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About the Long Hole (E.V. Knox)

From the papers of Edmund George Valpy Knox (1881 - 1971), comic writer, poet and satirist who wrote under the pseudonym 'Evoe'. He was editor of Punch 1932-1949, having been a regular contributor in verse and prose for many years. The typed paper has yellowed and it appears to be from the 1940s, possibly earlier.

This is an amusing parody of British golf writing with a nod towards Wodehouse...

Straight in front of him, and as far as his eye can reach, the traveller who stands on the teeing-ground of our tenth hole, observes the illimitable undulating scenery of the veldt. Perhaps a solitary vulture wheels overhead in the heavens, and along the central track may be discerned a few bleaching bones of caddies and the broken shafts and skulls of drivers and brassies. Far away to the left is a strip of woodland, and beyond that the sluggish inexorable river. What secrets it bears in its massive bosom or in the murky ooze of its heart! A bad pull (to be more explicit) will take you nicely over the edge, and many a stout golfer has gone home at evenfall with an empty creel owing to his rash refusal to carry a landing net and play with amphibious balls.

To the right hand may be seen a series of wicked-mouthed bunkers, each with its little colony of human toil. Bogey for the long hole is six, and it is believed to have been done in four. There is no doubt at all that it has been done in twenty-five, but then that was the day when I hit the ladies' sand-box with my drive, and (after my caddy had replaced the divot with a couple of tintacks and some glue) had to play my second (with a mashie) from twenty yards behind the tee. 

Now you shall hear about the time when I did the long hole in five. I started with a magnificent shot, though I say it who shouldn't (as a matter of fact it is very difficult to get James to talk about this round at all, and when he does he uses language which would make you suppose he was colour-blind) - but my second seemed to think there was danger afoot, and ran into the wood for cover. The wood is not out of bounds, so I waved farewell to James and followed. My third started shinning very swiftly up the trunk of a tree, and then remembering, I suppose, that the birds were all hatched out and that it would look rather silly to be seen in a nest at this time of the year, leaped violently out of the wood and across the course. It was foolish of the small stout man whom it hit, and who appeared to have lost his way badly in approaching the seventeenth green, to get annoyed; the grievance was really mine, for he had no business to be making unauthorised pot-bunkers of himself over the links. However, as my ball fell in a very nice place, I didn't much mind, and playing a beautiful fourth got to within about a hundred and twenty yards of the green. I heard a faint "Coo-ee" up in the hills far away to the right, and shouted "Hello!"

        "On in five" yelled James.
        "Good for you," I answered, and took my iron.

(I always like taking my iron; it has such a bracing effect on the nerves.) It was plain from the beginning that my fifth stroke was a good one, though just a trifle off the line of the pin. James and his caddy arriving travel-stained and warm from the north-east watched it eagerly as it fell and bounded on towards the green. James's ball lay about five yards to the right of the flag, in a sunny spot to the south-east, and as soon as mine saw this a brilliant idea came into its head. Running lightly up to its adversary it gave the fellow a smart biff on the side of the face, and dodging away nimbly before he could retaliate, made straight for the hole. Pausing for a moment at the edge to see if it was pursued, it ran round the brink of the tin and fell in with a little sigh of relief. "Five!" I said calmly, but James did not appear to be listening. He was looking up at the sky and seemed vexed about something.
        "An ordinary half-ball losing hazard," I went on. "I was afraid I had hit it too fine at first and thrown away the hole". But James had walked on in silence to the next tee.

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