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and is a very sound hole in five. The eighth and ninth are the normal drive and iron-shot. The tenth is aggravated by a railway on the right hand to catch a heeled teeshot, or, again, to catch the devious approach, for the hole is very near the wire fence. One could play from the railway with ease; but the wisdom of the Legislature has ordained that a ball wandering thither should be treated as lost. Next is a "blind" short hole. And here let it be said at once that there are too many blind shots on this excellent links of Jersey, and let it be said without prejudice to any objector who says that this is only when the tee is in a certain place, and so forth. That may be true, but one has to speak of courses as one finds them, and not as they are arranged perhaps for certain weeks during the year, or at special meeting times. After this, one comes to a long hole which sometimes is set upon a high place, upon which it is almost impossible to persuade the ball to remain-too high a test of golf, in fact. From this elevation, or a neighbouring one, you drive off, often into the middle of a footballmatch, and begin describing the letter Z as you zigzag backwards and forwards, playing holes of a drive and cleek shot, or drive and mashie shot, until the end.
difficulty. A good shot sometimes misses its reward, and finds its resting-place in a sandy pocket which has no right to exist. No doubt it is good practice to have to play out of these sandy drifts, but a better definition of hazard is to be desired. Over these links of Grouville broods, as has been said, a portion of the spirit of the classic saint of golf; nevertheless, in bigness and diversity of incident they do not compare with the links of Dinard, whose outlines you can almost make out, on a clear day, when rain is coming. Neither is their beauty on the same grand scale. It is all quieter, more peaceful, more homely.
After you have "done the golf links, you have fairly well "done "the island. The other Channel Islands offer good seafishing; but the coast off Jersey is shoal, and fish are as scarce at St Helier as at most seaside places. One cannot go on eating the big pears for ever, nor all the year round, and the joy of walking with a long cabbagestalk for a stick is one that palls. But you can go in a boat, or walk at low tide, to the fort named the Hermitage, opposite the Grand Hotel; you may have a look over the Gorey castle; you may even take the Great Western Railway and run out to visit St Aubin and Corbière. And when you have done these things, you will be filled with a sense of satisfaction that they are accomplished and are not to do again. But if the golfer be a flowerlover, his eyes and heart may have a feast of beauty and interest in the wild-flowers which he may find in walks or drives over the island, or in masses in the shops of the market-women.
Amongst those who live on an
island you reasonably expect to find a certain insular prejudice, especially when the island of their habitation is so small an one as Jersey. Nevertheless, even among the conservative golfing - men of Jersey you may have heard it said, in whispers, that the Guern sey links were better. It has happened to few, perhaps, to have even heard that golf was played in Guernsey; but such ignorance is merely due to the local prejudice of those who live in our greater island.
Apart from the golf, it is pleasant to make a half-way house of Guernsey on the way home. Your boat from Jersey starts at ten minutes to eight, if you choose the Southampton route; at twenty minutes past eight, if you elect to travel by Weymouth. Either hour is too early. You realise it more distinctly when you find yourself, after a hurried breakfast, on an unsympathetic sea, and by the time you have reached Guernsey— a run of an hour and a half-you are quite ready to be at the end of your journey. You cannot escape Guernsey. All the boats from Jersey to England call there, and take on board a few passengers, and an extraordinary number of baskets filled with fruit or flowers or vegetables for the home market. Will it be believed that thirty-two miles of glass-houses for the growing of early tomatoes, potatoes, and other products were put up in the course of last year alone? As an unsupported statement it will not be believed: the writer is not prepared to vouch for it, though it has been given him as a sober fact of statistics. But so soon as ever the visitor finds himself outside the houses of Peter's Port, and on his road to the golf links, he will be prepared to accept any statement whatsoever with regard
to the extent of glass on the island. A waggonette conveys the golfer, at fixed and extraordinarily low charges, to the scene of his joys and sorrows, some three miles from the town; and after a mile or so has been traversed, he will find himself driving on a road which might easily be thought to have the sea close on either side of it, so continuous is the glint of the sun off the perpetual glass-houses. At the present rate of progress it may readily be computed how soon the island will be converted into one immense Crystal Palace, and shortly before that era there will be a very heavy premium on straight driving. On reaching the club-house, which supplies all that the simple soul of the golfer should require, you will be surrounded by a troop of caddies clamouring a chorus, in which shrill voices of little girls will bear a part. It is a discovery, on the part of the Guernsey golfer, that the girlcaddie gives more attention to your needs, more sympathy to your misfortunes, than that most savage of all wild animals, as Plato calls him, the boy. It is a significant fact, which should not be overlooked by advocates of women's rights. If a small girl is competent to be a golf-caddie, of what may not the grown woman be capable?
