"George, you look perfect...that beautiful knitted shirt,
an alpaca sweater, those expensive slacks....You've got an alligator
bag, the finest matched irons, and the best woods money can buy.
It's a damned shame you have to spoil it all by playing golf."
- Lloyd Mangrun to George Burns
Please do not confuse golfing natural golf courses with golfing
au naturel. Although, if you wish to experience buff in the
rough, you will be welcome at the Bar-S-Ranch
Cow Pasture Golf Course in Reidsville, North Carolina.
We suggest a middle ground of comfortable, casual. It isn't necessary
to buy into the designer logo game. If you worry about what outfit
is fashionable for the course and club, it is a sure bet you are
not playing pasture golf. Bless Jim Murray (former L.A. Times Sports
Columnist) for once writing: "I never bought an article of
clothing because some famous athlete told me to, but, then, I never
had a diamond in my ear, either."
You'll need your irons, woods, putters and a bag to
put them in...
It happens all the time. You take a trip and come across a great
pasture golf course but you left your clubs at home. Don't worry!
More than a few courses off the beaten path offer club rentals.
Fishhook Golf Course in Palmer, Alaska
is one; the rental clubs there are painted bright red--hard to lose
in tall grass! The golf bags at Fishhook also come fully equipped
with a handy can of bug-off.
Going out? First check the
A Set of Clubs to Die for
I've never liked that phrase...to die for. It's silly and gushy and just
plain stupid. I'm
a kid of a World War II army infantry veteran, and I grew up hearing
war stories (sanitized for the benefit of us kids). I learned early on
that there were some things to die for and they weren't cheesecake or
chocolate or fancy clothes or gorgeous cars or even golf clubs. At the
price of new clubs today, well, all I can say is, they don't call them
bubble-heads, I mean bubble-shafts, for nothing.
Golf Balls - from leather and feathers to exotic metals
Golfers who carry ball retrievers are gatherers, not hunters....Their
dreams are no longer of conquest, but only of salvage. --
Guilty as charged. Most of the golf balls that we use at the PastureGolf
driving range are the lost and found variety picked up while playing
rounds on (please forgive us) regular golf courses. We are definitely
into salvage. No golf ball is too poor, sad, dirty, or sun bleached
to bring home. Some day we will tabulate the results and report
back type and brand of the most lost golf balls found. Suffice to
say, alot of you regular golfers are losing alot of balls out there.
This may be a result of fast play and respect for the three to five
minute rule on time spent looking (which we are very glad for) but
it's more likely few bother to look for those lost balls at all.
Back in the good old days golf balls were made of leather and feathers.
They were precious and few and a golfer was loathe to lose one.
Had the gutta-percha golf ball not been invented, it is
likely enough that golf itself would now be in the catalogue of
virtually extinct games, only locally surviving, as stool-ball and
knurr and spell. -- Horace Hutchinson, 1899
James Balfour in 1887 wrote, "Forty years ago, and indeed
from time immemorial, the only kind of ball with which golf had
been played was made of leather stuffed with feathers till it was
as hard as gutta-percha. A man could make only four balls in a day.
These balls did not last long, perhaps not more than one round.
They opened at the seams, especially in wet weather."
Harry Vardon in 1933 picks up the tale. "The advent of the
rubber ball was instrumental in creating an entirely different method
of striking the object. The solid ball required to be hit for carry,
whereas it was quickly apparent that the Haskell lent itself to
an enormous run. I hold the firm opinion that from this date the
essential attitude towards accuracy was completely lost sight of.
This was the start of the craze for length and still more length."
Not long after, as Jim Murray, LA Times Sports Columnist describes,
"...rocket science moved into the picture. Golf clubs and balls
were made of exotic metals, fissionable materials. You could either
shoot par or bomb Paris with them." More
on Super Technology and the Future of Golf.
The well equipped golfer is prepared for anything on the course
Actually, the only time I ever took out a one-iron was
to kill a tarantula. And I took a 7 to do that. Jim
Lee Trevino in a pith helmet, a hatchet in one hand and a (rubber)
snake draped over his club in the other, advances through the rough
at Merion in Ardmore, Pennsylvania during the 1971 U.S. Open.
Lee would agree that the well equipped golfer does not go empty
handed into the world of pasture golf courses. In addition to the
usual golf gear, our intrepid pasture golfer often carries tools,
provisions, supplies and even library materials.
Lee Trevino at the 1971 U.S. Open
at Merion in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.
Build a library of reference books helpful to pasture golfers
We suggest such pocket reference guides as know your poisonous plants
or another on recognizing dangerous insects. Just think how much better
off Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn would have been with such information
if they had carried it during their travels down the Ulanga and Bora Rivers
aboard the African Queen. Okay, these pasture golf courses are not as
bad as all that, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared!
Finally, in the opinion of one pasture golf aficionado:
Here is the best book on Golf ever written. It is called Doctor
Golf written by William Price Fox. Published in 1963. Goes well with Pasture
Golf. The good old days. - B.H., 4//25/04
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