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Is That A Titleist? 5 Best Seinfeld Golf Moments

seinfeld kramer featured

Jerry Seinfeld recently discussed the classic “The Marine Biologist” episode, revealing that the episode’s legendary conclusion was originally not part of the script. The plot revolves around George pretending to be a Marine Biologist to impress a college crush, while Kramer obtains 600 golf balls from a driving range and decides to hit them into the ocean. Both storylines come together in the end, with George removing an “obstruction” from the blowhole of a beached whale, recounting the tale in an epic Shatner-esque rant that never gets old.

serenity now vokey wedge

Fortunately, Kramer’s “hole in one” isn’t the show’s only golf reference. In this post, we’ll revisit our five favorite golf moments from Seinfeld, from “Stan the Caddy” to “JFK’s Golf Clubs,” and more. However funny it was, we won’t count George’s brief “Frolf” encounter in “The Summer of George.” And no, that is not my Vokey wedge, but I wish it were. I came across it looking for reference material for my previous post but couldn’t find out whose it was. Even though I can’t credit anyone for it, it’s too funny to leave out.

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Larry David, Jerry Seinfeld, and Golf

larry david golf course

Golf has been a recurring theme in Seinfeld, often woven into the plotlines for a humorous twist. Michael Richards is not known to be an avid golfer, but his character Kramer is, and has many golf-related antics on the show. Jerry Seinfeld is also not a golfer, but did incorporate golf jokes into his Netflix special “23 Hours to Kill.” Jerry humorously criticized the game for being nonsensically tricky, pointless, irrational, and time-consuming.

Co-creator Larry David is known for his keen interest in the sport and has often incorporated his passion into his projects. In addition to “Seinfeld,” David’s love for the sport is evident in the numerous golf scenes and references in “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” where golf often serves as a backdrop for the show’s comedic escapades. An entire post can be done on that show’s references as well. David’s anecdotes about golf, shared in interviews and articles, reveal his deep engagement with the game and his fondness for LA’s Riviera Country Club.

David describes golf as a significant time consumer, ideal for “burning daylight hours,” which he appreciates for its leisurely pace and the social interactions it fosters on the course. His humorous take on the sport often highlights his struggles and idiosyncrasies as a golfer, making his stories relatable and entertaining for fans and fellow golfers alike. Episodes involving golf frequently include mishaps and misunderstandings emblematic of David’s comedic style.

Cosmo Kramer’s Love / Hate Relationship with Golf

kramerr golf funko
Kramer Funko Pop

Cosmo Kramer, famously portrayed by Michael Richards, exhibits a complex and humorous relationship with golf that oscillates between passion and frustration. Kramer’s golf escapades are a source of comedic relief throughout the series, and the character is identified with golf to the point that there is a Funko Pop! of Kramer the Golfer.

Kramer’s approach and relationship to the game are consistent with the rest of his persona. He is shown swinging golf clubs in Jerry’s apartment, blabbing on the phone about his latest round, and infamously hitting balls into the ocean. Always standing out in a crowd, Kramer dresses in throwback 1950s golf attire—cardigans with checkered pants and a “newsboy” cap.

His Senior Tour “dreams” are reminiscent of his head-in-the-clouds, Walter Mitty-esque persona, like the job he was fired from at the place he “didn’t really work” or the “levels” that he “decided not to build.” He even dates Susan Ross’ ex Mona, a golf instructor. “She’s a golf teacher. I’ve struck gold! I’ve already taken six strokes off my game.”

His strict observance of the rules is also consistent with his personality, akin to his handling of his Ms. America chaperone duties. At one point, Kramer storms in, throws his golf bag down and declares that he “stinks,” voicing his frustrations that “the ball is just sitting there and I can’t hit it.”  We’ve all been there.

The Real Peterman

John O’Hurley is best known for playing the caricature that is J. Peterman, Elaine’s boss. His only golf storyline on the show is about his quest to own JFK’s clubs, highlighted below. In reality, he is an avid golfer, and he and his wife, Lisa, carry single-digit handicaps. O’Hurley even proposed on the 7th green at Pebble Beach, a testament to the couples’ sharded passion for golf. In 2017, O’Hurley starred in the film “Swing Away,” which is about an LPGA golfer who gets suspended from the Tour and escapes to Greece. 

peaniuts peterman

He has memberships at a few prestigious clubs, including Sherwood in Southern California and Mayacama in Sonoma County. O’Hurley shot 69 at a tournament hosted by former Los Angeles Lakers star Byron Scott and has also been a participant in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, whose history was documented in our post “Crosby Clambake.”

O’Hurley hosts the Schulz Celebrity Golf Classic annually to honor the creator of “Peanuts.” If you thought I couldn’t work Peanuts into this article, the joke is on you! Furthermore, O’Hurley’s won a special “grudge match” episode of “Dancing with the Stars,” which earned $126,000 for Golfers Against Cancer. O’Hurley also hosts an annual fundraiser for Childhelp, which was moved from a charity golf event to an online virtual golf tournament, raising funds with the help of celebrities such as Ken Griffey Jr., Sammy Hagar, Guy Fieri, and Steve Young.

The Sea Was Angry That Day My Friends

The Marine Biologist” (Season 5, Episode 14)

The episode’s aforementioned parallel narratives, at first glance distinct, end up converging in a comedic twist. The climax has become one of the most iconic moments in Seinfeld’s history. It unfolds when George Costanza and his date encounter a beached whale, and he is called upon to save the day. In a dramatic and humorous monologue, George recounts how he discovered the cause of the whale’s distress: a golf ball lodged in its blowhole. This revelation ties back to Kramer’s earlier golfing escapade, bringing the storylines together.

george costanza titleist golf ball

I found a good write-up on this episode where they talk about the golf ball being the episode’s Chekov’s gun. This resonated because when I’m not writing this blog or hitting golf balls, I watch, read, or listen to whodunnits. Chekov’s gun is a literary device that means everything introduced into the story must be used and relevant to the plot. If you show the gun, eventually, it needs to go off. In this spirit, the writers play the long game with the golf balls, among other converging plot devices in this episode.

