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A Not So Happy New Year from Golf Illustrated 1900

New Years 1900 for the English was not all happiness. The second Boar War was under way between the British Empire and the two independent Boer republics, the  Orange Free State and the Transvaal Republic. The war did not end until 1902 when the Boer republics became British colonies. These colonies later became part of the Union of South Africa.

Golf Illustrated, a new English golf weekly, greeted 1900 by beginning its January 5th edition with a poem and a few hopeful and sober remarks.

A gude (good) New Year an’ health an’ cheer,
Tae ilka (To every) gowfin’ loon,
An’ may we steer o’ hazards clear,
In life and gowf each roun’.

*             *             *

Another round in the great game of life has now commenced. Let us hope that 1900 will have fewer bunkers in store for us than 1899.

*             *             *

“Ring out the Old, Ring in the New!” seems to be a singularly appropriate sentiment this particular New Year time. We have a long and heavy score to wipe off in South Africa before we can settle down in peace and comfort of mind to our ordinary avocations.

*             *             *

We have made the mistake, as common in Golf as in life, of under-estimating our adversary, who, instead of being a third-rate performer, has turned out to be a veritable Colonel Bogey.

*             *             *

The game, however is yet young. We have now fairly got the measure of our man, and a few more holes will put a very different complexion on affairs.

*             *             *

“Ring out the Old, Ring in the New!”

*             *             *

By the time the Championships are here, there ought to be some golfers in Pretoria.

A golf related footnote to the war: Freddie Tait, a highly regarded amateur, winner of the Amateur Championship in 1896 and 1898, fighting as a member of the second battalion of the Black Watch, died in battle on February 7, 1900. To honor his memory, The Freddie Tait Cup is awarded annually to the leading amateur in the South African Open.

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