The Golfer and the King: An Update

In response to my post on The Golfer and the King, Doug, at CoffeeSwirls looked the story on Snopes and he concluded that it seems that the story is an urban legend. It seems that the story of the golfer and the king has been circulating since 1949.

Here is the story that appeared in Reader’s Digest in 1949:

Lowell Thomas tells about an explorer who brought an Indian maharajah some gifts which were unobtainable in Asia. The grateful potentate wanted to reciprocate, and after much pleading he finally got the explorer to suggest: “Oh, well, if in your travels around England you happen to find any golf clubs, buy a few for me.”

Later the maharajah reported: “I’ve bought two golf clubs for you. Both have 18 holes, and one even has a swimming pool. But I have a disappointment for you. St. Andrews refuses to sell.”

I want to thank Doug for leading me to this story on Snopes. If you want to read the background of this urban legend, visit Snopes by clicking here.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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