It started innocently enough, a little Thursday afternoon Twitter bait to spice up a slow golf news day in early November.
Chumming the waters this time was golf writer/podcaster/on-air host Shane Bacon, who asked his considerable contingent of followers to divulge the “nerdiest golf thing” they collect when they partake in a “new/cool” course, and the answers were about what you’d expect: Pencils. Scorecards. Yardage books. Some even cited keepsakes that required a pro shop purchase, like a logoed headcover or ball-marker.
Sure, there were some quirkier items, like water bottles filled with bunker sand and shoehorns that may or may not have been pilfered from locker rooms, but nary an item for which the golf-obsessed would raise a judgemental eyebrow.
Then, the following morning, came the proverbial microphone drop from Dan Young (@ddygolfer), who for the past five years has been collecting, meticulously cataloging and proudly displaying — wait for it — divots.
— Dan Young (@ddygolfer) November 5, 2021
Divots. A one-word reply. Accompanied by visual proof. Golfers are a fascinating phylum, aren’t they?
Like animal pelts affixed to the mahogany walls of a rustic hunting lodge, Young’s babies were bagged at legendary tracks like the Old Course at St. Andrew’s and Augusta National. Weirder still, some of these turf trophies were smuggled home by friends. Can you imagine being in the position of having to explain your buddy’s sickness at a TSA checkpoint?
The concept of commemorative agronomy isn’t new, nor should it necessarily sound any alarm bells about the owner’s sanity. You can purchase a little jar of authenticated Wrigley Field warning track dirt or bid on bleacher seats rescued from the rubble of dozens of leveled stadiums. But there’s just something so, well, golf-y about Young’s grassy shrine.
Admit it. Your reflexive horror turned into a sympathetic chuckle. The guy is one of us. And as Young told Golf Digest, most bystanders — like his caddie at St. Andrew’s — are pretty nonplussed once he explains the ritual.
“He said, ‘What are you doing?'” Young recalled the caddie asking as he squirreled away one sample. “I told him I collect them. He said, ‘Cool,’ and we went on our merry way.”
Below are a few more of our favorite responses, including a particularly dark joke involving human DNA (at least we hope it’s a joke). Feel free to chime in in the comments with your most cherished (and, if you dare, weirdest) golf course mementos.
…and I guess water bottles, but really it’s about the sand.
— Keith Stewart (@KJStewartpga) November 4, 2021
— Liz Kline (@lizkline) November 4, 2021
Is it sad that I have a plastic bag full of plastic bags? pic.twitter.com/mk5YMdivAr
— Wayne A. Wiggins Jr. 🇺🇸 (@wwigginsjr) November 4, 2021
A lock of hair from the superintendent. https://t.co/F7AMMmsPCM
— Bussin Thomas (@commishidente) November 5, 2021
A photo on a bench pic.twitter.com/OD1RIl2wHO
— Stuart Reed (@stureed) November 4, 2021
— Daniel Butler (@daniel68butler) November 4, 2021
Shane, I collect different bottles of Clubman Talcum Powder. Yes, it’s theft, but lemme tell you, a nice bottle of ‘97 from the friendly confines of Camargo CC can’t be beat.
— Laz Versalles (@laz_versalles) November 4, 2021
Bag tags pic.twitter.com/4Rj8HNSJF8
— Jason Eiseman (@Eize50) November 4, 2021
— Christopher V🍒rhees (@goCVoorhees) November 4, 2021