Treasured Stories: “Tee for Three” (1975)

« Coming to play golf is not what I would consider to be an essential purpose. » — Nicola Sturgeon

I’ve long wanted to showcase one of Samm Schwartz‘s Jughead stories on this blog, but always hit the same snag: which one? Not too long ago, while revisiting my trove of 1970s issues, I came upon just the specimen. Tee for Three appeared in Jughead no. 247 (Dec. 1975, Archie). I’ll spare you the hideous-as-usual Stan Goldberg cover.

While we know the story was illustrated by Samm Schwartz, the writer’s identity remains unknown. Schwartz usually took a hand in the scripting, but he didn’t really ever work alone. The likeliest miscreants are his usual accomplices, Frank Doyle and George Gladir.

Why this one among hundreds of others, then? For one thing, it’s longer; at eleven pages long, it’s a towering freak amidst the customary five-or-six pagers.

But that’s not all: Tee for Three also boasts an unconventional plot, one that cried out for (and received) a more leisurely deployment. Its tone is also surprising: it’s quite deadpan and sanguine in its absurdity.

For once, you can envision why these three, despite being frenemies or plain rivals, would actually hang out: they challenge and entertain one another. And even collaborate when the occasion calls for it. In this case, Jug, Archie and Reggie are so bonded in their good-natured folie à trois that the rest of the world doesn’t have a clue and hardly stands a chance.

While such a golf contest would surely result in much injury, property damage and litigation in the ‘real’ world, it sure seems like a rollicking bit of sport here, and isn’t that what good fiction is for(e)?

-RG

7 thoughts on “Treasured Stories: “Tee for Three” (1975)

  1. Simon January 16, 2021 / 07:43

    Great story! Like you say, fun to see the three actually enjoying spending time together, and also that Reggie didn’t even think about lying about his number of shots.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gasp65 January 16, 2021 / 22:15

      Hi Simon — Thanks for chiming in! I agree, Reggie’s devious-yet-still-sporting strategy is quite a cool wrinkle. I’m delighted to see others also recognizing Tee for Three’s special charms!

      Like

    • gasp65 January 16, 2021 / 22:16

      Just the kind of balm these troubled times call for, and I’m happy to provide it in my own small way. Thanks for dropping in!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. mikerhode January 16, 2021 / 16:19

    Oh, great story. Thanks for this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gasp65 January 16, 2021 / 22:18

      You’re quite welcome! It’s heartening to see this fine little tale striking a chord. Timeless, isn’t it?

      Like

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