Pasture golf is a return to Scottish links style courses. Technique over technology, it makes golf both fun and affordable to play. Pasture Golf Gear and Other Goods

Tired of super manicured courses, ridiculously priced greens fees, spendy clubs and fancy clothes? You'll love the back to basics play of pasture golf!

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Bag of clubs

Golfing Attire

"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.

Well dressed golfer

Going out? First check the weather.

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
No golf ball is too poor, sad, dirty or sun faded to bring home.

“Golfers who carry ball retrievers are gatherers, not hunters....Their dreams are no longer of conquest, but only of salvage.” -- David Owen

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 Murray

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 in deep rough

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!


Bogey: I hear there's a great golf course just down this river. Hepburn: Well, what are we waiting for?

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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This Page Updated: June 27, 2005

Copyright © 1999-2012 Bruce Manclark & Cory Eberhart