Tag Archives: the Masters

El Milagro de Medinah

Depending on which side you were rooting for, Americans or Europeans, watching the Ryder Cup this past Sunday afternoon was either a very painful, and unfortunately unforgettable experience, or cause for unprecedented and monumental celebration. As a quick background, the Ryder Cup is a biannual event pitting the twelve best golfers from the States against the twelve best from Europe, and this year it was played at Medinah Golf Club outside Chicago. On Saturday night, after two days of play, the Americans were ahead 10-6, a margin that had only been overcome once by the trailing team, (the Americans won in 1999 coming from behind by the same score).

Anyhoo, the Europeans won this past Sunday’s matches by a score of 8.5 – 3.5, retained the Ryder Cup, and reminded everyone that believe it or not (some) golf tournaments are actually worth watching. But as I watched the matches with my boys, what struck me more than the Americans’ colossal collapse, was the fact that golf is maybe the only sport where players keep their own score and write it down on a scorecard, usually with a pencil. Very quaint that. The only other sport (activity?) which comes to mind is bowling and I can remember being tested on how to keep a bowling score in 9th grade gym class and it was weirdly difficult. But now bowling alleys have electronic scoring (phew) which leaves us with golf.

Sitting on the couch on Sunday, thinking of score keeping in golf and of Roberto De-Vicenzo who in 1968 lost the chance to win the Masters because he incorrectly signed his scorecard (being kept by his playing partner in pencil) because maybe he was going too fast, I thought of my 1st-grader who tends to rush through his homework so he can get back outside and run around and terrorize his little brother.

So from out of the nowhere I told the 1st-grader that he should remember to slow down when doing his homework, that rushing through things usually creates more problems than it solves. It didn’t seem to register with him in the least, but it helps me to repeat things over and over; take your time, check your work and make sure you have an eraser.

The Unappreciated Pencil

Spring is here and with that comes tulips, cool air and the green jacket. Oh yes, it’s time for The Masters. And although I’d rather be driving a golf cart while sipping on a Bootleg versus playing the game, I find there’s comfort in a tradition which comes down to one thing. The pencil written score card.

The history of keeping score while playing golf goes back almost 100 years but no golf history book devotes so much as one line to the pencil’s on-course origins. When did golfers first use pencils? When did courses start stamping their names on them? No one seems to know. But one thing is for certain, no one can actually sharpen these pencils because a normal sharpener eats up too much of the short pencil and can go into the lettering. Golf pencils need that narrow tip. However, there is a rumor floating on the greens; to give the pencils sharp tips without ruining their distinct shape, an eyeliner pencil sharpener from a woman’s makeup kit works wonders. Only for the pros of course.

Here are a few pencils options to keep your game fresh…

 Scorecard Pencils

 

Custom Printed Golf Size Hex Pencil

 

Or for the golfer who likes to display his used pencils from memories on the links:

 

Of course our kids would prefer the lego version

 

The only place I could track down an authentic Augusta National Golf Club Masters Scorecard pencil was on ebay. Looks like the next best option is improving your game.

 

One of the players at this year’s Masters has started quite the following as far as his pencil needs. Scott Stalling has been using his Augusta National pencil as a good luck charm ever since he found one during a tournament last summer and it seems to have worked thus far. He’s collected over 500 Masters pencils from fans although he’s still using that original pencil and maybe that was just enough motivation for him to qualify for this year’s tournament (he did). Here’s a guy who understands the power of the pencil. There would be no game without one.