If you think that selecting a golf ball is complicated in today’s market with multiple brands each with several balls, then consider what one company, A. G. Spalding & Bros., was offering in 1914. A Spalding advertisement in the September 1914 issue of Golf magazine (from the USGA’s Seagle library) offered readers “Large size balls,” either “light weight” or “heavy weight;” “Medium size balls,” again light or heavy weight; or “Small size balls,” this time “medium weight” or heavy. Each ball was designed for a particular group of players. For example, the small heavy ball was for “extreme distance…and for long players particularly,” the medium light ball was for “ladies and light hitters…,” while the large light ball was for “moderate hitters….”
Within the size and weight classifications, Spalding offered 12 different balls. The ad specified which balls floated and which did not. Included among the 12 were the Glory and Domino Bramble balls, the Midget and Baby Dimple balls, and the Red and Green Dot balls. Ten of the balls cost $7.50 per dozen; the other two, $6.
Even more interesting (at least to me) was Spalding’s full page golf ball advertisement in Golf the previous month. Titled “Driving Off on Parnassus,” the ad consisted of four poems, each extolling the virtues of one of its balls. The poetry was basically awful as the following example shows,
When your figure’s growing rounder
And your game goes badly,
When you pull and slice and flounder,
And you’d chuck it gladly,
Run and ask your local pro
For a “Dimple Domino.”
If your local pro confesses
None are left to sell you,
Write a line to A. G. S.’s,
Whose address he’ll tell you.
Spalding Brothers, as you know,
Make the “Dimple Domino.”
At least I warned you.
My last post introduced “Clerihews,” a specific type of four line rhyming poem. Clerihews are supposed to be about people, but I’m extending the idea to include products, in this case golf balls! If, for example, Titleist were to leaf through old issues of Golf and decide to emulate, I offer them the following,
The Pro V-1 from Titleist
The pros who play it do insist
With length and spin it beats them all
Except for someone’s Nike ball.
On second thought, Titleist might come up with something more convincing or better yet reject the whole idea.