Par Four Golf Poems – 4: Gift Horse

for Golfer's Discontent post

On this Blog, for the past three weeks, I have published four line golf poems with a similar characteristic: the last word of the third line is the same as the first word of the fourth line.

That’s Golf 

Step up to the ball
Stance just so wide
Swing with abandon
Abandon your pride.


To the first tee
With the driver you trust
Follow your plan
Plan to adjust.


Game under water
Voices of dread
Running on empty
Empty your head.

I’ve written one more that is relevant but not limited to golf.

Gift Horse

When favored by luck
Don’t take a pass
Find the next step
Step on the gas.

Leon S White, PhD


Par Four Golf Poems – 3: Thoughts

stand in awe

We continue this week with another four line poem, this one titled “Thoughts.” I’d be interested in yours after you read/recite it.


Game under water
Voices of dread
Running on empty
Empty your head.

Leon S White, PhD


Par Four Golf Poems: The Reality of Golf

Chapter 17 001


This week’s four line poem (Par 4 poem) uses just 15 words to delineate the essence of golf.


To the first tee
With the driver you trust
Follow your plan
Plan to adjust.

Leon S White, PhD


Par Four Golf Poems – 1

A. B. Frost

Those of you who are familiar with this blog and are reading it on your browser (and not as an email) know that you can scroll down to read other posts as well as this one. You can also use the information on the right of the screen to search and find other posts. I hope that many of you have the time to do this.

But being a realist, I know that often visitors have little time. With this in mind, I am launching a series of four line poems (I call them Par Four Golf Poems) for those of you who enjoy golf poetry, but have time constraints. For at least the next month, I will try to add one each week. Any comments would be appreciated.

Here is the first one:

That’s Golf

Step up to the ball
Stance just so wide
Swing with abandon
Abandon your pride.

Leon S White, PhD




The Rules of Golf – A Reprise



Earlier this year we learned that the USGA and the R & A are proposing a sweeping change in the Rules of Golf. Starting, I believe, in 2019, the current 34 Rules would be reduced to 24. I don’t claim that my poem (below) published in my eBook, If Only I Could Play That Hole Again (2013) had any influence on the decision. But I thought the poem was worth reprinting. I am particularly happy with what I wrote in the last stanza. 


The Rules of Golf are not to be broken;
Nevertheless, sometimes they are,
By Pros who should know when to invoke them,
Even when they are close to bizarre.

There are Rules for playing the ball as it lies,
And Rules that relate to the putting green,
Rules for a ball, moved, deflected or stopped,
And others related to “lift, place and clean.”

The Rule Book’s first subject, Etiquette,
Says bunker raking should be in your plans,
But that brings up a delicate subject:
What if no rake and the prints made by fans?

Remember that towel? An unneeded addition,
Placed on the ground somewhat in advance
Of a shot hit from a kneeling position,
For which Stadler got caught for “building a stance.”

And what of the famous scorecard debacle,
When De Vicenzo got himself in a jam.
Caught up in the moment, he missed the error,
His quote when informed, “What a stupid I am . . .”

After Inkster, call it the doughnut rule,
Which has nothing to do with bringing ’em.
But if you’re a Pro, waiting out a delay,
Better refrain from swinging ’em!

“Local” rules may also exist.
Just like the rest, they couldn’t be clearer,
Except when the Pros fail to peruse them,
Because they are posted on some bathroom mirror.

Surely the Pros know the rules in the Rule Book
Still they get DQ’ed for the craziest things.
Remember poor Furyk, late for a Pro/Am
When his cell phone alarm logged zero rings!

Penalties are sometimes imposed by officials,
Walking along and right on the scene.
But now they are aided by enterprising viewers,
Vigilantes with Rule Books watching the screen.

Has all this complexity made the game better?
Maybe the Rules need some serious rethinking.
In the early days, thirteen were plenty,
A judicious review might lead to some shrinking!

 Leon S White, PhD

[The incident referred to in the third stanza (previously cited in an earlier Clerihew) was where in the 2010 PGA Championship Dustin Johnson was penalized for grounding his club in a bunker that did not appear to be a bunker. In the sixth stanza, Julie Inkster was disqualified for swinging a club weighted with a donut while waiting on a tee because of slow play ahead of her.]


