A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 07, 2016
“The best wood in an amateur’s bag is a pencil” (golf joke)

Professional golfer Chi-Chi Rodriguez told many one-liners on the golf tour. At the U.S. Open in 1979, Rodriguez joked about a pencil:

“That’s the best wood in the bag for an amateur. If you know how to use the pencil, you can score whatever you want to.”

Rodriguez told the joke several times. The one-liner has been printed in many golf books, usually shortened to: “The best wood in an amateur’s bag is a pencil.”


Wikipedia: Chi-Chi Rodriguez
Juan Antonio “Chi-Chi” Rodríguez (born October 23, 1935) is a Puerto Rican professional golfer. He was the first Puerto Rican to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

16 June 1979, Cedar Rapids (IA) Gazette, “Rodriguez uses pencil,” pg. 4B, col. 1:
TOLEDO, Ohio (UPI)—Chi Chi Rodriguez never said he was a Rhodes scholar.
(...)
Rodriguez was nothing at all wrong in using his score-keeping pencil to tee up his ball.

“That’s the best wood in the bag for an amateur,” cracked the 43-year-old recent winner of the Tallahassee Open, who has been playing he tour for nearly 20 years. “If you know how to use the pencil, you can score whatever you want to. I’m going to use it again tomorrow.”

16 June 1979, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “Purtzer, Nelson share Open lead—and spotlight,” pg. F1, col. 4:
“That’s the best wood in the bag for an amateur,” Rodriguez cracked. “If you know how to use the pencil, you can score whatever you want to.”

19 June 1981, Playground Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, FL), “U.S. Open briefs” (AP), pg. 6B, col. 1:
Referring to the several amateurs in the field, he (Rodriguez) said: “For most amateurs, the best wood in the bag is the pencil.”

Google Books
Sportswit
By Lee Green
New York, NY: Ballantine Books
1986, ©1984
Pg. 73:
Chi Chi Rodriguez, professional golfer:
“For most amateurs, the best wood in the bag is the pencil.”

3 September 1986, Washington (DC) Post, “Hole in One by Palmer Makes Day at Avenal” by William Gildea, pg. B7, col. 2:
White-hatted Chi Chi Rodriguez told jokes: ‘The best wood in your bag is a pencil.”

Google Books
Golf Quotes
Great Quotations Publishing Co
Golf Gifts
1988
Pg. 606:
“For most amateurs, the best wood in the bag is the pencil.”
Chi Chi Rodriguez
Professional golfer

22 December 1994, The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, CA), “More Than a Score Instruction” by John Strege, pg. D15:
Chi Chi Rodriguez once noted the best wood in an amateur’s bag is a pencil, for it does not always document the truth on a scorecard.

Google News Archive
14 August 1995, Barlow Press (Barlow County, GA), “A rarity in sports,” pg. 6, col. 1:
Rodriguez on amateur golfers: “For most, the best wood in their bag is a pencil.”

Google Books
The Gigantic Book of Golf Quotations:
Thousands of Notable Quotables from Tommy Armour to Fuzzy Zoeller

Edited by Jim Apfelbaum
New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
2007
Pg. 437:
The best wood in most amateurs’ bags is the pencil. — CHI-CHI RODRIGUEZ

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Sunday, February 07, 2016 • Permalink