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Heard on the Hill: Golf Digest’s D.C. Mulligan

Boasting about one’s golf handicap is practically a sport unto itself. But one Washington lobbyist is playing down his prowess on the links.

Cauthen, Forbes & Williams founding partner Jeff Forbes was listed as an impressive 14th on Golf Digest’s list of Washington’s top 150 golfers, which the magazine published online this week. The longtime former Hill staffer said that after the magazine debuted the list — in which he is reported as having a remarkable 2.9 handicap — he got plenty of calls from friends, colleagues and clients who were a bit … perplexed by the accolade.

“Anyone who’s ever played golf with me would laugh,” Forbes tells HOH. “It says I’m a 2.9, but I’m closer to a 29.”

The magazine goofed, spokeswoman Meg D’Incecco says, and corrected the error after HOH brought it to Golf Digest’s attention. The list was based on “U.S. Golf Association’s Golf Handicap and Information Network, state associations, the politicians, lobbyists, friends and playing partners.”

Forbes’ name actually appeared twice on the original online list, at Nos. 14 and 111.

The more modest 111th place, with a handicap of 17.2, is more in line with his actual golfing skills.

Forbes says he wouldn’t be able to keep up with work if he played enough golf to get his handicap down to 2.9, as the magazine initially claimed. “I think my clients would suffer,” he says.

And while lobbyists (unsurprisingly) nabbed the list’s top spots, a few Members of Congress made impressive showings. Sen. Mark Udall is No. 11, the top-ranked Member. The Colorado Democrat (whom, we should note, the magazine identifies with his former House title) has a handicap of 2. Following behind Udall at No. 12  is Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who boasts a handicap of 2.1.

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