There's nothing funnier in sports cartoons than a golf vignette, like the inspired player-caddie exchanges in Britain's Punch magazine a century ago that certainly must have inspired today's cartoonists. They have tapped into the golf world ever since, and the material keeps on giving. The reason is as plain as your next foursome: The majority of golfers are duffers with odd mannerisms, bad swings and pithy one-liners. The gaffes, laughs and wisecracks provide fodder that never goes out of season. We selected our best from the thousands of cartoons done by dozens of cartoonists, among them Ed Lepper, Walt Ditzen, Jeff Keate, Lo Linkert and Roy Doty. Our cartoons reflected the social times, including the now-cringe-worthy sexist treatment of women in our first 20 years, but the predominant butt of our cartoon jokes was someone quite familiar: the average golfer. David Harbaugh, whose work first appeared in Golf Digest in the late 1950s (shown on the left), had a style most familiar with longtime readers. For years, a Harbaugh cartoon and Dick Emmons poem were our final-page Rub of the Grin treatment. Harbaugh, now 82, would poke fun at the golfer who had a regular foursome and a barely tolerant wife--the duffer with plenty of foibles to draw upon. "That's where we were making our fun," he says. For more laughs, have a look at The New Yorker Book of Golf Cartoons
and any of the many Punch magazine collections at punch.co.uk.
--Cliff SchrockDavid Harbaugh