The British Open (Feghoot XVIII)

By Reginald Bretnor writing under the pseudonym of Grendel Briarton.

Ferdinand Feghoot almost introduced modern golf into Scotland in the reign of William the Lion (1165-1214). His time-taxi stalled, and he had to step out with his clubs. He quickly persuaded the King that he wasn’t a wizard, and soon he was ordered to teach the whole court how to play.

He was given as servants all the common folk in Dunfermline, where the links were to be. They graded, ploughed, weeded, seeded, watered, and mowed. Soon, he announced the grand opening. The armorers worked overtime on mashies and niblicks, and his servants celebrated so riotously in advance that the Monarch, wakened by their noise, had all the younger ones mercilessly beaten.

After breakfast, the procession moved out; and the King at first expressed satisfaction. Then he saw huge, hairy Highlanders carrying the clubs. “Ha!” he cried. “You told me the caddies would be the fairest youths of my realm!” He pointed at some boys and young men nursing their bruises. “Tell them to carry our clubs.”

“Your Majesty,” said Ferdinand Feghoot, “those are the lads you had beaten last night. They are quite black and blue. So sore are they, I doubt they can walk. Wise though I be,” he drew himself up, . . . “I cannot free the sorest for the tees!”

(Copyright © 1959 by Mercury Press. First published in THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, September 1959.)

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