Joys of Golf

Dear Blog reader: I hope that you won’t mind if, from time to time, I post a short excerpt from my book, Golf Course of Rhymes – Links between Golf and Poetry Through the Ages. The book provides a lyrical view of golf and its history through the words of golfing poets from publications dated 1638 to the present. It will make a great present for any golfer who loves the game. The book is available on

The book is organized like a golf course – it has an Introduction, the Practice Tee, and then 18 Holes (chapters); it ends on the 19th Hole. The 3rd Hole, titled “Joys of Golf” included the following poem which I wrote.

On Course

Golf is a singular way
to take temporary leave
following a zigzag path
in search of a small white ball;

to abandon reality,
but stay the course,
hole after hole;

to create a new story,
always different
to be told to someone
before it’s forgotten.

An extraordinary chance
to pretend for a brief time
no matter how unskilled
that each stroke will be flawless;

to endure the pain of failure
without really failing,
and even if only once a round,

to truly enjoy
the pure pleasure
of hitting the ball rock-solid
or sinking a long tricky putt.

Among the other poems in the chapter, one was written by Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Homes and another by Sir John Betjman, a British poet laureate. Both Doyle and Betjman were avid golfers. I’m among good company!

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