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the real crisis, and in nine cases out of ten control. So the match, which he almost had the cause of defeat has been lack of mental in his pocket, was lost. Yet Walter Travis control on one side or the other. Take an is the most perfect example we have of the example. In the historic match between superiority of mind over matter. I do not Travers and Travis last year which decided suppose that in the beginning it was easier the championship, Travers was two down for him to keep his temper in all circumwith only four holes to go. At the next stances than it was for any other man. But hole he had a stroke of luck which reduced he realized the value of self-control, and the lead to one. Going to the sixteenth by sheer force of will managed to acquire Walter Travis got into a bunker with his it. The result was that though he learned second, thus giving up his lead altogether. the game in middle life, and at a time when Now Travis very rarely makes a mistake there were very few good players in this of that sort, especially in a hole where country, he was able in a very short space there is plenty of room on the course. The to go over to England and beat the whole fact that he had just lost a hole which but field in the Amateur Championship. Some for a stroke of luck he would certainly have astonished critics said that his victory was halved undoubtedly affected his nervous a fluke; that he had a marvellous streak of putting which might never occur again. on the tee and hit the ball in the middle of Sheer nonsense—for Travis always putts the club it is bound to fall somewhere marvellously. He won because his ability within that width. Consequently I oblitto play each shot as he intended to play it erate the bunker and the long grass from was greater than that of his opponents— my mind and confine my attention to hitin a word, his mental control over nervesting the ball in the middle of the club." and muscles was more complete. How It sounds so simple; yet how few people often do you hear a player apologize for a can acquire that habit of mind. bad shot by saying, “I had to avoid the Herein, however, lies the peculiar fitness bunker on the right, or the long grass on the of the game of golf to the American dispoleft.” Travis says, “There is a space forty sition. Concentration of purpose is surely or fifty yards wide. I know if I stand up a characteristic of the race. The English
man who is popularly supposed to give up in America. England learned from Amermore time to games than any one else will ica that while you could never make a St. seldom make any sacrifice for a game. If Andrews or a Prestwick away from the sea, he does not excel quickly at one game he you could produce something which was will drop it and try something else. Also almost as good a test of golf. But it takes he has perhaps a greater variety to choose money to do it, and consequently golf can from. If the American takes up anything never be as inexpensive a game here as it is at all he generally makes up his mind to in Great Britain. succeed at all events to the top of his capac- And there is another hindrance to the ity. Twelve years ago there was not an popularity of the game which is really the American golfer who had learned the game subject-matter of this article. We started in this country who could compete with well enough twelve or fifteen years ago by a good Scotch or English player. To-day showing how to make a good golf course Walter Travis and Jerome Travers could, inland. Yet there has been practically no I believe, beat any pair of amateurs in improvement in that direction since then, Great Britain; nor has there ever been a although in every other way the game has pair of amateurs in Great Britain that could made great strides. Ninety per cent. of the beat them at any time except Ball and courses in this country are not to be comHilton at their best. And both Travers pared with the real golf links abroad. and Travis owe their excellence largely And the worst of it is that an entirely erroto their concentration of purpose and com- neous standard has grown up so that it is plete control of nerves. I am not at all sure, the most difficult thing in the world to inmoreover, that a picked team of college troduce reforms. Everything now is sacriboys or of young men under twenty-five ficed to the older players who want the path would not beat any team of their own age made easy for them, and for some strange that could be picked in Great Britain. reason the younger players are dumb. There are innumerable golfers of the There are a few golfers in the country who undergraduate age in Great Britain, but have steadily set themselves to keep up they are apt to employ their energies on a the real standard, like Mr. Herbert Leeds, number of different games. The American who, I believe, was responsible not only specializes and attains a greater accuracy. for Myopia but for the nine-hole course
It is certainly a great proof of the adapt- at Bar Harbor, and the winter course at ability of the American character that in Aiken. There is an excellent inland course less than twenty years the youth of the also at Manchester, Vermont, and there is country has taken up golf, learned the Garden City, which lately has been much game, produced one world-wide champion improved. When one has mentioned these and a new generation of golfers who could one has included practically all the links in hold their own in Scotland where the game the country which approach in interest and has been played for centuries. And noth- quality the best courses abroad, and even ing could prevent golf from becoming by these fall a long way short of perfection. far the most popular game among the Is it not strange that with all the vast grown men of the country if it were not for sums of money expended on golf links in one drawback. Whereas in Scotland and America, so few courses should be nearly England seaside golf courses existed before good ? the early Britons wore clothes and require The defects in most courses I should little or no preparation, an American course attribute to two reasons. First of all, since can only be made and kept up at consid- money is an essential, the affairs of the erable expense. There is no such thing as different clubs are generally in the hands a natural golf course in America; and if of the older men who supply the funds. there were very few people would benefit, The older men not only want things made since the vast majority of the population easy for them, but they lack the imaginalive so far from the sea. Thirty years ago tion of youth. The Wheaton and Onwentthe number of golf courses abroad which sia courses in Chicago were the two best were not on the sandy dunes by the sea was in the country when they were laid out, bea negligible quantity. I believe that the cause they represented the last word in first really good inland courses were made making artificial courses at that time.
But positively no advance has been made either wrong about the course or else not since then; in fact, if anything they have quite right where it could so easily be right. gone backward, because, as the turf has im- Walter Travis did a great deal when he put proved, both courses have become far too in about fifty new bunkers and imitated the easy. Their main difficulty in summer is eleventh hole at St. Andrews on the last the long grass, which is the worst feature green. That one change in itself has been of the game in America. Take Garden City a tremendous improvement. Yet he had as another example. Here conditions are to risk any amount of hostile criticism, and most favorable and no one can doubt that even now the course is hardly within measwith the Long Island soil and climate a urable distance of what it ought to be if really interesting course might be con- properly laid out. structed. As it is, nearly everything is So now we come to discuss what a good