For the first time in over 100 years, golf is now a sport in the summer Olympics. Legendary golfer Gary Player has long been a proponent of bringing the game to the international competition, and he must be pleased as he watches both men and women from across the world driving and putting to bring honor to their nations.
Golf has always been a popular pastime in the United States, each major tournament bringing high television ratings. Probably the viewership for the event in this year’s Olympics will be even higher.
The sport, however, has often been a source of humor, as summed up by the most famous book about golf. Author John Feinstein, who also penned the Indiana University basketball book A Season on the Brink, titled his memoir about the PGA tour A Good Walk Spoiled.
Numerous popular sitcoms have used golf in their plots in order to induce some laughs from their viewers. Here are seven of those shows which have a regular character spending some time, and getting some laughs, by playing either nine holes or eighteen.
Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld
Jerry’s whimsical neighbor goes golfing in several episodes, the most memorable of which is “The Marine Biologist.” Kramer (played by Michael Richards) acquires 600 golf balls and drives them into the water, only to cause a whale to be beached by one of them getting stuck in its blow hole.
Larry David from Curb Your Enthusiasm
The creator of Seinfeld indulges in golf in his follow up series, most notably the episode called “The Black Swan.” Larry accidentally kills the course owner’s beloved bird while shooting a round of golf.
Jim Halpert from The Office
In order to try to land his biggest sales account, the Houghtin-Mifflin employee (played by John Krasinski) uses a golf outing to suck up to the company’s chief executive officer.
Thurston Howell III from Gilligan’s Island
Even on a desert island, the millionaire (played by Jim Backus) manages to simulate his favorite pastime.
Ricky Ricardo from I Love Lucy
In “The Golf Game” episode, Lucy’s husband (played by Desi Arnaz) becomes obsessed with the game along with his neighbor Fred.
Bart Simpson from The Simpsons
Homer forces his son to participate against Todd Flanders in a miniature golf tournament in order to show up his annoying neighbor Ned, a contest that justifies the title “Dead Putting Society.”
Ralph Kramden in The Honeymooners
The bus driver (played by Jackie Gleason) and his best friend Norton (played by Art Carney) become obsessed with the game in “The Golfer” episode