story: “Chi Chi admits his accent often is embarrassing. ‘I ask my caddie once for a sand wedge. He disappears...comes back with a ham on rye!”
The Official Rules for Golfers
By Paul Dickson
New York, NY: Barnes & Noble
I asked my caddie for a sand wedge, and ten minutes later he came back with a ham on rye.
A Disorderly Compendium of Golf
By Lorne Rubenstein and Jeff Neuman
New York, NY: Workman
“After all these years, it’s still embarrassing for me to play on the American golf tour, Like the time 1 asked my caddie for a sand wedge and he came back ten minutes later with a ham on rye.” — CHI CHI RODRIGUEZ
I asked my caddie for a sand wedge… He came back after ten minutes with egg mayonnaise on rye - Chi Chi Rodrigues
12:28 PM - 14 Mar 2015
I asked my caddie for a sand wedge and he came back ten minutes later with a ham on rye.
4:29 PM - 21 Feb 2016