These caddies, the male and the female alike, speak of preference a language of which you may say with equal truth that it is French or English; for neither Frenchman nor Englishman can understand it.
They can understand your English, however, and can answer you in a form of that language which is within the comprehension of the simple. The first use which they will make of this means of communication is to tell you that you have to walk
nearly half a mile to the first tee. This is the more annoying, because the walk is over ground which is clad in whins, looking as if they were providentially put there for the trial of the golfer's soul. But the commoner is of a stiff-necked generation, whether he be called potwalloper, or squatter, or "parishioner," which is his title in Guernsey—a title which gives him an interest in those whins, and the right of pasturing his cattle. With the true instinct of the commoner, he puts as much value on the whinbushes as if they bore Jersey pears. And the second use which the caddie will make of his power of communicating with his master, will be to tell him that he is not allowed to play his ball out of the whins into which he has topped it 'off the first tee. This is fiendishly exasperating, but the rule has to be observed-lose one and drop behind. Then you drive into the big high- perched bunker before the hole, and have doubts of your enjoyment of the Guernsey links. The doubts soon vanish. When you have given up the hole, and are at peace again, you find yourself looking out over a most glorious seascape, which extends to three-quarters of your horizon. The cliffs are bold and rugged, and rocks in the sea relieve its blue, and break it into foam. The golf-course sweeps down from you, and then away up on your right hand, in a fine natural curve of beauty. The highest bends are crowned by great outcropping boulders of grey rocks as big as a church; smaller slabs jut from the tops of lower hills, here and there forming a natural imitation of Stonehenge, but they are so grouped together that straight driving will avoid them. Your hazards are varied by whins, with the blighting rule attaching to
them; by sand-bunkers; by the sea and its beach, on the north; by a huge walled enclosure on the highest ground of all, an enclosure enclosing emptiness. It is said that it was the encampment of the Russian troops, our allies who came to govern Guernsey for us in 1815, when all the British troops that we could spare-and a few more perhaps were busy trying to catch "the little corporal. Since then we have changed friends, have stood shoulder to shoulder with France, and our front towards Sebastopol. From that, again, it is something of a jump to the recent demonstration at Toulon; yet the wall still stands, square and huge and grey, on the height of the bare links, like a Russian column on the steppes.
All which historical facts and reflections are of less importance to the golfer than that if his ball go into the enclosure it has to be considered as lost.
This, again, is an exasperation; but before the wall is reached, and afterwards, the character of the golf offers charming compensations. The lies are perfect: St Andrews cannot furnish anything to compare with them. The holes are full of interest, and each has its individual interest. There is no tautology, and there is but one cross. The putting-greens are natural, and excellent. There are many "blind" holes which will bother the visitor, but they are of no account to the habitué, who could find his way round in the dark. For in Guernsey the habitué is a very ardent golfer, though golf is a very late invention in the island. The ardour is not confined to a sex, for the ladies play at large over the long links. As in the neighbouring Jersey, there is no ladies' links; but whereas at Jersey ladies only play golf under
sufferance, and pain of being passed at every putting-green, at Guernsey they golf on terms of something like equality. They have tea in the drawing-room of the club. Instructed by their discovery of the capacity of the feminine intellect for golf- caddying, the Guernseymen have given the lady golfer a recognised position.
