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P.G. Wodehouse
At the age of 92 Wodehouse wrote, "If only I had taken up golf earlier and devoted my whole time to it instead of fooling about writing stories and things, I might have got my handicap down to under eighteen". Happily for us he didn't, so we can enjoy the richest of all mines of humourous golf writing, including many immortal lines.

He enjoys that perfect peace, that peace beyond all understanding, which comes to its maximum only to the man who has given up golf.

The least thing upset him on the links. He missed short putts because of the uproar of the butterflies in the adjoining meadows.

Back horses or go down to Throgmorton Street and try to take it away from the Rothschilds, and I will applaud you as a shrewd and cautious financier. But to bet at golf is pure gambling.

The only way of really finding out a man's true character is to play golf with him. In no other walk of life does the cloven hoof so quickly display itself.

A golfer needs a loving wife to whom he can describe the day's play through the long evening.

"After all, golf is only a game", said Millicent. Women say these things without thinking. It does not mean that there is any kink in their character. They simply don't realise what they are saying.

Golf acts as a corrective against sinful pride. I attribute the insane arrogance of the later Roman Emperors almost entirely to the fact that, never having played golf, they never knew that strange chastening humility which is engendered by a topped chip shot. If Cleopatra had been ousted in the first round of the Ladies' Singles, we should have heard a lot less of her proud imperiousness.

There are three things in the world that he held in the smallest esteem - slugs, poets and caddies with hiccups.

What earthly good is golf? Life is stern and life is earnest. We live in a practical age. All around us we see foreign competition making itself unpleasant. And we spend our time playing golf? What do we get out of it? Is golf any use? That's what I'm asking you. Can you name me a single case where devotion to this pestilential pastime has done a man any practical good?

They were real golfers, for real golf is a thing of the spirit, not of mere mechanical excellence of stroke.

Sudden success in golf is like the sudden acquisition of wealth. It is apt to unsettle and deteriorate the character.

Golf, like the measles, should be caught young, for, if postponed to riper years, the results may be serious.

What is Love compared with holing out before your opponent?

Confidence, of course is an admirable asset to a golfer, but it should be an unspoken confidence. It is perilous to put it into speech. The gods of golf lie in wait to chasten the presumptious.

The test of a great golfer is his ability to recover from a bad start.

I wonder what Tommy Morris would have had to say to all this number 6-iron, number 12-iron, number 28-iron stuff. He probably wouldn't have said anything, just made one of those strange Scottish noises at the back of his throat like someone gargling.

Golf... is the infallible test. The man who can go into a patch of rough alone, with the knowledge that only God is watching him, and play his ball where it lies, is the man who will serve you faithfully and well.

Golf is the Great Mystery. Like some capricous goddess, it bestows its favours with what would appear an almost fat-headed lack of method and discrimination. On every side we see big two-fisted he-men floundering round in three figures, stopping every few minutes to let through little shrimps with knock-knees and hollow cheeks, who are tearing up snappy seventy-fours.

Men capable of governing empires fail to control a small white ball, which presents no difficulties whetever to others with one ounce more brain than a cuckoo clock. I wish to goodness I knew the man who invented this infernal game. I'd strangle him. But I suppose he's been dead for ages. Still, I could go and jump on his grave.

Many bad golfers marry, feeling that a wife's loving solicitude may improve their game. But they are rugged, thick-skinned men, not sensitive and introspective. It is one of the chief merits of golf that non-success at the game induces a certain amount of decent humilty, which keeps a man from pluming himself too much on any petty triumphs he may achieve in other walks of life.

I've just discovered the secret of golf. You can't play a really hot game unless you're so miserable that you don't worry over your shots. Take the case of a chip shot, for instance. If you're really wretched, you don't care where the ball is going and so you don't raise your head to see. Grief automatically prevents pressing and over-swinging. Look at the top-notchers. Have you ever seen a happy pro?

There was the man who seemed to be attempting to decieve his ball and lull it into a false sense of security by looking away from it and then making a lightning slash in the apparent hope of catching it off its guard.

 

 






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