Wayne Morden. Wayne Morden is the author of Golf Shorts and
Plus Fours: Musings from a Golfing Traditionalist. Staff photo by Fred Loek
April 5, 2012
Golf has always been an integral part of Wayne Morden’s life.
Growing up in Woodstock, he was introduced to the game by his parents when he was only five years old. He caddied as a tyke and worked in a pro shop for four years as a teenager.
At Queen’s University, he played varsity golf for two years.
Upon graduation, freed from the classroom, Morden pursued the game with both passion and his buddies, experiencing some of the world’s legendary courses.
Now 48, the 15-year Port Credit resident is the newly-minted author of Golf Shorts and Plus Fours: Musings from a Golfing Traditionalist.
“What is it that avid golfers would want to know about?” Morden asked himself when he started work on the book some three years ago.
The result is a sometimes comic look at the game in all its glory and idiosyncrasies. It also offers life lessons and truth gleaned from the golf course.
Morden’s slant in the book, as the subtitle suggests, is clearly a traditionalist or purist one.
“I harken back to a past where individuals acted with class on the golf course through proper etiquette and when respect for the game was put on the highest pedestal. I’m of the opinion that our society and golf has slipped recently in this regard,” he says.
What it definitely isn’t is a how-to-golf manual.
“Frankly, these technical aspects of golf do not interest me, although I respect others who indulge in such research in order to improve the quality of their game,” says Morden.
Arranged like an 18-hole golf course, plus three additional playoff holes, the pieces can be read at one’s own pace or out of sequence, just like a collection of good short stories.
You don’t need to be a golf nut to enjoy Morden’s book: interspersed are visits from the cart girl with trivia refreshments even the greenest neophyte, or non-golfer, will enjoy.
“Golf has been a lifelong pursuit of mine and I feel that I am in a strong position to speak on behalf of amateur lovers of the game,” he says.
Morden is no armchair writer: he’s trodden what he calls the Holy Trinity of golf: Scotland’s St. Andrews, where the game was first played some 600 years ago; Pebble Beach; and, of course, Augusta National, where the Masters tees off today (Thursday, April 5).
Thanks to the annual Chewie Open, which features “Commish” Morden and three of his cohorts (Tom “Chief” Stanton, Martin “Scugog” Stewart and Andrew “Bags” Merrick), he’s played countless other courses.
“From tree-lined fairway golf to cacti-and rattlesnake-infested desert golf to breathtaking ocean-view golf, they all possess their own distinct charming qualities. Finding those hidden golf jewels or choosing well-known destinations is an exciting proposition to surprise the group,” says Morden.
Morden’s passion for the game shines through every sentence, especially when he describes attending his first Masters, which he struck off his “bucket list” in 2010.
“The 16th hole popped into view and what a gorgeous par-3! There is great history at this spot. Think of the Nike swoosh on Tiger’s ball when he famously chipped in for birdie on the last day in 2005. The ball had initially dangled on the precipice of the hole and teased the universe before finally dropping. And who can forget …” he writes.
The book has garnered positive reviews from luminaries of the game such as Tom Watson and Gary Player and George Peper, the longtime editor of Golf Magazine.
Morden will give a pair of readings, tonight at 7 p.m. at Port Credit Library and on April 26 at Lorne Park Library.
Golf Shorts and Plus Fours (hardcover, softcover and e-book) is available online at Amazon.ca and Chapters/Indigo.