The golf season is over in Iowa. It may be nice this weekend, but flu from the swines have cut short any idea of swinging into a 35 degree wind chill day. Thus, I have decided to try my hand at novel writing. I came across a post about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, link here) which is a challenge to all the unpublished authors to write a 50,000 word novel in one month (or 1667 words a day).
Wow -a medical drama? Wry observations about golf? NO WAY. I asked myself, “What would make me the most money in the shortest amount of time and that means getting onto Oprah’s couch and rubbing my chin and looking serious?”
It means CHICK LIT, baby!
I’ve already set on the title of the novel: “The Abandonner: a Memoir of Regret.” If that doesn’t give you cramps and make you want chocolate, you aren’t a woman! Controversy? Undoubtedly! Best Seller? Dan Brown’s got nothing on me! Who is that masked man? The guy who rocks your Kindle, now come to Papa!
John Montague was for a time the most talked about golfer in America, despite never having competed outside of his club championship. He was a member of a club in L.A. during the Great Depression where he hobnobbed with the likes of Howard Hughes, Oliver Hardy, and Bing Crosby. It was said he rarely shot above 70, and drove the ball over 300 yards using the equipment of his time. He could lift Oliver Hardy over the club’s bar with one hand, and he defeated Bing Crosby who was scratch using a baseball bat, a shovel, and a garden rake. The first hole at Lakeside was a par four which Bing reached in two and two putted using golf clubs. Montague tossed the ball and batted it over 340 yards to the greenside bunker, shoveled on, and using the garden rake as a pool cue, curled in a 12 footer for birdie, whereupon Bing cried uncle. Turns out, Montague was hiding a secret past that erupted when a member at his club, a prominent sports writer, broke the news of this phenom that avoided publicity, who on the verge of breaking the course record at Pebble Beach, picked up the ball to avoid the ensuing publicity. You can read about him in the book The Mysterious Montague by Leigh Montville (Random House).
The overwhelming conclusion that I reach from reading the book is that Montague was a golfist who reveled in the pure joy of being on the links, of the fellowship it afforded him, and the ecstasy of tracing that perfectly hit ball.
I have been reading The Greatest Game Ever Played (by Mark Frost, link here), which I find entertaining. The real find from reading this is Harry Vardon’s work, How to Play Golf (link here).” The words ring true from over a century ago. Golfism lives in his words.