Monday, November 22, 2010

Henry Moore on Shut-Eye Golf

Eric Ravilious, May. Woodcut, 1925. Public domain image.

British sculptor Henry Moore, in a conversation about his friend Ben Nicholson (who was very good at shut-eye golf) in Maurice de Sausmarez, ed., Ben Nicholson: A Studio International Special (London: Studio International, 1969), p. 24—

Ah yes, shut-eye golf. That was introduced and I think invented by [British artist] Eric Ravilious. On this large sheet of paper you drew an imaginary golf course with a variety of obstacles—e.g., a dog, a tree, a cow, a bandstand, a duck pond and so on—and then you'd put a few extra bunkers in; it was a golf course in plan. Then you put the point of pencil in hole 1, had a good look at the course and where hole 2 was, and what obstacles lay between, then you had to close your eyes and attempt to draw a line to hole 2, without the line touching any drawn obstacle. Sometimes you did it in one, but more often at ones first shot ones line touched a tree, or bunker, or ended up far away from the hole—one had to play a second, a third and so on until the pencil rested plumb in the hole. You could play a nine-hole course, or eighteen holes, and as in real golf the least score was the winner.