An innocent inquiry about 15 years ago about the possibility of learning how to golf has over the years blossomed into a group of friends who play the game not so much for the end results, although it is nice to hit the ball correctly once in a while, but more for the camaraderie and the joy of being together.  Through this period a core group has formed and has remained pretty constant while occasionally finding some other poor soul to share our madness and mirth.  The term Hoover, although shrouded in myth and conjecture, was probably coined by Hoover Jim at a golf course on Cape Cod.  We were standing at one of the tee boxes watching as one after another we hit pitiful drives.  Jimmy chimed in that we were like Hoover vacuums because we can’t suck enough.  Thus a group name and motto were given birth.

Throughout the years, The Hoovers have evolved and like any other species has developed ways and terms of communication that are unique to the group.  The Hoover Journals are attempts to relay the experiences the Hoovers have while away at special events, such as the annual migration to Myrtle Beach or even the mundane weekly incursions to the home course, the venerable Salem Muni.  The Journals give a broad overview of these experiences but fail to provide a deeper look into the subtle nuances that make up a Hoover’s round of golf.  This Lexicon strives to make available the wealth of riches found in the terminology and gestures that are such an indelible part of the Hoover makeup and frame of mind.


Ad-hoc rules committee; the governing body present at an ongoing match that has jurisdiction over all the various rules and interpretations of the rules.  Can be convened at any time for any situation and consists of the ranking members of the committee present at the time.  An example would be, if the ranking member’s team is losing a match, he may, without hesitation or fear of rebuke call an ah-hoc rules committee meeting of just himself and declare that he is switching partners for the remainder of the match.

Aiming; a concept that all creditable Hoovers employ to line up any golf shot, even though the result is often contrary to the point at which the target originally was.

Backhoe; what it looks like was used by a Hoover when making an approach shot from the fairway.

Bunyanized; a wayward shot that travels into portions of the woods that even Paul Bunyan would not venture.

Cranial interruption; also known by, brain lock/brain freeze/brain fart…one of the immutable laws of Hoover physics(see explanation below).  This can also be applied when too much thought or analysis is put into reading a putt which most often results in having a putt longer and more difficult than the original one.  A Hoover’s likely excuse will be something along the lines of, “I don’t know what I was thinking”.  It is a common theory amongst Hoovers that the brain is best left at home and not brought to the golf course.  This has many advantages including the fact that if the brain is at home, the wife can continue talking to it and filling it with all sorts of great advice and an increasing list of things that need to be done around the house.

Dalyized; a full blown overdone backswing and follow through while attempting to increase swing speed in hopes of achieving a prodigious drive.  Unfortunately for most Hoovers, this technique often has the opposite result.

Deepak Chopra advice; the guru of the healing power of the mind and utilization of the power of quantum healing to gain a perfect balance of mind, body and spirit offers sage words of wisdom upon hitting a poor golf shot, “ you fu%$^^g piece of s%^t.

Double cross; the occasional consequence of setting up to hit the fade that you produce 98 percent of the time..what happens the other 2 percent is a drive that is dead straight and very long.  Regrettably, your fade setup has you aiming somewhere in the woods or over a body of water.

Draw; a golf shot that most professionals utilize that travels right to left in a gentle manner.  When one is hit by a Hoover it is an accident.

Embedding; an act of frustration in which a Hoover slams his club into the ground.  The proper technique includes using an iron with the toe of the club entering the turf at a 90 degree angle and which takes a couple of good tugs to release it from the earth’s hold.  The club should have at least a ½ inch coating of dirt upon reaching the surface.  This should not be attempted with a wood of any kind as the only thing that will happen is the breaking of the shaft and that will only add to the frustration and cause the Hoover to utter words of great disdain and profanity.

Fade; the most evident ball flight among Hoovers, a gentle drift from left to right as the ball leaves the club face…often times turns ugly and veers dramatically to the right.

Fling; another of the demonstrations of Hoover frustration, this is the technique of tossing one’s club in the direction that the ball was supposed to have gone.  As in embedding, there is a right way to do this.  First, make sure the club is held in the ungloved hand, you can then choose to fling it tomahawk style or in the more dramatic helicopter fashion.  A good fling will go farther than the ball you just hit.  A word of caution, flinging your club with the gloved hand often results in the club going way left of your intended target and ending up in Bunyan territory filled with brambles, mosquitoes, poison ivy and the occasional snake.

Good speed; a comment on one’s putt…intended to boost your morale as you astutely judged how hard to hit the ball…however, since you most likely misread the break badly, the comment can take on a slightly derogatory flavor.

Great galloping horde of flying monkey butts/sons of monkey butts; mild expletives uttered very often by Hoover Paul.

H.O.O.T.E.R.S.; Hoovers Overland Overnight Transport Equipment Routing System..used primarily for shipping clubs to Mecca(see below).

Hole in one; currently there has only been one of these recorded by a Hoover.  This occurred on October 27, 1994, the 5th hole at Lakeview Golf Course in Wenham, MA. The shot was hit with an 8 iron with a Top Flight 4 ball with a logo on it advertising Tom’s Diaper Service.  The ball is currently on display at Hoover Paul’s house and can be viewed for a nominal fee.

