Rare Species – Golf Poetry

I've met a beggar in the street who scorned my proffered gift ; 
I've come upon a wornout tramp who would not take a lift; 
I've met a fighter who exclaimed amid the roaring din, 
"I fell before a better bloke without a chance to win" ; 
I've met a guy who never heard of Teddy or of Ty — 
Who never heard of Johnson's speed or Baker's batting eye; 
But though I've been around the world and lamped within my scope, 
A million weird varieties beyond the purling dope, 
Including scribes who spurned all cash and merely wrote for fame. 
In all my life I've never met a golfer "on his game." 

Grantland Rice. 

from Lyrics of the Links, 1921

Grantland Rice (1880 – 1954) is arguably among the greatest sports writers ever to sit before a keyboard.

During the Golden Age of American Sports, Rice’s columns and radio broadcasts made household names of Bobby Jones, Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, Red Grange, Babe Didrikson and Knute Rockne. Rice reportedly set out to turn these athletes into heroes.

He succeeded.

One of my favorite Grantland Rice bits is this. It likely is familiar, even if you don’t know the author:

When One Great Scorer comes 
to write against your name, 
He marks, not that you won or lost, 
but how you played the game.

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