The visitor, if he admit the assumption that the male golfer is the nobler animal, will see reason in the difference of treatment of ladies in the two islands respectively. The Jersey links are often athrong with golfers, and the course crosses frequently. In Guernsey golfers are few, comparatively, and there is room and to spare for every one.
Of course, to a golfer who is playing badly the scene of his sorrow cannot be a pleasant one; but it is inconceivable that to any other than him the links of Guernsey can give anything but the purest joy. They are so bold and breezy. The great rock - masses springing straight out of the green hill-crests are wonderfully charming in effect. They are just the sort of rocks which we see in the Biblical pictures illustrating the phrase, "the shadow "the shadow of a great rock in a weary land; or again such as we see in illusstrated books of African travel, so that our fancy involuntarily looks for a lion waiting on the top of them for his prey to pass below. But there are no lions in Guernsey; were it not so, golfers would be even fewer.
If the golfing pilgrim be not delighted with the links of Guernsey, he must be very hard to please. True, the drive out, whether all the way by waggonette, or by a
These Channel Islands extend to the migratory golfer the right hand of most liberal hospitality. There is a pleasant social club at Peter's Port, of which he may be made a temporary member. The sea-fishing is excellent; the views, the flowers, and the vegetables are lovely; alcohol and tobacco are very cheap: what can the golfer lack to make him happy? If he need a change, he may even try golf in Alderney, where there is a soldiers' links, which abound in incident.
Beyond this, on the road to England, are no more links, for as yet they play no golf on the Casquettes. Four hours in the steamer will bring the golfer within the Needles, with a store of sunny golfing reminiscences which will fill with envy the souls of those who have golfed through the British winter. He will have served as one item the more to convince the foreigner of the inveterate lunacy of the AngloSaxon race; but he will have spent months of a perpetual spring at his favourite pastime, and learned how to ask for the 'light iron" in French.
HORACE G. HUTCHINSON.
FAREWELL TO BEN VRACKIE.
Lochnagar, immortalised by Lord Byron's juvenile Muse, and Ben Muic-dhui, with the other heights that separate Strath Spey from Deeside in the region of Braemar, there is perhaps no Highland Ben, not even lofty Nevis, whose name is more familiar to the northern tourist than Ben Vrackie. Standing as it does in the central county of picturesque Scotland, and looking loftily upward with a distinct peak that cannot be ignored, it strikes the eye of every traveller who moves from the fair town of Perth to the breezy heights of Kingussie, through the gay village of Pitlochrie, along the sounding bank of the Tummel and the Garry, familiar to the ear of every lover of Scottish song. Though not, like the heights that overhang Stirling, looking down on the fields where Scotland so manfully asserted its political independence, it stands historically connected with Bruce in the farmhouse of Killie Brochan, which the tourist passes on his course westward by Bonskeid to the Queen's View at Loch Tummel. Our royal hero in his course westward, after the Battle of Methven in 1306, is said to have rested here, and in the wood on the brae-side-Coille (Gaelic for wood)-got his hunger satisfied by a plate of brochan-Gaelic, Irish and Scotch, for pottage. As for the name of the mountain itself, the word Breac in Gaelic signifies brindled or spotted, and the name of the mountain expresses the alternate stripes of white and black which the structure of the rocky Ben presents in the time of snow. The snow can lie continuously only on a more smooth and unbroken surface. The Latin term Braccata, with which the Romans designated the northern parts of Italy peopled by a Celtic race, seems to contain the same root-naturally enough from the striped or tartan garments worn by the inhabitants.
FARE thee well! thou proud Ben Vrackie,
With the strong breeze sweeping round thee
Though my frail old foot may never
Three brave summers I have known thee,
Not with vacant gaze unfruitful,