Games People Play


I wrote these six line a while ago. The poem is included in my book, Golf Course of Rhymes – Links between Golf and Poetry Through the Ages (available on Amazon). 


Golf is a game
To be played honestly
But not too seriously.

Politics is a game
To be played seriously

But not too honestly.


A Little Golf

Here is a poem that should make any avid golfer smile and nod in agreement:


A little learning so ’tis said,
Is dangerous for any head. 
A little wisdom, tipped with wit,
Will rarely fail to make a hit.
A little golf, ’twas said of late,
Will benefit the delicate.
At which some wise one had his fling:
“A little golf? There’s no such thing.”

Francis B. Keene.

For the avid golfer, the feelings expressed in these eight lines are easy to identify with. What might be surprising is that Francis Keene published this poem in the March 1900 issue of the magazine Golf.

Golf has change a lot in the last 117 years. No one will argue with that statement. But what the old poems featured in this Blog show, often with eloquence and wit, is that the feelings of a true golfer, who loves playing the game, have changed very little over time.

One caveat: For this New England golfer, in January even a little golf would be welcome.img-21



A Golfer’s New Year’s Wish


 A Golfer’s New Year’s Wish

       “One bad shot after another”
         Does not come to describe
              The next four years.


To The Golf Professionals: Seasons Greetings for 2016


The poem below is inspired by the annual Seasons Greetings poems that have appeared in the New Yorker magazine for so many years. I have wanted to write one as a kind of thank you to all the golf tour professionals, women and men, who provide us with so much entertainment and joy throughout the year.

Golf Seasons Greetings for 2016

As golf tours come to a momentary crawl,
It’s time once again for good wishes to all.
To send Seasons Greetings to every golf pro,
And a big cheer for Tiger rejoining the show.

A shout out to Jason, World’s number one,
No major this year but still having fun.
J. Walker it was that kept Day at zero,
The PGA Champ, a late blooming hero.
And since we are at it, lets lift up a glass,
To Henrik and Dustin, Champions at last.

And to Ko and Chun who both repeated,
While Brittany, Brooke, and Ariya were greeted
As first time winners, an impressive feat,
Taking home a Major, nothing as sweet.

Year-end cheers it would also seem,
Are proper and fitting for our Ryder Cup team.
Also a part of this year’s story,
Greetings to Jordan, Patrick and Rory.
And looking to England, let’s give a call
To Justin, Danny and Casey, that’s Paul.

To the ladies as well our greetings go.
Here’s to Michele, Minjee and Mo;
To Lexi, Jessica and Christy Kerr;
To Stacy, Angela, and Gerina Piller.

We’ve left out too many, but let them all know,
Our wishes for the Holidays and for scores that are low.

And now before closing we remember that swing,
Of a golfer who came to be known as the King,
An army of fans followed his game,
Now that he’s gone it won’t be the same.
It’s hard to believe, but soon will be clear,
When the first ball is hit at the Master’s next year.

He has joined a long list to which we pay heed,
Hogan, Jones, Nelson and Snead.
And great Europeans who also played,
Seve, Vardon, Taylor and Braid.

We close with a sense of appreciation for all
The golfers we watch spring, summer and fall.
Here’s wishing you happiness, health and good cheer
And golf that inspires us all of next year.

Leon S White, PhD


A Sugarcoated Solution to Hitting it Wide


In a growing number of U. S. cities, officials have convinced voters to approve a tax on sugary drinks, like those made by Coke and Pepsi. Excess sugar consumption is linked to a growing obesity epidemic  (especially in young people) by doctors, nutritionists and public health officials. These taxes are expected to reduce and temper the demand for sugary soft drinks.

All of this got me to thinking about new incentives that might help golfers improve. Here is what I came up with.

A Sugarcoated Solution to Hitting it Wide

Golf pros give tips to stop hitting it wide.
How often we’ve listened and then really tried;
But habits  persist, like a head full of lice,
Drives keep on hooking if they don’t slice.

Of late I’ve been reading how sugar is bad;
And sodas deliver more than a tad.
So voters are giving sodas the ax,
The solution straight forward, a sugary tax.

Now thinking again about slices and hooks
What can be done with these fairway crooks?
Maybe an answer that’s never been tried,
Have your pro slap a tax on balls that go wide.

Leon S White, PhD

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