Golf Ball Poetry Continued

Woodley Flier

From Old Golf Auctions Limited

An earlier Post featured a golf ball poem that was part of a Spalding advertisement. “My Favorite Ball,” another golf ball poem, was published in the magazine Golf in July 1900. Its claim to fame is that it plays on the names of golf balls that were popular at that time. I am not an expert on old golf balls, but did look through a number of early golf magazines to try to find the actual names being parodied.


The Blazenger, the Pewtertown,
Atrippa, Would-be Flyer,
The Oysterburgh of some renown—
Of all I’ve been a buyer.

The Cockley and Obobo too,
The Marsity and Skewflite
Have seen me, each in turn, go through
Full many an old and new flight.

Withe B-2 White I’ve tried my hand
And many an N.G. lost,
While Coopinson and also Grand
Have added to the cost.

All these and many more I’ve tried,
But none so good as my ball
On the club-house porch, as I sit beside
A fizzling, cold, Scotch high-ball.

Here is what my research turned up:

Would-be Flyer…Woodley Flier
B-2 White………….A.I. Black
N.G. ………………..

If anyone can help out with the blanks or find a better match than “Davidson” please leave a comment.

“My Favorite Ball” was written by Walter N. P. Darrow (1863-1926), a West Point graduate who rose in the ranks to become a General. The New York Times, in reporting his death, wrote,

[General Darrow] was for more than twenty-five years a member of the cottage colony at the Profile House [an exclusive summer-hotel in New Hampshire], and one of the first to introduce the game of golf in the White Mountains.

I found another of General Darrow’s poems in the November 1901 issue of Golf.


He could not hit that low white ball
When standing on the tee
Because he had too often hit
A “high-ball,” don’t you see?

So when the “high-balls” he forswore
And took the Keeley cure,
He soon found out that he could hit
The low ones far and sure.

The moral’s clear, my golfing friend,
No matter who may scoff,
If on the ball you keep your eye
It surely will be off.

And, vice-versa, it is true,
When all is said and done,
If off the ball you take your eye
You’re apt to find it on.

Let’s hope the General limited his preoccupation with high-balls to his poetry, at least while playing.


Longer Drives – Can a Poem Help?


In 1680 John Patersone, an Edinburgh shoemaker, partnered with the Duke of York (later King James II of England) to win the first international golf match. The following year Patersone built a house in the Cannongate of Edinburgh and on the front he affixed a plaque (supplied by the Duke) that read “Far and Sure.” And so began the focus on distance and accuracy.

[Read more…]


Golf Ball Poetry

Spalding Balls from PBA Galleries Auction

Spalding Balls from a PBA Galleries Auction

If you think that selecting a golf ball is complicated in today’s market with multiple brands each with several balls, then consider what one company, A. G. Spalding & Bros., was offering in 1914. A Spalding advertisement in the September 1914 issue of Golf magazine (from the USGA’s Seagle library) offered readers “Large size balls,” either “light weight” or “heavy weight;” “Medium size balls,” again light or heavy weight; or “Small size balls,” this time “medium weight” or heavy. Each ball was designed for a particular group of players. For example, the small heavy ball was for “extreme distance…and for long players particularly,” the medium light ball was for “ladies and light hitters…,” while the large light ball was for “moderate hitters….” [Read more…]

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