Our Green and Gothic Home

By: Jay Flemma

Jay will be at fabled Garden City Golf Club this week for the 101st Travis Invitational - one of the crown jewels of amateur golf. This is his poem written in 2009 to celebrate the tournament.

The joyous daybreak's shimmering light
Reveals a blessed, stirring sight,
Fair Garden City, beaming bright!
Our green and gothic home.

The world may clamor all around,
But tranquil solace have we found.
Where Emmet first broke fertile ground,
And Travis's name is renowned,
Now countless champions are crowned.
Our green and gothic home.

So out and back the players go
Through banshee winds that howl and blow,
Just like a century ago,
The greatest amateurs convene
Where golden fescue waves serene
On either side of fairways green
'Neath blue skies sparkling crystalline.
Our green and gothic home.

Across our windswept Hempstead Plain
The valorous will strive to reign
O'er Walter Travis's domain,
And by their struggles hope to gain
A crystal Waterford trophy,
And putter from Schenectedy
As laurel wreaths of victory,
And write their names in history,
Our green and gothic home.

And at eighteen the story's told
That Travis dug too deep a hole
And lost an Amateur of old.
But if you need a closing par,
And hit your final shot too far
Chef Tony's voice yells from the bar:
"Your ball went in my vichyssoise!"
Our green and gothic home.

From Auchterlonie's Haskell Ball
To Billy Edwards, you'll recall,
The last member to win it all,
There's Travis with his long cigar
And Eger, Burns, and Zahringer,
Rejoice the glory of their name,
And toast the virtue of the game,
100 years of rousing cheers,
Of frothy beers and smiling peers,
Of hearts sincere and friendships dear,
Our green and gothic home.

Tonight the troops of angels bright,
An inextinguishable light
Of halos, wings, and Holy Might,
Shall play beneath the starry night,
Our green and gothic home.

The Grand Old Club, The Grand Old Man,
The Grand Old Amateur still stands.
So raise your voice and clap your hands!
It's what our legacy commands.
Our green and gothic home.

And so, "so long," but not "farewell,"
For soon again the cheers shall swell
Through every dale, dune, and dell,
As evening's embers' last faint glow
Fills full our hearts and fires our souls,
We'll reminisce the story told
From holy whispers long ago:

"Within the city's bustle lies
A gleaming jewel in glad sunrise,
Our emerald 'neath the blissful skies,
Our green and gothic home…
Our green and gothic home…
Our green and gothic home."

Jay Flemma, ©2009, all rights reserved

Since launching his first golf writing website in 2004, http://www.jayflemma.thegolfspace.com, Jay Flemma's comparative analysis of golf designs and knowledge of golf course architecture and golf travel have garnered wide industry respect. In researching his book on America's great public golf courses (and whether they're worth the money), Jay, an associate editor of Cybergolf, has played over 220 nationally ranked public golf courses in 37 different states. Jay has played about 1,649,000 yards of golf - or roughly 938 miles. His pieces on travel and architecture appear in Golf Observer (www.golfobserver.com), Cybergolf and other print magazines. When not researching golf courses for design, value and excitement, Jay is an entertainment, copyright, Internet and trademark lawyer and an Entertainment and Internet Law professor in Manhattan. His clients have been nominated for Grammy and Emmy awards, won a Sundance Film Festival Best Director award, performed on stage and screen, and designed pop art for museums and collectors. Jay lives in Forest Hills, N.Y., and is fiercely loyal to his alma maters, Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts and Trinity College in Connecticut.