Jason Dufner, who last week won his first major, the PGA Championship, has become well known to the golfing public in the last two years for his approach to waggling his club before hitting the ball. Waggling may be as old as the game of golf itself. And an unknown poet almost one hundred years ago provided us with the most detailed analysis of this pre-shot phenomenon. The poem appeared in The American Golfer in September 1915. (The few Scottish expressions are starred and translated.)
♦The Golfer’s Waggle
Every golfer has a waggle—
A waggle o’ his ain—* of his own
A wiggle-waggle, long and short,
Wi’ flourishes or plain.
The long and quick, the short and quick,
Long, short, and quick and slow;
The variety is infinite
That golfin’ waggles show.
The sprightly waggle of success,
Dull waggle of defeat;
The weary waggle-wasting time,
The waggle of conceit.
The waggle of the swanky pro,
Of “Far and Sure” design;
The feeble waggle of old age,
That preludes “off the line.”
The caddie’s waggle-dry asides,
That golfers whiles maun* suffer; must
And worst o’ waggles on the links,
The waggle of the duffer.
The waggle shows the waggler,
Be the waggle slow or quick;
There is mair* into the waggle, more
Than the waggle o’ the stick.
The poem can be found in my book, Golf Course of Rhymes – Links between Golf and Poetry Through the Ages. (Available on Amazon.com.)