Daily Chronicle, July 18, 1904

1 (Mr. Sydney Colvin has stated that golf is the enemy of man, and that the golfer is a danger to life and limb.)

Your hand, oh illustrious Sydney!
 Your bitter remarks are quite true:
We’re men of identical kidney;
 I hate golf as deeply as you.
I hold him the meanest of rascals
 Who dares in my presence to speak
With praise of his mashie, or Haskell’s,
 Or cleek.

Myself, I’m no good at a bunker,
 My shots make the audience scoff,
And the caddie, impertinent younker,
Will grin when I try to drive off:
When I smite at a ball I can’t raise it,
 Nor am I a person who putts.
In fact, I can’t play, so to phrase it,
 For nuts.

And, gadzooks! when I go for a ramble
 On a seemingly desolate heath,
My safety is purely a gamble;
 I escape by the skin of my teeth:
As I pause, some poetical trifle
 To frame—with my gaze on the sky—
A ball, like a shot from a rifle,
 Sings by.

Oh, when golfers of every description
 Disappear from our downtrodden land,
And a person is hanged on suspicion
 If found with a club in his hand,
When no raucous and deafening bellow
 Rends the air with fortissimo “Fore!”
Then life may appeal to a fellow
 Once more.

P. G. W. 




“Golf Players As Enemies of Man. Mr. Sidney Colvin, speaking yesterday at the annual meeting of the National Trust, said that many rural spots were now losing their literary interest. They could not go any great distance without obtaining evidence of the enemy of man – the golfer. (Laughter.) Some of their best heaths were given over to that most devouring class.” (Portsmouth Evening News, Thursday, 14 July 1904)
Sir Sydney Colvin (1845–1927) was a literary and art critic and authority on Robert Louis Stevenson.

John Dawson