What’s In My Bag: Jack Chesnutt

Royal Birkdale, May 19, 2013.

Royal Birkdale, May 19, 2013.

Today, I played Royal Birkdale with Paul Jones, a young member and a terrific golfer, whose swing finish you see here:

P1060461Before we teed off, I bought my wife a sweater in the golf shop and decided not to buy myself an enameled ball marker. Then, during our round, I found an enameled ball marker that was even nicer than the one I had decided not to buy. The exact same thing (except for the part about my wife) happened to me a year ago, at Cruden Bay, in Scotland. The ball marker I found there turned out to be one of the luckiest I’ve ever owned, for about a month. Fingers crossed!

And that brings me to Jack Chesnutt, a reader in Colorado, who recently wrote:

I found the ball markers below (along with one from a course in Ireland I have since lost) on a fairway at Pacific Dunes in 2008. They did not seem to have been dropped accidentally from someone’s pocket. They were arranged in a small triangle with a well-worn repair tool in the middle. The last act of a frustrated golfer after watching one more drive arc toward the rocks and surf? Or maybe a little memorial to a departed golfing buddy? The view from that point in the fairway was wonderful.

photoAs I do with all the markers I keep in my golf bag, I rotate the Arrowhead marker in and out of my game. The first three-putt sends it into time-out. But I never use the Old Course marker. I don’t want to lose it. Maybe I will find the owner or his/her son/daughter someday.

Before claiming that these are yours, be prepared to reveal some telling piece of information that only you and Chesnutt could possibly know. Meanwhile, here’s what Chesnutt has to say about his own game:

I caddied for my dad back in the early sixties, but a huge banana slice and indifferent putting convinced me that tennis was more my game. When I turned fifty, my brother-in-law the pilot-golfer (what else do they have to do when they are not driving a 737?)  persuaded me to play a round. I shot 99. I was hooked. My wife (hey, it was her brother who got me into this) made fun of my golf habit. “Why would any human being need more than ONE pair of golf shoes?” Luckily for me, she took up golf, became a 9-handicap, and soon bought her third pair of golf shoes. The trip to Bandon was our first big golf vacation together. The first round, at Pacific Dunes, was memorable not only for the stunning setting but also for finding the ball markers. It was so windy that my stand-bag blew over—twice. I’m now sixty-two years old, and my index is 4.5, and I keep about ten ball markers and three repair tools in the rotation. The repair tools don’t seem to have the same cosmic effect on my putting as the markers. I’m also up to four pair of golf shoes. 

I’ll put up more What’s In My Bag items as soon as I’m back in the States. I’ve got several in the hopper, but there’s room for more. Keep ’em coming—and include at least one photo and a golf-oriented description of yourself.

5 thoughts on “What’s In My Bag: Jack Chesnutt

  1. If you found something like a nice ballmark on the course, the honorable thing to do would be to turn it in to the Club House so the unlucky person who lost it could get it back. Who knows, maybe he/she was planning on giving it to someone special. How is this different from self policing on the Rules? Golf is a game of honor after all.

    • So, Bob, do you turn in golf balls that you find?

      Clubs, wallets, phones, sunglasses, etc. – absolutely return such to the clubhouse. Unless the markers, divot tool, etc. are engraved with a name or initials – they are made to travel.

      • It’s an interesting moral question–where to draw the finders-keepers line. I’m with Cartman, but I can see how Bob could include ball markers in the other category, and I can picture ones that I myself would turn in. On the other hand, I’ve lost hundreds of ball markers and green-repair tools over the years, and it never occurred to me to ask in the golf shop whether any of them had turned up. I kind of like thinking that they’re possibly still in circulation, but in other hands. I also feel mildly depressed when I look at my collection of foreign coins and souvenir markers and realize that I won’t possibly live long enough to use them all. Losing one, even a current favorite, seems almost like a blessing, because then I can move another (possibly luckier) one into the rotation. As for balls–we did once have a member who wrote her name and a reward amount on each one she used. They weren’t nice balls, either.

  2. Ouch! Bob- while I have turned in many a wedge, head-cover, and even towels, it would not occur to me to turn in 3 found ball markers to the pro shop. I agree that golf is nothing if it is not a game of honor. When I found the markers, I thought carefully about leaving them on that beautiful fairway, but thoughts of a mower turning them into metal bits tipped the scale in favor of picking them up and keeping them in the game. David Owen’s piece on “what’s in my bag’ gave me the opportunity to get the word out that I still have the markers for Arrowhead and the Old Course. Let the owner come forward, please! I’ll pay the fed-x to get them home. – Jack

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