The Pope met with his Cardinals to discuss a proposal from Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of Israel.
"Your Holiness," said one Cardinal, Mr. Netanyahu wants a golf challenge match to show the friendship and ecumenical spirit shared by the Jews and Catholics. "
The Pope thought this was a good idea, but having never held a golf club in his hand. he asked "Do we have a Cardinal to represent me?".
"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, and 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, and the call was made. Of course, Nicklaus was honored to be made a Cardinal, and agreed to play.
After the match, Cardinal Nicklaus reported to the Vatican to inform the Pope of the result. "I have good news and bad news, your Holiness," he said..
"Tell me the good news first, Cardinal Nicklaus," said the Pope.
"Well, your Holiness, I've played some pretty terrific rounds of golf in my life, but this was the best I have ever played. I must have been inspired from above. My drives were long and true, my irons were accurate and purposeful, and my putting was perfect, truly miraculous. I felt like I was 30 years old again.”
"And what’s the bad news?" the Pope asked.
Nicklaus sighed, "I lost to Rabbi Phil Mickelson.