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
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 the
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
"Tell me the good news first, Cardinal
Nicklaus," said the Pope.
"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've 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