Tiger and Jack in a Clerihew

Murder on the 8th Hole

Murder on the 8th Hole

E. C. Bentley (1875-1956), the English journalist and writer, was famous in the first half of the 20th century for his Philip Trent mystery stories. One of his short stories, The Sweet Shot, was selected for inclusion in Golf’s Best Short Stories edited by Paul D. Staudohar and published in 1997. But Bentley, whose full name was Edmund Clerihew Bentley, should be better known for inventing a particular type of poem that has become known as the “Clerihew.” Clerihews are four line verses of the form aabb, in other words, the first and second lines rhyme as do the third and fourth. Beyond their rhyming scheme, Clerihews have a particular structure and purpose. Each focuses on one or more aspects of  the life and/or the works of a famous person while allowing for, better yet encouraging, overstatement, distortion and humor. It is also a requirement that the first line of a Clerihew begin or end with the person’s name. When Bentley was 16 he wrote his first Clerihew.

Sir Humphry Davy
Detested gravy.
He lived in the odium
Of having discovered Sodium

Bentley, in later years, wrote at least two golf Clerihews.

The first takes Henry Cotton (1907-1987) to task, though a three time winner of the Open,

Henry Cotton

One day the putting of Cotton
Was so indescribably rotten
That H.H.  (his highness) the Sultan of Johore
Beat him by 6 and 4.

And the second needs no explanation,


In later life Methuselah
Became a hopeless foozler
After he was 765
He practically never hit a decent drive.

In my book I include several Clerihews that I wrote. Here is an additional one in honor of Tiger’s return.

Tiger and Jack

Jack Nicklaus (the Golden Bear)
Pudgy in profile with blondish hair
Still solely owns the Majors title
But Tiger Woods in not yet idle!

If you would like to add your own golf related Clerihew to this Post, please put it in the comment/reply box. If your contribution passes the Club House Bulletin Board test, I will be happy to include it.


  1. […] of his or her life. Of course, there can be variations of this idea. As I explained in an earlier Post, Clerihews are named for their inventor, Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875 -1956), an English […]

  2. […] kind of a four line poem, named for its inventor, Edmund Clerihew Bentley. In an earlier Post, I described the characteristics of a Clerihew: Clerihews are four line verses of the form aabb, […]

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