Thursday, January 3, 2019

Did Someone actually make GOLF Interesting?

Read/Watch 'em In Order #96

I know that there are people who enjoy playing and/or watching golf. I respect that. I really do. But for me, golf is a sport that was created specifically to be as boring as possible. Aside from the sin shared by all sports other than baseball of not being baseball, it is (as someone other than Mark Twain once said) "a good walk spoiled."

But the third story ("Big Drive Guy") in the February 1949 issue of New Sports Magazine is a story about golf and it is actually interesting.

Neil Ryan is a successful player who has been invited back to play a game at the swanky club at which he used to work as a caddy. The game is an exhibition match against the club pro and, as we join the action on the 15th tee, Ryan is a stroke behind because he keeps hooking the ball and can't figure out why. Also, his opponent's snooty rich girl friend (whom Ryan has a crush on years before) had earlier invited him over to her place after the game. This is making him wonder if the more down-to-earth girl he's been seeing is really the one for him.

The author, Sam Merwin, Jr. was already making a name for himself as a mystery and science fiction writer in 1949, but still found the time to turn out this concise golf story. A good storyteller is, after all, a good storyteller. Merwin brings a fair level of suspense to the play-by-play account of the last few holes in the game and sets up the outcome in such a way to teach the protagonist that he should know he already has a worthwhile lady in his life. "Big Drive Guy" is only six pages long, but Merwin manages to give us a satisfying plot and character arc in the space of those few pages.

So for a brief, impossible moment, the magic of the pulp magazines manages to make golf an interesting game. A good storyteller is indeed a good storyteller.

You can read this issue of New Sports Magazine online HERE.

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