I was going through the 40,000 photos I have taken over the last 15 years and found the one below. I was looking for some photos to accompany a review I just posted at OffTheBeatenCartPath.com. I had forgotten about the photo since I stumbled upon the trash can 10 years ago in Vermont, at Lake St. Catherine Country Club, a wonderful course that certainly qualifies as off the beaten path. Located in Poultney, VT, about a five-iron from Lake St. Catherine across the road and just a couple of miles from the New York State line, I didn’t see any other players on the course on a pleasant fall afternoon.
I wondered at the time, and still do, what may have come over the owner of those clubs in the can. Did he (or she) give up the game on the spot? Was it an accumulation of frustrations or just one bad shot that led to the demolition derby? Today, looking at the photo more closely, it appears that one of the clubs is a putter, which may explain a lot. Is there any club in the bag that betrays us more often? Is there any putter that makes it past a year or two without being discarded for another, like a bothersome mistress? (My wife may be reading this, so let me testify that I have never had one of those, unless you count golf itself.)
The most troubling part of that photo, for me, is that the owner of the clubs saw fit to dump them so unceremoniously, so publicly, without a proper burial. The only time in 60 years of golf that I broke a club – I slammed it against my bag when I was in my 20s – I tossed the two pieces in a lake on the next hole. I recall, as a kid, watching "Terrible" Tommy Bolt on TV toss his clubs in a lake. Water just seems a fitting way to bury your clubs. But, come to think of it, I don’t recall much water on the Lake St. Catherine layout, despite its name. I guess we will have to give you a pass this time, whoever you are.
Please visit OffTheBeatenCartPath.com for reviews about some out of the way golf courses that are worthy of a visit.