Tiger Twines

Over the last nine months or so, I have “covered” the Tiger stories with Twines, two line poems for Twitter. Now that at least one story has ended, I put nine of the Twines together:

Second thoughts Twine:

Had Tiger come clean before being hounded,
Could he have escaped without being pounded?

Where’s Tiger Indefinitely Twine:

Tiger’s missing from the scene,
What does “indefinite” really mean?

Endless Tiger Story Twine:

The media still feeds off Tiger’s sad tale,
But the word stew they offer is turning quite stale.

A Tiger Hater Twine:

He swings at Tiger as he would a golf ball,
What drives him has no sweet spot at all.

Tiger Returns Twine:

With Tiger’s announcement the suspense is suspended,
His “indefinite” leave is definitely ended.

Masters 2010 Twine:

The joy of golf is finally back,
Tiger’s in and again chasing Jack

The Canadian Doctor and Swing Doctor Twine:

Tiger’s bulging, Haney’s out
Twitterers have more to twit about.

Tiger’s On Course Troubles Twine:

Speculation is the game, sports writers love to play
And with Tiger now a duffer, they are having a field day.

Tiger Divorce Twine:

Now it’s over, the marriage’s busted
What’s Tiger left with – a swing untrusted.

All in all, a sad story.


D.J. and M.K. at the 2010 PGA Championship – Two Clerihews

As all golf fans know, Dustin Johnson, the talented but inexperienced professional, has had his problems with the Majors this year. In June, at the U.S. Open, he led going into the last round and then skied to an 82, losing his chance to win. And in this year’s last major, the PGA Championship, leading by a shot on the last hole, he incurred a two stroke penalty for grounding his club in a bunker, and again lost any chance to win.

Johnson’s Major travails deserve to be remembered in a Clerihew. A Clerihew is  particular 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, 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.

So here is my Clerihew for Dustin Johnson:

D.J. at the PGA Championship

Dustin Johnson, some,
Is likely feeling pretty glum.
He grounded his club in a trap unknown,
The result – another Major blown!

But what about the winner, Martin Kaymer? He deserves a Clerihew as well . . . and may need it to be remembered! So here is his:

Martin Kaymer – The Guy who Won

Martin Kaymer,
A Major first timer.
His win eclipsed by an unfortunate flap,
When the leader on 18 was caught in a trap!

Hopefully, both with have unclouded Major victories in the future.


Two Up on Grantland Rice

Grantland Rice, in his book, the duffer’s handbook of golf, includes a page of  humorous “sayings” under the title, “Short Approaches.” I took two of them, “If at first you don’t succeed, try looking at the ball,” and “He who swings and lifts his head, will say things better left unsaid,” and made four line verses out of them.


If at first you don’t succeed,
Try looking at the ball.
But if that doesn’t work for you
Try bowling or the crawl.


He who swings and lifts his head
Will say things better left unsaid.
He whose putting’s for the birds
Will likely echo the former’s words.

If you would like to try your hand at extending a Twine (a two line poem), try the following:

To be in the hole and not in a rut
With a short one left, don’t rush your putt.

Add a comment with your finishing two lines and thanks.


Silent Cellphones Welcome at Wyndham Championship

Not This Week!

The August 9th issue of GolfWorld Magazine includes the headline “PGA Tour to give cell phones a listen.” The story relates that this month’s Wyndham Championship (previously called the Greater Greensboro Open) will allow spectators to bring in cell phones. However, the phones must be left in silent mode and calls must be made in designated areas only. As they say on the radio from time to time, “This is a test.” What I say is “Good luck.”

This story allows me to share a poem I wrote a while ago called “Cellphone-itis.”


Before the cell phone came to town
Calls were made with care
Phone booths now have emptied out
The cell is everywhere

Its use has borne an odd disease
Known as cellphone-itis
The symptoms are the opposite
Of simple laryngitis.

To have their voices clearly heard
When calling on a cell
Users seem to be agreed
That they must always yell.

But for their captive listeners
These polluters are no joke
What they add to the environment
Is matched only by second hand smoke.

So now that the ban on cellphones has been lifted, will the PGA Tour consider a ban on on-course smoking?


A Wife’s Place in the Golf World of 1886

Last November I wrote a Post that included a poem from the Captain of the Thistle Golf Club, David Jackson. The poem came from a 32 page book called Golf Songs & Recitations published in 1886. In my November Post I said that the book was not available in any library. I have since learned that one copy exists in the library of the University of British Columbia. I managed to find a 1988 reproduction of the book.

I picked up Jackson’s book again recently and found a relatively short epic poem called “The Breaking O’ the Clubs.” The poem describes the tensions that golf created between a man and his wife in the 1880’s when golf was becoming more popular among the rank and file. In writing the poem, Jackson used some Scottish dialect which I have tried to translate using Internet sources. The poem is interesting both for its lively content and its “happy” ending.


Ae nicht (One night) I had a round at Gouff wi’ my cronies, Bob and Tam,
When we were through, to weet our mou’, some ane (one) proposed a dram;
Sae down we sat, and had a chat about our Drives and Putting—
Wi’ (with) joke and sang, it wisna lang till it was time for shutting.
Then hame I goes on my tiptoes, but ah! the wife was waken.
“The morn,” she cries, “afore ye rise, I’ll ha’e yer Clubs a’ (all) broken;
Ye gang tae (go to) Gouff, it’s a’ your houff, and then ye maun (must) be drinking,
Some morning when ye canna rise, ye’ll get the sack, I’m thinking;
Whaur wull you be, the bairns (children) and me—oh, man, ye should think shame,
If I should rise and break yer Clubs, I woudna be to blame.”
To bed I sprung, and held my tongue, thinks I before the morrie,
For a’ this lung and words high-strung she surely will be sorry.

When morning dawned, I wakened, yawned, was pulling on a stockin’,
When horrors, a’! what was I saw – my Clubs and Cleeks a’ broken.
As guid (good) a Club as e’er was swung, I won at last Spring Meetin’,
My driving Cleek, my lofting Iron, a’ tools that ne’er were beaten,
How aft I’ve praised their style o’ mak’, and rubbed wi’ oil their handle,
It’s quite enough to drive me mad, and raise a perfit scandal.
I fumed and swore, and loud did roar, and kicked up such a shindy
The neebors gathered round the door, and some glowered through the window.

“Shall I give up the Gouff for this, and frae (from) my Clubmates sever,
I tell ye plainly to yer face ye needna think it—never;
Fareweel to a’, for I’m awa, my peace wi’ you is ended,
Unless ye gang (go) this very day, and get thae Clubs a’ mended.”
I left the house in awful scorn, their cries to come back spurning,
My heart wi’ grief and anger torn, my brain wi’ rage near turning.
That was a dull and dreary day, to breathe seemed quite a labour,
I coudna sing a lilt, or say a word to my next neebor.
When I came hame frae wark that night, my heart a’ wives reviling
Wha’s (Whose) was the first that met my sicht—my ain (own) and she was smiling.
“Oh, come awa, I’m awfu’ glad that this long day is ended,
For I ha’e been at Patrick’s, lad, and got yer Clubs a’ mended;
And there’s a Club I bought for you – he said ’twas special made, man,
The wale (choice) o’ wud, a powerfu’ shaft, and bonnie driving head, man.
Forgi’e me noo.” “I will, my doo.” And bright her face did shine;
And ever since ye coudna ha’e a better wife than mine.

Though somewhat over the top, this story is probably representative of male golfers’ attitudes in the 1880’s.

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