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)

Morning

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

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 GolfClubAtlas.com

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)

The Wrong Culprit

We have an old saying on Tour that when we’re putting poorly, we go get another putter, but it doesn’t take that putter long to know who has it.

Once it gets to know you, it will start putting just like the one you threw away.

Lee Trevino

Be The Ball (2000)

Charles Jones/Kim Doren

The Maddening Difficulty Of It

It is not the love of something easy which has drawn men like a magnet for hundreds of years to this royal and ancient pastime; on the contrary, it is the maddening difficulty of it.

….But that is what fascinates man and leads him to leave business, home, wife, and children to pursue this hard mistress in the foolish hope of conquering her.

….Golf beats us all, and that is the chief reason we shall never cease loving her, nor ever give up our attempt to subdue her.

Robert Hunter

The LInks (1926)