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For our readers on Kauai


I am allergic to golf. This is probably a consequence of having spent far too many days, as a kid, lugging my father’s clubs around the greens, roughs and fairways of the Home Counties to earn a bit of pocket-money. Apart from the obvious camaraderie, networking, fresh air and bonhomie – which are all laudable – golf is to me an inherently absurd pastime. It seems, to my jaundiced nature, even more ridiculous to turn it from an innocuous means of wasting time into a viciously commercial sport.

For the likes of Eldrick Tont (no wonder he prefers ‘Tiger’) Woods and Rory McIlroy to be centi-millionaires because of their risible skills is offensive. Yes, I know that other sportsmen such as footballers and tennis players earn at a similar rate – and, for the record, I despise the ‘religion’ of football in equal measure – but they at least really are athletes, thinking and delivering at speed, who (like racing drivers) run the risk of injury.

So, in a hat-tip to the vanished days of amateurism, here are the Temporary Rules of a Surrey golf club, at a time when there was a certain amount of international (er) unpleasantness going on. How comforting that normal suburban priorities prevailed, and the old duffers of the time (who had probably had their share of excitement in the trenches and the Dardanelles) could stoically line up their putts while bombs fell and bullets flew, bracketing their games.


Our readers on Kauai might like to consider these Temporary Rules, and to evince the same insouciant resilience, in the light of Fatty Kim’s daily threats to lob his missiles in their direction.


Furthermore, I am in the very best of company, with Chesterton, Mencken and the hallowed Groucho:

Golf is an exercise in Scottish pointlessness for people who are no longer able to throw telephone poles at each other. (Florence King)

I regard golf as an expensive way of playing marbles. (G. K. Chesterton)

I’m not feeling very well. I need a doctor immediately. Ring the nearest golf course. (Groucho Marx)

If I had my way, no man guilty of golf would be eligible to any office of trust under the United States. (H. L. Mencken)

Golf seems to me an arduous way to go for a walk.  I prefer to take the dogs out. (Princess Anne)

The golf links lie so near the mill/That almost every day/The labouring children can look out/And watch the men at play. (Sara Norcliffe Cleghorn)


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One Comment
  1. Your devoted readers in Kauai are sincerely grateful for your concern and support. We will endeavor to remain stoic in the face of the Mighty Kim, and will post the Temporary Rules at our club to encourage others to [um] ‘stay the course’!

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