Magnets of the Fairway

I play golf on a town-owned 9-hole course called Pine Meadows in Lexington, MA. Over the past 27 years I’ve gotten to know the course well. The layout includes  several attractions or should I say “attractors,” that generally reek havoc with players’ drives: the tree on the 8th fairway, the pond that cuts across the 5th and 9th holes and the sand trap in the middle of the first fairway (until it was removed).

The other day on the 8th tee, I watched golfers hit their balls where they always seem to hit them —  towards the imposing tree.  And on the 9th, the pond was collecting balls as usual. As we all know, this doesn’t just happen at my course.  So I concluded that such a ubiquitous phenomenon is worthy of poetic reflection. My effort is called “Magnets of the Fairway.


Magnet are mostly made of steel
In golf: sand, water or wood.
When looking at these fairway lures,
The pre-shoot does no good.

On tees with trees control is lost
No matter how you bat it.
The only way to miss a tree
May be to aim right at it.

Sand traps also play a role
Attracting errant shots.
The magnet-makers in this case—
The golf-inventing Scots.

I wish I had a dollar bill
For every tree branch hit.
I’d use the sum to bribe the Keep
To grass each sandy pit.

A third attraction, stream or pond,
On fairways, far from rare.
The only way to circumvent—
Stay totally unaware.

For a holiday trip, sand and trees,
Even a water-fall.
But when you find them on a course,
They’re just magnets to draw your ball.

Leon S White
July 7, 2011


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