Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona, just for fun. Advertising-free, supported by my patrons on Patreon. Thank you!

Golfing in old-time Phoenix


As someone who has always had a great affection for the Noblest Game (among the worldly possessions that I brought to Phoenix when I was 19 was a small set of golf clubs), I like to think of how people played in old-time Phoenix, in the days of the mashie, the spoon, and the gutta-percha ball. Let's go play golf at the Arizona Biltmore in the 1930s.

I must say that I look dashing in my knickerbockers, although I'm wondering if the Argyle socks were too much? You were wise to wear your sponge bag trousers, I don't think you have the same good-looking ankles as the rest of the foursome. And the bow tie is a nice touch!

I'm not sure from looking at the photo if those are mashies, or mashie-niblicks. I suppose that it really doesn't matter. It's your honor! Yes, you can use one of your woods, I'd recommend the driver.

A golf tee? What's that? See that box of sand over there, you just scoop some out and put your ball on a little sand hill. I suppose some time in the future sand will be in short supply, and people will have to use a little piece of wood. I see you have a nice new gutta-percha ball. It's a nice day, and you'll probably be able to drive it at least 100 yard!

Nice drive! It's still going... and going... and whoops you're in the bunker. Here, I'll lend you a spoon, and catch up with you on the green. Yes, my second shot will be on the green. I'll be lying dead at two. I'm going for bogey on this hole!

Now who planted that cactus over there? I'm sure that my mashie-niblick shot would have been fine, maybe a little close to the edge, if not for that. What? A saguaro? Thank you! Just call me Abe Mitchell! Fore!

Nice shot! You're on the green! And now you're rolling over the green... and you're in casual water. Still your turn!

Image at the top of this post: On the Biltmore golf course in the 1930s, with Squaw Peak (now called Piestewa Peak) in the background.

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