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Authors: P.G. Wodehouse

The Golf Omnibus

BOOK: The Golf Omnibus
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CONTENTS

ABOUT THE BOOK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ALSO BY P. G. WODEHOUSE

TITLE PAGE

DEDICATION

PREFACE

1
ARCHIBALD'S BENEFIT

2
THE CLICKING OF CUTHBERT

3
A WOMAN IS ONLY A WOMAN

4
A MIXED THREESOME

5
SUNDERED HEARTS

6
THE SALVATION OF GEORGE MACKINTOSH

7
ORDEAL BY GOLF

8
THE LONG HOLE

9
THE HEEL OF ACHILLES

10
THE ROUGH STUFF

11
THE COMING OF GOWF

12
THE HEART OF A GOOF

13
HIGH STAKES

14
KEEPING IN WITH VOSPER

15
CHESTER FORGETS HIMSELF

16
THE MAGIC PLUS FOURS

17
THE AWAKENING OF ROLLO PODMARSH

18
RODNEY FAILS TO QUALIFY

19
JANE GETS OFF THE FAIRWAY

20
THE PURIFICATION OF RODNEY SPELVIN

21
THOSE IN PERIL ON THE TEE

22
THE LETTER OF THE LAW

23
FAREWELL TO LEGS

24
THERE'S ALWAYS GOLF

25
UP FROM THE DEPTHS

26
FEET OF CLAY

27
EXCELSIOR

28
RODNEY HAS A RELAPSE

29
TANGLED HEARTS

30
SCRATCH MAN

31
SLEEPY TIME

COPYRIGHT

About the Book

‘I attribute the insane arrogance of the later Roman emperors almost entirely to the fact that, never having played golf, they never knew that strangely chastening humility which is engendered by a topped chip-shot. If Cleopatra had been ousted in the first round of the Ladies Singles, we would have heard a lot less of her proud imperiousness.'

The Oldest Member's reverence for golf does not cramp his style in telling some of the funniest, tallest and most joyful stories in the whole Wodehouse canon. In this splendid Omnibus, introduced by Wodehouse himself, love and the links are inextricably intertwined, and the reader can click with Cuthbert, thrill to the feats of the Magic Plus Fours and even leap cleanly into The Purification of Rodney Spelvin.

About the Author

Pelham Grenville Wodehouse
(always known as ‘Plum') wrote more than ninety novels and some three hundred short stories over 73 years. He is widely recognised as the greatest 20
th
century writer of humour in the English language.

Wodehouse mixed the high culture of his classical education with the popular slang of the suburbs in both England and America, becoming a ‘cartoonist of words'. Drawing on the antics of a near-contemporary world, he placed his Drones, Earls, Ladies (including draconian aunts and eligible girls) and Valets, in a recently vanished society, whose reality is transformed by his remarkable imagination into something timeless and enduring.

Perhaps best known for the escapades of Bertie Wooster and Jeeves, Wodehouse also created the world of Blandings Castle, home to Lord Emsworth and his cherished pig, the Empress of Blandings. His stories include gems concerning the irrepressible and disreputable Ukridge; Psmith, the elegant socialist; the ever-so-slightly-unscrupulous Fifth Earl of Ickenham, better known as Uncle Fred; and those related by Mr Mulliner, the charming raconteur of The Angler's Rest, and the Oldest Member at the Golf Club.

Wodehouse collaborated with a variety of partners on straight plays and worked principally alongside Guy Bolton on providing the lyrics and script for musical comedies with such composers as George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter. He liked to say that the royalties for ‘Just My Bill', which Jerome Kern incorporated into Showboat, were enough to keep him in tobacco and whisky for the rest of his life.

In 1936 he was awarded The Mark Twain Medal for ‘having made an outstanding and lasting contribution to the happiness of the world'. He was made a Doctor of Letters by Oxford University in 1939 and in 1975, aged 93, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. He died shortly afterwards, on St Valentine's Day.

To have created so many characters that require no introduction places him in a very select group of writers, lead by Shakespeare and Dickens.

