Golfing Truths

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I’ve been offering some of my four line golf poems for a while now. But such short verses of golf advice or “wisdom” certainly didn’t begin with me. Below are two on the same theme from an earlier time.

From the December 1875 issue of Blackwood”s Edinburgh Magazine:

The apple-faced sage with
His nostrum for all,
“Dinna hurry your swing, keep

     Your e’e on the ball.”

And from the English Golf Magazine of February 1891:

In playing strokes of every kind,
     This rule remember above all:

Let confidence possess your mind,
     And “keep your eye upon the ball.”

And we still have to be reminded today!!


If Golf Balls Could Talk


I woke up this morning before the alarm rang and pretty quickly arranged the following four lines in my mind:

If golf balls could talk
What would they say?
That might depend on
Who put them in play.

So I quietly got up, left my still sleeping wife and headed for my study. In the next hour or so I pretty much completed the poem below. Now I can get my mind back on track and read today’s New York Times.


If golf balls could talk
What would they say?
That might depend on
Who put them in play.

Jordan’s ball
Might explicate
On why all the pleading
When it’s too late.

Nicklaus’s ball
Might just tweet
‘Bout the good old days
When it couldn’t be beat.

Michelle’s ball
Might take a chance
And comment on
Her putting stance.

Tiger’s ball
Might make no sound
It’s bored after all
From sitting around.

Michelson’s ball
Might try to lay claim
To Lefty’s success
In his brilliant short game.

Tom Watson’s ball
Might talk a ton
‘Bout the five British Opens
The Champion Golfer won.


Bubba’s ball
Might just complain
That it never goes straight
And is always in pain.


What about your ball,
What about mine?
They might just keep silent
And that would be fine.

Leon S White, PhD


A Poem for Michelle Wie Upon her Graduation from Stanford

Last Summer, at the time of the U.S. Women’s Open, an Internet headline read “It’s Open Season on Michelle Wie . . .”  The story included the statement that, “school [Stanford] was too much of a distraction for Wie . . . “ In fact, Ms. Wie has had her critics almost from the time she began playing competitive golf more than eleven years ago. Her detractors would have liked her to satisfy their plans. She had her own ideas and has carried them out exceedingly well.

Now that Ms. Wie is graduating from Stanford this month (fairness requires me to admit that long ago I earned two degrees from the university), I thought she deserved poetic recognition for her achievements and best wishes for a great post-graduate career in golf and otherwise.


Michelle Wie, Michelle Wie,
Will your critics ever see,
That a Stanford ed has done for you,
What winning on the tour could  never do.

If you’re a star, the critics said —
Play the game — get ahead,
Full time’s required, if not more;
A degree from Stanford won’t help your score.

But a different scorecard you have kept,
Not just at golf are  you  adept,
Your student days deserves acclaim;
Golf, scholarship and fun have been your game.

But now Degreed, you can roll,
Through tourney gates in your Kia Soul.
Ready to play; give it your all —
Dispatching your critics with an educated ball.

Leon S White, PhD
Stanford, ’58, ‘59

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