The Golf Soul

On the obsession with score over quality of shots played.

“The man who regards golf as a matter of ‘card and pencil’ is not a golfer at all, for he has lost his soul in arithmetic, whereas the true golfer puts his soul into the game for the love of it, and not because it amounts to a mere matter of mathematics as he wends his way back to the club house.”

Henry Chellew (1927)

As quoted in C.B. Macdonald’s

Scotland’s Gift-Golf

Mastering The Game

In comparing two ways of learning to play-one based on trusting your natural instincts and the other focusing on acquired technical knowledge.

“A perfectly good, well-formed, strong, and healthy man with a keen eye may do all that he has been taught and yet never really learn to play the game well, try as he will. In getting all these injunctions synchronized comes the real test of a man’s inherent ability to excel; primarily there must be concentration, and further, there must be coordination with the subconscious self, strength applied with extreme delicacy.”

C.B. Macdonald (1927)

Scotland’s Gift-Golf

Lip Outs

Lipping out a well struck putt that you were sure was going down when it was six inches from the hole is one the most excruciating experiences for most golfers.  But like everything in this crazy game, there can be two sides to every story.

In the attached article from The Golfers Journal this month, the Club Pro Guy gives you a different perspective on how to look at these disappointments as the grandest of all “Buts” and use them to your post game advantage.

It may not help your score, but it will do your self esteem a world of good.  I like his attitude.

In a further bit of self-deprecating humor I note that the author claims he led the Mexican Mini-Tour over a 10-year period in SPGOS-Strokes Gained: Punching Out Sideways.  Guess that qualifies him as an expert.

Club Pro Guy (2020)

The Golfers Journal (#14)

(Click to read “Coming In Hot” from The Golfers Journal)

Dogs and Fleas

In 1904 American Walter J. Travis, who had won the U.S. Amateur three of the previous four years, traveled to England to play in the British Amateur Championship at Royal St. Georges Golf Club. Taking motivation from perceived indignities he says he experienced at the hands of his British hosts Travis remarked:

“A reasonable number of fleas is good for a dog, it keeps the dog from forgetting that he is a dog.”

In the end this dog had his day…..he went on to win match after match against the best British amateurs of the day and become the first “foreigner” ever to win the British Amateur Championship. 

Walter J. Travis

The Story of American Golf  (Herbert Warren Wind 1948)


It was a morning when all nature shouted “Fore!”…..The fairway, as yet unscarred by the irons of a hundred dubs, smiled greenly up at the azure sky; and the sun, peeping above the trees, looked like a giant golf ball perfectly lofted by the mashie of some unseen god and about to drop dead by the pin on the eighteenth.

P. G. Wodehouse


Trust the swing.

I can’t go to Havana or Japan and have a new swing.  I’ve got to have a swing that I’ve been using for a long time. As you start it, don’t anticipate where you’re going to let go; just let the swing do itself.

Quite trying to guide everything.

Jack Burke Jr.

The Golfer’s Journal (February 2020)

How A Senior Must Prepare For Golf

Swallow a couple of Bufferin against the old back injury…a swift application of some mild anaesthetic for the bothersome scar tissue from that old haemorrhoidectomy…clean the spectacles…rub a little resin on the last three fingers of the left hand.

Stand up straight-think of Raquel Welch (on second thoughts, don’t think of Raquel Welch)

Comb the hair smoothly and think of the swing of Dave Marr.

Walk very slowly, masterfully, to the first tee.

Put on the cap bought in Edinburgh and think of Hogan.

Stand up Straight.

Alistair Cooke


Design Theory

When asked by a reporter from the Boston Herald to explain his philosophy of designing a golf hole in a single sentence Tillie replied,

“The one shot that tells the story in golf is the shot to the green, and if you conceive of golf being a game of animate attack and inanimate defense with regard to that shot, you have my design in a nutshell.”

Albert Tillinghast

As seen on

No Two Snowflakes Are Alike

Visits to strange courses are the best education for the golfing mind.  The eye which has never seen but one horizon sees but little of what is made visible to the educated power of sight.

Every fresh hole we play should teach us some new possibility of using our strokes and suggest to us a further step in the progress of our golfing knowledge.

John Low

Concerning Golf (1903)

Parent Shots

Long driving from the tee, if it be also straight and consistent, is the groundwork of all further movements and performances…..

The tee sorts are, in fact, the parent shots; the second shots are their heirs, inheriting the advantages of their forefather’s virtues…..

It must be remembered as a commandment that the play proceeds by stepping stones from situation to situation; only one shot goes into the hole; the others are preparatory to this end.

John Low

Concerning Golf (1903)