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What Puts You off Your Game Most? Answers From a 1923 Golf Magazine

From the USGA Digital Library

From the USGA Digital Library

In 1923, The American Golfer, the golf magazine of its day, asked its readers to submit entries to answer the question “What Puts Me off My Game Most?” The April 7th issue included the responses of the three prize winners. The winner of the second prize wrote, in part,

“…I can play with the hare type and with the human tortoise…Sun nor wind nor clouds affect me, I enjoy them all. Nor does a bad hole depress me, for there are many such in my life and I should worry.

But delivery me, oh, delivery me from the fiend who coaches my each and every shot! He usually has about a twenty-four handicap. He has made every hole on the course in par, but never by any chance has he gotten two of them in the same round.

As I step up to drive it starts. My stance is wrong. I should waggle more; my backswing is too short. If I take my midiron for one hundred and twenty-five yards, I am patiently told that I should pitch up with a mashie….”

The second prize winner goes on a while longer, but you get the point.

The first prize winner complains about a similar critic that he calls “NEVER-WILLIE.” In his entry he includes these quotes:

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Politics, Golf Courses and the 1913 British Open

 
suffragettes

 

Frustration is a feeling that is familiar to all golfers. The following is a story of political frustration that spilled over to golf. 

In England, starting in 1866, a women’s movement known as the suffragists began working for the vote. In 1903, a violent offshoot of this movement, called the “suffragettes,” instituted militant means to force the issue. One of their tactics was to destroy the turf at golf courses. It was reported in the May 1913 issue of The American Golfer “that if they could manage it, the ‘wild women,’ as they are being called, meant to do some considerable harm to the [Royal Liverpool Club] and interfere as far as they could with the success of what is expected to be the biggest championship meeting that has ever taken place.”

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Golf Poetry and Poet get Boost from the Boston Globe

As those of you who have been following this blog know, one of my primary purposes is to introduce today’s golfers to some golf history that has gotten lost over time — the links that existed between golf and poetry. Thanks to Michael Whitmer, the Boston Globe golf writer and Suzanne Kreiter, an award-winning Globe photographer, I am getting some help. Take a look at http://www.boston.com/sports/golf/articles/2009/04/16/taking_a_shine_to_the_rhyme/ And I did make that chip!

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Another Golf Season Begins

 

augusta

 

Poems don’t need to be long to be moving. In fact, often the brevity of a poem is what gives it impact. But good short poems are not like short putts; they are not that easy to make.

Last week The Masters officially ushered in spring for those of us who live where the seasons still exist. The pictures of Augusta National on television almost called for a poem. Four lines by Joyce Kilmer, with one obvious change, might fill the bill. (Kilmer is most famous for his poem “Trees.”)

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Longer Drives – Can a Poem Help?

club-or-ball1

In 1680 John Patersone, an Edinburgh shoemaker, partnered with the Duke of York (later King James II of England) to win the first international golf match. The following year Patersone built a house in the Cannongate of Edinburgh and on the front he affixed a plaque (supplied by the Duke) that read “Far and Sure.” And so began the focus on distance and accuracy.

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Tiger’s Chip on 16 at the 2005 Masters

 

Tiger's ball at the penultimate moment

 

 We’re getting close to the Masters and as of last Sunday it’s clear that Tiger is back. So for those of you who are new to this blog, I would like to make you aware of a post I wrote in December of last year commemorating one of Tiger’s greatest shots in a major. I think you will enjoy the poem along with the YouTube video of the shot. Just click here to go to the post.

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