Nocturnal Golf – Golf Poetry


I PLAYED a wonderful game — for me —
And found, when I'd got all through,
That I'd cut my score to a 43
From my usual 62.

On the first, which commonly takes me an 8,
Because I am not warmed up.
My drive and brassey were long and straight,
And my fifth dropped into the cup.

On the second, where I so often dub,
With both of my wooden sticks,
I was' there like a duck with either club
And holed in a bogey 6.

On the third, where one of the apple trees
Habitually stops my drive,
I missed the fruit with the greatest ease,
And was down in a nice par 5.

I shunned both hazards on No. 4,
The bois and the deep ravine.
And trimmed two strokes from my normal score
By mashieing to the green.

On the fifth, where I frequently take a dip
Or two in the seething foam,
Two aerial swats and a mashie chip
Were plenty to bring me home.

On the sixth, where my second is wont to seek
A nest in the tall uncut,
I stopped at the edge with my third, a cleek,
And was in with my second putt.

On the seventh — (they call it a mashie pitch,
And Lord! how you've got to soar!)
I flew high over the hellish ditch.
And was down in a couple more.

On the eighth — it's one of those tricky holes,
And a 6 is my common lot —
I cleared the cunning but nasty knolls
With a beautiful midiron shot.

On the ninth, where in every unfriendly match,
I chum with the Horti Cult,
I scorned Mrs. Wiggs and her cabbage patch,
And a 6 was the result.

I made the nine in a 43
Last night, as I lay in bed.
Oh, golf is no trouble at all for me
When I play a round in my head.

Ring W. Lardner
from Lyrics of the Links, published in 1921

Ring Lardner

Ring Lardner was a prominent sports columnist from 1905 until his death from tuberculosis in 1933 at age 48. His work was widely admired, particularly by his contemporaries Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Lardner began as a baseball writer, but later expanded to news, short stories and plays.

His son, Ring Lardner, Jr. was an Academy Award screenwriter who was one of the Hollywood Ten imprisoned for refusing the answer the questions of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s House Un-American Activities Committe in the 1950s.

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