A Mashie Niblick

by Ryan McKeen

After watching the great game between the U.S. and Canada last night, I decided to write a post on Connecticut hockey law.

I looked at cases involving the Hartford Whalers, various cases about people hitting each other with hockey sticks, and Jaworski v. Kiernan. Unfortunately Jawaorkski isn’t a case about hockey, it’s a case about soccer.

While reading the case, I came across this gem:

In Walsh, both the plaintiffs and the defendant’s golf balls were roughly one hundred feet from the green. “Standing by the defendant’s ball, the plaintiff and [the] 412defendant discussed the club the defendant should use and the defendant selected his mashie niblick. The plaintiff, seeing the defendant about to prepare to take his shot, said, `Now put it on the green,’ and walked away at almost right angles to the direct and intended line of flight from the ball to the green. Without calling `Fore,’ the defendant swung at his ball, shanked it so that it was deflected at almost a 90 degree angle to the right and hit the plaintiff in the eye as he turned to look back over his left shoulder just as he had reached his ball, causing him serious injury.”

A mashie niblick?!?!? I’ve never heard of such a thing. Then again, I don’t golf. Fortunately for me, Justice Callahan saw fit to define “mashie niblick” for readers in a footnote:

Mashie niblick: “[A]n iron golf club with a loft between those of a mashie and a niblick—called also number six iron.” Webster’s Third New International Dictionary.

It would be great if we decided to reintroduce the term “mashie niblick” into our lexicon. You’d hear things like “Wow, that’s a nice mashie niblick” or “sale on mashie niblicks” or “I just got a new mashie niblick.”

Did the plaintiff in Walsh go home that night and tell his wife that he was injured by a “mashie niblick?”

One can never FOREsee what you’re going to read on this site.