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Sunday, January 14, 2007

 

Tennyson & Thoreau

From The Golf Omnibus, P.G. Wodehouse, "Sundered Hearts", a quote from Tennyson:

My bride, My wife, my life.
Oh, we will walk the links Yoked in all exercise of noble end,
And so thro' those dark bunkers off the course
That no man knows.
Indeed, I love thee: come,
Yield thyself up: our handicaps are one;
Accomplish thou my manhood and thyself;
Lay thy sweet hands in mine and trust to me.


Tennyson Played Golf?!? Then, how about Thoreau?

I am wealthy in sunny days, and I have spent them lavishly. (from Walden)


(If there were any sentiment that would succinctly encapsulate the spirit of the amateur golfer, I should think this would be it)

I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours
a day at least--and it is commonly more than that--sauntering through the woods
and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.
(from Walking)

(A pleasurable round of golf rarely lasts more than 4 hours, and if we all had our druthers, we would surely spend 4 hours a day sauntering around our home course, heedlessly bearing the burden of 14 clubs and an extra ball or two over our shoulder.)

I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood
the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks--who had a genius, so to speak, for
SAUNTERING, which word is beautifully derived "from idle people who roved about the country, in the Middle Ages, and asked charity, under pretense of going a la
Sainte Terre," to the Holy Land, till the children exclaimed, "There goes a
Sainte-Terrer," a Saunterer, a Holy-Lander. (from Walking)

(So few Golfers these days understand that walking is an essential part of Golf, not only does it gratify the Scottish prudence, not to say, parsimony, inherent in Golf, but it also materially adds to the experience of Golf. If you carry your own bag, the only proper way to walk is to saunter. You can strut from your electric cart, or, you could rabbit around with your pull-cart, but the best way to reach the "Holy Land" is to saunter.)

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