Ode To The Gutta Percha

I ran across a book of golf poetry from the Edinburgh Golf Society from 1856. Here’s an ode to the Gutta Percha ball. It seems the satisfaction of having the latest in technology isn’t a new phenomenon:

Of a’ the changes that of late
Have shaken Europe’s social state—
Let wondering politicians prate,
And ‘bout them mak a wark a’—
A subject mair congenial here,
And dearer to a Golfer’s ear
I sing—the change brought round last year
By balls of _Gutta Percha_!

Tho’ Gouf be of our games most rare,
Yet truth to speak, the tear and wear
O’ balls was felt to be severe,
And source o’ great vexation;
When Gourlay’s balls cost half-a-croun,
And Allan’s no a farthing doun,
The feck o’s wad been harried soon,
In this era of taxation.

But times are changed—we dinna care
Though we may ne’er drive leather mair,
Be’t stuffed wi’ feather or wi’ hair—
For noo we’re independent.
At last a substance we hae got,
Frae which for scarce mair than a groat,
A ba’ comes that can row and stot—
A ba’ the most transcendent.

Hail, _Gutta Percha_, precious gum!
O’er Scotland’s links lang may ye bum;
Some purse-proud billies haw and hum,
And say ye’re douf at fleein’;
But let them try ye fairly out,
Wi’ ony balls for days about,
Your merits they will loudly tout,
And own they hae been leein’.

And noo that a’ your praise is spent,
Ye’ll listen to a friend’s comment,
And kindlier tak on wi’ paint,
Then ye wad be perfection.
And sure some scientific loon,
On Golfing will bestow a boon,
And gie ye a cosmetic soon,
And brighten your complexion.

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