The following is a tall golf tale in 12 lines told by the English writer, playwright and poet, Reginald Arkell who was introduced in a previous post. This is one of several golf poems Arkell included in his book, Playing the Games, published in 1935.
An Imperfectly True Story
THE favourite child of a millionaire
Was thrown, one day, by a restive mare;
Caught, by her boot, in the snaffle rein,
And dragged in front of a passing train.
A motor-cyclist, who heard her squeals,
Dragged her from under the cruel wheels.
The millionaire, who was deeply impressed,
Cried: “What is the thing you would like the best?”
“You can give me,” replied the chap on the bike,
“A couple of golf clubs, if you like.”
So the millionaire, not to be out-done,
Gave him Walton Heath, Oxhey and Wimbledon.
Looking up Walton Heath, I came across an interesting story. Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII and even later Duke of Windsor) became Captain of the club in 1935. A number of years earlier at the suggestion of Bernard Darwin, he took lessons from James Braid, who was the club’s professional from its beginnings in 1904 until he died in 1950. In 1930 Prince Edward sent a handwritten letter to Braid, accompanied by a scorecard.
I am very pleased with this card and hope you are. I was very unlucky at the last hole, as a good second with a spoon pitched in the rough just a few inches over the green, and with the chance of breaking 80 I couldn’t stand the nerve strain and fluffed the chip and took two puts (sic). But it was great fun and I only wish you had been playing round with me. Will phone you one day soon and we must have another game.
Which only goes to show that the pressure on the last hole when 79 is possible exempts no one!