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Golf is in My Blood: Intro to On Learning Golf by Percy Boomer


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GOLF is in my family blood.

My father was a village schoolmaster in Jersey. As an educationist he was generations ahead of his time. He saw no use in forcing a boy to try to learn subjects which he was obviously incapable of absorbing — and of which he could make no use anyway, but he did help his students to develop such talents and natural aptitudes as they possessed.

Consequently, though so far as I know his school never produced a Senior Wrangler and maybe did not show up too well when the Inspector came round, it did have the very remarkable record of producing five golfers of international rank in one generation!

I imagine that it is a world's record for a village school and one never likely to be beaten and if any memorial were needed to my father's devotion to the game the records of the great Channel Island golfers who were his students — incomparable Harry Vardon, and his brothers Tom and Alfred, the three Gaudins, Renouf, and Ted Ray — would provide it.

Harry Vardon wrote this in the story of his golfing life:

"In due course we all went to the village school but I fear, from all that I can remember, and from what I have been told that knowledge had little attraction for me in those days, and I know I often played truant sometimes three weeks at a stretch. Consequently my old school - master Mr. Boomer had no particular reason to be proud of me at that time, as he seems to have become since.
He never enjoys a holiday so much in these days as when he comes over from Jersey to see me play for the Open Championship, as he does whenever the meeting is held at Sandwich. But when I did win the championship on that course he was so nervous and excited about my prospects that he felt himself unequal to watching me and during most of the time I was doing my four rounds he was sitting in a fretful state on the seashore."

Incidentally when my father retired from school-teaching at the age of sixty, he joined me at St. Cloud and became a professional golfer.

My brother Aubrey became a Pro at seventeen, and now my son George — having had his schooling cut short by the European upheavals — has started his chosen career at sixteen.

On Learning Golf: Introduction Part 1.

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