I have walked with the gods at St Andrews, embraced the ground at Augusta National and touched the hem of a Tiger Woods garment.
I know my Vardon grip from a baseball grip. I know that grain on greens usually grows towards the sea, that weather conditions change when a flowing tide begins to ebb. I know that to hit a golf ball up you must first hit down on it, that to hit it farther it helps to swing more slowly, and that the bigger the golf bag generally means the worse the player. I know that match-play golf reveals the character of a person more clearly than a DNA test and that golf on a links is the form of golf, the one that takes us closer to the way our ancestors played.
I have trifled with the game for nearly the biblical three score years and ten, on five of the seven continents and in daylight and in darkness. I have devoured Herbert Warren Wind’s writing, admired Charlie Price’s, revered Bernard Darwin’s and been dazzled by the simple elegance of Peter Dobereiner’s and the elegiac and lyrical essays of Pat Ward-Thomas...
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