Hook; the usual ball flight of those silly enough to attempt hitting a draw.

Hoover Gulch; a geographic phenomenon on the right side of the 9th fairway at Olde Salem Greens that has an unnatural ball attracting property.  The Bermuda Triangle is but a small facsimile of this type of surreal earthly quality.  Good rounds go to die in this valley of no escape.

Hoover Hubris; a state of consciousness that should be avoided at all costs.  What happens is after playing a series of good shots in succession, the mind becomes convinced that golf is an easy game after all and that one should always hit quality shots.  The physical manifestations include an increase in salivary output as one starts frothing at the mouth in anticipation of the next marvelous shot coming up.  At this point, a Hoover’s swing will turn on him in a really vicious manner and he reverts to a level that is even worse than Hooverish.  Once again we see the danger of using one’s brain while golfing.

Hoover Journal; a continuing chronicle of the trials, tribulations and the sheer joy of being a Hoover.

Hoover Metaphysical Research Department; HMRD or HUMMERED-the committee responsible for determining the cause and effect of unexpected shot results both good and bad…like the HRC, members have to suffer interminable junkets to exotic locales to hold their discussions.

Hoover Motto; We Can’t Suck Enough

Hoover par; a score otherwise known as a bogey..a Hoover is thrilled with pars, surprised by birdies, mesmerized with the thought of an eagle but is happy with bogey.

Hoover wind cheater; a low penetrating ball flight that negates the effect of the wind.  The sad part for Hoovers is that he usually hits this type of shot when the wind is behind him and would actually help the shot.  The corollary to this is that a very high trajectory shot is achieved when the wind is gale force in the Hoover’s face.

Hoover(on scorecard); the most a Hoover can score on any one hole..this is a 10 and is signified on the scorecard with H.  Most of the time when referred to it is preceded by the word, ‘dreaded’.

Immutable laws of Hoover physics; a branch of quantum physics expressly formatted to fit the brand of golf played by Hoovers.  A few of these laws are:

  • No matter how well you may hit the ball at the range prior to a round, you will not carry this over to the first tee.  The corollary is, if you hit the ball abysmally on the range, you will still hit the ball abysmally during the round.
  • You can read magazine articles, watch instructional videos, stay up all night tuned into the Golf Channel, buy the latest in club technology in order to improve any or all aspects of your game.  You are chasing after the wind.  You will never be any better than you are now.
  • During the 3 month Winter layoff, your golfing muscles will retain all memory of your particular swing flaws so that when you tee it up for the first time in the Spring you can be certain that you are the same terrible golfer you’ve always been.  It’s comforting in some ways to have that type of stability in one’s life.
  • Brand new golf balls are more likely to be lost to woods and water than the old scuff marked Ultra you have in your golf bag.  The probability of this increases exponentially with the cost of the new ball.  Pro V’s will disappear way before a Top Flight.
  • At courses where Cart Path Only rules are present, your shots will be on the opposite side of the where the cart path is.  Also, no matter how many clubs you take with you to your ball, you will not have brought the right one.
  • Hoover Loring’s competitive juices will come on with a frenzy as he reaches the 6th or 7th hole and realizes that he is 2 holes down in the match.  Much to the chagrin of the other Hoovers, he usually rallies to win.  As a consequence of this repeated outrage, he has been threatened by the Hoover Rules Committee with the loss of his Hoover status.
  • Another law that surfaces around Hoover Loring is that at some point in the match there will be some sort of anal comment made and/or the word Viagra will be used.
  • Other laws, MDGS, cranial interruption, etc. are described elsewhere.

Judicious use of mulligan; when the unusual happens and a Hoover needs to hit a mulligan, if the second(or third) attempt results in a good drive this is referred to as a judicious use of a mully.

Litany of injuries; for the purposes of this lexicon, only golf related injuries are described.  Rick, pulling a ribcage muscle laughing while watching The Big Lebowski.  Paul, pulling a muscle in his back while putting his pant’s on.  Jimmy, sprawled out face first on the Tram platform in Vegas after attempting to travel up a down escalator, gouging knees and hands in the process.  Joe, not so much a physical injury but more in the line of a brain lock as he is told after the fact that if he would have moved over on bench, the rather attractive HOOTER’s waitress would have sat down next to him.

Mahunna; an endearing and affectionate nickname given to the oldest Hoover, Loring.  Loosely translated it means, tall and bald old guy with competitive juices.

MDGS; one of the Immutable Laws of Hoover Physics.  This stands for Molecular Disruption of the Golf Swing.  The most common manifestation of this law is referred to as a random non-golf thought, a particularly rampant form of the law.  The scenario is often played out in this fashion; you have just taken two perfect practice swings, you step up to your ball, your mind takes over and interposes a thought that has nothing to do with the task at hand and the swing you take is nothing like the practice swings.  You are a victim of MDGS.  There is no cure.

