The Pope met with his Cardinals to discuss
a proposal from
Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of Israel. "Your Holiness", said
one of his Cardinals, Mr. Netanyahu wants to challenge you to
a game of golf to show the friendship and ecumenical spirit
shared by the Jewish and Catholic faiths."
The Pope thought this was a good idea, but he had never held
a golf club in his hand. "Don't we have a Cardinal to represent
me?" he asked.
"None that plays very well," a Cardinal replied. "But," he added,
"there is a man named Jack Nicklaus, an American golfer who is
a devout Catholic. We can offer to make him a Cardinal, then
ask him to play Mr. Netanyahu as your personal
representative. In addition, to showing our spirit of
cooperation, we'll also win
Everyone agreed it was a good idea. The call was made. Of
course, Nicklaus was honored and agreed to play. The day
after the match, Nicklaus reported to the Vatican to inform
the Pope of the result. "I have some good news and some bad
news, your Holiness, " said the golfer.
"Tell me the good news first, Cardinal Nicklaus," said the
"Well, your Holiness, I don't like to brag, but even though I've
played some pretty terrific rounds of golf in my life, this was
the best I have ever played, by far. I must have been inspired
from above. My drives were long and true, my irons were
accurate and purposeful, and my putting was perfect. With all
due respect, my play was truly miraculous.
"There's bad news?", the Pope asked.
"Yes," Nicklaus sighed. "I lost to Rabbi Tiger Woods by seven