The golf ball storyline resulted from a last-minute creative spark, as Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David conceived the idea the night before the scene was filmed. This impromptu addition required Jason Alexander to memorize his lengthy monologue quickly, which he executed flawlessly, contributing to the scene’s success.

The audience reaction to George’s revelation and the subsequent interaction between the characters underscored the episode’s comedic brilliance. Kramer was every golfer with his shocked response, “Is that a Titleist?” The golf ball became central to one of the most memorable moments in Seinfeld.

Stan the Caddy

“The Caddy” (Season 7, Episode 12)

stan caddy and kramer

In “The Caddy,” Jerry opens with a stand-up pondering how more people don’t get hit with golf balls. Kramer sneaks into play golf when his course is closed and befriends a caddy named Stan, who not only improves his golf game but also offers him life and fashion advice. Stan’s influence is depicted as transformative for Kramer, who believes that with his guidance, he might even have a shot at making it on the Senior Tour!

When Stan advises him to “go for the green,” Kramer ends up in court over a car accicdent resulting in a public indecency complaint against Elaine’s nemesis, Sue Ellen Mischke, notorious for wearing a bra as a top. On the stand, Kramer’s attorney asks him what he shot in his last round. “Three under par,” he replies. “Three under par? That’s what the pros shoot, isn’t it?” Kramer replies, “if they’re lucky!”

Of course, Stan contributes to one of the episode’s pivotal comedic moments in yet another OJ parody. When Kramer insists on following Stan’s advice to “go for the cup” and have Sue Ellen try on the bra in court to prove it fits her, the plan backfires spectacularly because she is wearing a leotard, and the bra does not fit. Kramer loses the lawsuit, illustrating the limits of Stan’s wisdom.

Kramer’s Country Club Crisis

“The Cheever Letters” (Season 4, Episode 8)

kramer cuban cigars

Like most Seinfeld episodes, “The Cheever Letters” has multiple memorable storylines. Kramer’s revolves around his quest to gain access to the exclusive Westchester Country Club. Kramer had been trading Cuban cigars provided by George for access to the private club, but after he burned down the Ross’ cabin, he lost his hookup. “I can’t go back to the public courses now. I can’t! I won’t!”

Determined to get back, Kramer acquires the cigars through a series of humorous exchanges and callbacks. He ends up at the Cuban Embassy, where he trades his jacket for some of the coveted cigars and makes some new friends. In gratitude for the cigars and eager to make the most of his new connections, Kramer invites the Cuban diplomats to join him for a round at Westchester.

As Kramer and friends enjoys a day on the links, the other characters deal with the fallout from the revelation of a secret affair detailed in letters found in the remains of Susan’s father’s burned-down cabin. Of course all of this was set in motion when Kramer burned Ross’ cabin down with the Cuban cigars.

Rules Infraction and O.J. Parody

“The Big Salad” (Season 6, Episode 2)

In “The Big Salad,” Kramer finds himself embroiled in a heated argument on the golf course with his playing partner, Steve Gendason, a former MLB catcher. The dispute arises when Gendason cleans his golf ball on the second shot from the fairway. Kramer, adhering strictly to the rules of the game, confronts Gendason about the infraction, leading to an altercation.

kramer and jerry

The fallout from the golf course dispute takes a dark turn when Gendason is later suspected of murdering a dry cleaner, a crime that Kramer fears may have been precipitated by their argument. This fear is compounded when a golf tee is found inside the dry cleaner’s body.

In a desperate bid to help his friend, Kramer channels his inner Al Cowlings and aids Gendason in evading the police. This leads to a low-speed chase down the New Jersey Turnpike, another parody of the infamous O.J. Simpson Ford Bronco chase.

“The Big Salad,” while centered around a seemingly trivial argument over golf etiquette and Kramer’s adherence to the rules, juxtaposes his reckless decision to assist a suspected murderer. This is typical of the show’s exploration of moral ambiguity and the complexities of human behavior.

JFK’s Golf Clubs

“The Bottle Deposit” (Season 7, Episode 20)

“The Bottle Deposit,” a two-part episode, finds Elaine tasked by her boss, J. Peterman, to bid on a set of golf clubs once owned by President John F. Kennedy. This assignment becomes the central focus of Elaine’s storyline, which escalates into a comedic bidding war when Elaine encounters her rival, Sue Ellen Mischke, the O’Henry Candy Bar heiress, who is hell-bent on acquiring the clubs. The competitive tension between the two leads Elaine to bid impulsively far beyond the authorized budget, ultimately securing the clubs at a high cost.

elaine and peterman

After the auction, Elaine, unable to take the clubs with her immediately, leaves them in Jerry’s car for safekeeping. However, Jerry’s overzealous mechanic Tony steals the car, disgruntled by his lackadaisical attitude towards car maintenance.

This theft triggers a chaotic series of events. Kramer and Newman, engaged in a bottle deposit scam, spot the stolen car and initiate a high-speed chase across state lines, hoping to recover it along with the valuable golf clubs.

The pursuit culminates dramatically when Tony, in an attempt to evade Kramer and Newman, throws the JFK golf clubs out of the car, damaging them. Kramer manages to retrieve the clubs, which are significantly bent and battered. Unaware of their ordeal, Elaine presents the damaged clubs to Peterman, who, on form, appreciates their battered condition, believing it reflects Kennedy’s temperamental outbursts on the golf course.

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