Mecca; Myrtle Beach, SC.  A golf haven with over 100 courses for the Hoovers to practice their own peculiar brand of golf.  The yearly trek usually occurs at the end of February and because of this, the Hoovers have yet to see the Beach.

Miss Dig; A phone number that all Hoovers have on speed dial on their cell phones given their propensity to create huge, deep divots in the earth.  Of course the correct timeline is to call before the hole is excavated but that would necessitate having a standby crew from the Department of Public Works which would in turn create serious fiscal problems due to the overtime involved.

Mulligan; The standard rule for Hoovers is 3 mullys off the tee per 9 holes.  The usual practice is to mark each mully down on the scorecard as they occur but as the Hoovers get older, the number of mullys seem to increase.

Muscle memory; see the Immutable Laws entry.

Oh My; a positive exclamation uttered as one watches the ball flight of a perfectly struck shot.  This is not as common as the Deepak Chopra utterance.

On in two; another one of the Immutable Laws that states, if you are on the green in two on a par four, you may as well write down five for the hole as you will three putt the green.  It is a standing offer that you can quit the hole after the two shots and take the five rather than take a chance on a four putt.

Pod Craig; a Hoover’s experience of being taken over by an extraterrestrial life form during a round of golf and playing so far above one’s normal ability that the alien within is revealed to the rest of the group.  The alien, who would have preferred to remain anonymous and undetected, had no choice but to leave Craig on the sly but by so doing left enough alien DNA in Craig’s mind for Craig to believe he was that good.  Thus Craig went from alien possession to Hoover Hubris with the immediate consequence of his reverting to form and playing badly the rest of the round.

Preferred lie; the art of improving the position of your ball in the fairway, the rough or in the woods under the guise of checking to see if the ball is yours.  The infamous foot wedge may come into play when trees are in the way.

Random non golf thoughts; see the Immutable Laws entry

Rush Limbaugh round; a round in which virtually every shot you take goes to the right.  The Barry Goldwater round is where they go to the extreme right.

Sculpt; a multipurpose phrase that can be complimentary or derogatory.  As a compliment it is used, for example, when a tee shot soars majestically with a gentle fade and lands in the middle of the fairway, thus someone may remark, “That was a well sculpted shot”.  The same remark can be used for the same tee shot as it veers off Limbaugh style and ends up with Barry Goldwater.

Shoe baking; the practice of heating up one’s golf shoes in the oven when they have been left in the car on a cold night.  Hoover Rick is the main practitioner of this comfort seeking practice.  Contrary to myth, he did not get this recipe watching Emeril Live.

Slice; a fade that has turned ugly and is threatening to take the ball to Bunyan territory.

SLMR; Short Lived Muscle Rebellion or A Slammer-an unexplainable positive shot result, usually manifested in the middle of a really bad round or series of really bad shots.  Currently under investigation and discussion by the HMRD(see above for HMRD)

STMR; Short Term Muscle Rebellion or A Stammer.  What happens when after two perfect practice swings, the body just goes kind of spasmodic and wreaks havoc on the shot. It’s when the body overrides the brain and lets it know in no uncertain terms that it can produce a STMR anytime it likes, so enjoy the good ones

Take Me to the Airport; a lament first uttered by Rick after playing a most pitiful round( we had gone straight from the airport to the golf course)…phrase is now used as a general cry of remorse for bad rounds or on occasion just a bad shot.

Three quarter backswing; a swing myth employed by Hoover Loring.  His ¾ backswing is not that far removed from a Dalyized swing.

Tufting; one of the methods of improving one’s lie, a way of teeing it up without using a tee.  This was recently a topic of discussion for the Hoover Rules Committee while said body was taking a merciless beating at various Vegas slot machines.  It was decided not to penalize the one individual who makes the most use of this nefarious system as he is rather old and probably doesn’t realize what he is doing.

Twin sons of different mothers; The fraternal bond between Hoover Jim and Hoover Paul that takes the form of them frequently ending up within inches or feet of each other after hitting their tee shots.  However, Hoover Jim has made a travesty and a mockery of this familial link with his new Ping G2 driver and is now driving to areas never before visited except by Hoover Rick.

We can take these old people; famous words articulated by Hoover Jim on March 7,2002 at Sea Gull Golf in Myrtle Beach, SC.  We were paired up with an elderly couple and Jimmy was feeling pretty confident, in fact, he was having a slight case of Hoover Hubris.  Needless to say, they kicked our Hoover backsides as Jimmy posted a 108.

Winter rules; another in a series of ambiguous terms that can be invoked for no apparent reason other than we are playing poorly and are looking for any excuse to expand the number and scope of mulligans allowed.







Filed under golf humor, my stories


  1. I’m willing to bet that Hoover handicaps are awarded,in a manner that would allow any Hoover Guy teeing it up with a real golfer, to ensure a round completed in, at the very least, 10 under the card of the course. Right?
    Please do not invite me to play with any of your group for money.

    • We play for fun mostly..our very lenient approach to our hideously mediocre abilities does not translate well into the traditions of The Royal and Ancient … 🙂

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