The 18-hole Hustle

During the golden age of golf, many of the sport’s greatest players never went pro. They couldn’t afford the pay cut.

 

It was a short putt, about three feet or so, and the stakes were only $5,000—pocket change for a guy like the poker champion John “Professor” Moss, even in 1939 dollars, not that Moss was prone to choking anyway.

Links With History

When you’re lining up a putt on the close-cropped green, there are ghosts at your shoulder. More than any other game, golf is played with a sense of tradition.

The oldest golf joke I know is one about the player who threw his clubs into the ocean after a terrible round and the next day was drowned trying to get them back again. To people who don’t play golf, this is a silly story; to those of us who do, it isn’t. Trying to comprehend the appeal of this frustrating game has engaged the interest of poets and lunatics for centuries with limited success. Passion cannot be explained, only endured. Read more »

The Country Club

For a century now it has been a haven to some, an outrage to others—and it is one of the very few social institutions that have survived their founders’ world

I‘m sorry, son,” said the father to his young offspring in a New Yorker cartoon some years ago, “but we WASPs have no tribal wisdom to pass on.”

 

Nevertheless (and at the risk of stepping on a joke), no ethnic group capable of developing a social institution as durable, adaptable, and now universal as the country club could be wholly lacking in tribal wisdom. Read more »

Four!

It was fifty years ago that Bobby Jones won his Grand Slam, making him the only man who ever has—or probably ever will—conquer the “Impregnable Quadrilateral” of golf

Francis Albertanti, assistant sports editor of the New York Evening Mail, considered baseball, boxing, and horse racing the meat and potatoes of the sports section. College football received respectful attention during its season, and Albertanti kept a headline standing in type to take care of tennis. It read: TILDEN DEFEATS RICHARDS AGAIN. Read more »