Also by P.G. Wodehouse

Fiction

Aunts Aren't Gentlemen

The Adventures of Sally

Bachelors Anonymous

Barmy in Wonderland

Big Money

Bill the Conqueror

Blandings Castle and Elsewhere

Carry On, Jeeves

The Clicking of Cuthbert

Cocktail Time

The Code of the Woosters

The Coming of Bill

Company for Henry

A Damsel in Distress

Do Butlers Burgle Banks

Doctor Sally

Eggs, Beans and Crumpets

A Few Quick Ones

French Leave

Frozen Assets

Full Moon

Galahad at Blandings

A Gentleman of Leisure

The Girl in Blue

The Girl on the Boat

The Gold Bat

The Head of Kay's

The Heart of a Goof

Heavy Weather

Hot Water

Ice in the Bedroom

If I Were You

Indiscretions of Archie

The Inimitable Jeeves

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit

Jeeves in the Offing

Jill the Reckless

Joy in the Morning

Laughing Gas

Leave it to Psmith

The Little Nugget

Lord Emsworth and Others

Louder and Funnier

Love Among the Chickens

The Luck of Bodkins

The Man Upstairs

The Man with Two Left Feet

The Mating Season

Meet Mr Mulliner

Mike and Psmith

Mike at Wrykyn

Money for Nothing

Money in the Bank

Mr Mulliner Speaking

Much Obliged, Jeeves

Mulliner Nights

Not George Washington

Nothing Serious

The Old Reliable

Pearls, Girls and Monty Bodkin

Piccadilly Jim

Pigs Have Wings

Plum Pie

The Pothunters

A Prefect's Uncle

The Prince and Betty

Psmith, Journalist

Psmith in the City

Quick Service

Right Ho, Jeeves

Ring for Jeeves

Sam me Sudden

Service with a Smile

The Small Bachelor

Something Fishy

Something Fresh

Spring Fever

Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves

Summer Lightning

Summer Moonshine

Sunset at Blandings

The Swoop

Tales of St Austin's

Thank You, Jeeves

Ukridge

Uncle Dynamite

Uncle Fred in the Springtime

Uneasy Money

Very Good, Jeeves

The White Feather

William Tell Told Again

Young Men in Spats

Omnibuses

The World of Blandings

The World of Jeeves

The World of Mr Mulliner

The World of Psmith

The World of Ukridge

The World of Uncle Fred

Wodehouse Nuggets (edited by Richard Usborne)

The World of Wodehouse Clergy

The Hollywood Omnibus

Weekend Wodehouse

Paperback Omnibuses

The Aunts Omnibus

The Drones Omnibus

The Jeeves Omnibus 1

The Jeeves Omnibus 3

Poems

The Parrot and Other Poems

Autobiographical

Wodehouse on Wodehouse (comprising Bring on the Girls, Over Seventy, Performing Flea)

Letters

Yours, Plum

The Golf Omnibus
P. G. Wodehouse

DEDICATION

TO THE

IMMORTAL MEMORY

OF

JOHN HENRIE AND PAT ROGIE

WHO

AT EDINBURGH IN THE YEAR 1593 A.D.

WERE IMPRISONED FOR


PLAYING OF THE GOWFF ON THE LINKS OF

LEITH EVERY SABBATH THE TIME OF THE

SERMONSES
”,

ALSO OF

ROBERT ROBERTSON

WHO GOT IT IN THE NECK IN 1604 A.D.

FOR THE SAME REASON

PREFACE

As I start to write this Preface, I am brooding a bit. My brow is furrowed, sort of, and I can't help sighing a good deal.

The trouble about reaching the age of ninety-two, which I did last October, is that regrets for a misspent life are bound to creep in, and whenever you see me with a furrowed brow you can be sure that what is on my mind is the thought that if only I had taken up golf earlier and devoted my whole time to it instead of fooling about writing stories and things, I might have got my handicap down to under eighteen. If only they had put a putter in my hands when I was four and taught me the use of the various clubs, who knows what heights I might not have reached. It is this reflection that has always made my writing so sombre, its whole aroma like that of muddy shoes in a Russian locker room.

And yet I may have managed to get a few rays of sunshine into the stories which follow. If so, this is due to the fact that while I was writing them I won my first and only trophy, a striped umbrella in a hotel tournament at Aiken, South Carolina, where, hitting them squarely on the meat for once, I went through a field of some of the fattest retired business men in America like a devouring flame.

I was never much of a golfer. Except for that glorious day at Aiken I was always one of the dregs, the sort of man whose tee shots, designed to go due north, invariably went nor-nor-east or in a westerly direction. But how I loved the game. I have sometimes wondered if we of the canaille don't get more pleasure out of it than the top-notchers. For an untouchable like myself two perfect drives in a round would wipe out all memory of sliced approach shots and foozled putts, whereas if Jack Nicklaus does a sixty-four he goes home and thinks morosely that if he had not just missed that eagle on the seventh, he would have had a sixty-three.

I have made no attempt to bring this book up to date, and many changes have taken place since I wrote “The Clicking of Cuthbert” in 1916. Time like an ever-rolling stream bears all its sons away, and with them have gone the names of most of the golf clubs so dear to me. I believe one still drives with a driver nowadays, though at any moment we may have to start calling it the Number One wood, but where is the mashie now, where the cleek, the spoon and the baffy?

All Scottish names, those, dating back to the days (1593 A.D.) when we are told that John Henrie and Pat Rogie were imprisoned for “playing of the Gowff on the links of Leith every Sabbath the time of the sermonses”. It is very sad, the way the Scottish atmosphere has gone out of the game. In my youth, when the Badminton book was a comparatively new publication, one took it for granted that to be a good golfer you had to be Scottish, preferably with a name like Sandy McHoots or Jock Auchtermuchty. And how we reverenced them. “These,” we said, “are the men whose drives fly far, like bullets from a rifle, who when they do a hole in par regard it as a trifle. Of such as these the bard has said, ‘Hech thrawfu' raltie rorkie, wi' thecht ta' croonie clapperhead and fash wi' unco' pawkie'.” And where are they now? How long is it since a native Scot won an Open? All Americans these days, except for an occasional Mexican.

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