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Excerpt: A Scotsman checks his sticks through

Arriving in America to play the then-unfamiliar game of golf at the new Oakhurst Links, about the turn of the 20th century, George M. Donaldson had a little trouble getting his clubs past the Customs inspector in New York:
     
He arrived from his native heather, and after all his luggage had been stamped with the official seal passing them into this country, the inspector noticed his bag of golf sticks.
     “What’s this you have here?” he asked.
     “My golf sticks,” laconically replied Donaldson.
     “Your what?” demanded the minion of Uncle Sam.
     “My golf clubs, my sticks.”
     Then noting the blank amazement of the man, who by that time was deeply engrossed in a minute examination of one of the clubs he had taken from the bag, Donaldson asked:
     “Surely, my man, you play golf?”
     “Play what?”
     “Golf,” almost screamed the then irate Scotchman.
     “You don’t mean to tell me you play a game with this—this—,” stammered the inspector.  “Well, it may be a stick that you play a game with, but I don’t pass these until I know more about them.  I never saw anything like them before.  I shall have to get an official ruling about them.”
     He called in another inspector.  It was finally decided to hold the bag up, after Mr. Donaldson considered he had been grossly insulted by one of the inspectors remarking that “they were more like elongated blackjacks or implements of murder.”
     Three weeks later, after an official ruling had been sent on by the Treasury Department at Washington, the clubs were forwarded without further ado to Donaldson at Oakhurst.

Source: Gov. William A. MacCorkle, The White Sulphur Springs (1916).


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