Golf hit me hard at the start. I had the fever as thoroughly as one could get it. I talked golf when I could and I dreamed golf when I could not talk it. Everyone I saw with a golf bag seemed a personal friend of mine.
I had only one day a week when I could play, as my business did not allow of any other time, but at odd moments I pored over vardon’s articles in the golfing papers and also taylor’s.
Vardon was making his memorable trip through the country that year and I knew every wrinkle on his hand, as far as one could learn from photo-graphs. I had only vardon clubs, an enterprising maker having put out a line with his name on them. I bought all the papers which published golfing news and knew vardon’s every move. I marveled at his skill, as many a golfer has done.
If I could play golf but once a week, that didn’t prevent my practicing at home nearly every evening I went out in the kitchen after the maid had gone upstairs and I was at it. I had the photographs of great players on the kitchen table, and I was sure I was doing every-thing according to the book.
I committed all the instructions for playing to memory and was dead certain I observed them all. Hour after hour I went through this practice, but when I got out on the links my finely-trained strokes wouldn’t work. Mornings I would be beaten invariably. Afternoons I ‘would give up form and get there any old way. I always did better afternoons.
During the following week when I got home at night from business I would start all over again to reconstruct my theories and develop form. Form was the only way to become a golfer. I made up my mind that I would cultivate the correct way to play if I never won a match. I persisted for over two years in this endeavor, with but a slight improvement in my game. The fellows I played with, who took up golf at the same time I did, were allowing me four and five strokes, and I was discouraged.
Finally I decided to discontinue trying to follow others and build up a method of my own, founded on sound mechanical principles. I was always a good mechanic, and the same application to my own ideas that I had given to others began to show in my play. My game steadied and my improvement was regular. I was on the same handicap basis as my friends in a few months, playing only when they did. In the fall I con-ceded three strokes to them. I have been improving ever since.