National Golf Month, which runs throughout May, has appointed its first poet: Poetry Society member Oliver Comins.
The theme of this year’s campaign, led by women golfers Charlie Hull and Mel Reid, is #GirlsGetGolfing – a drive to encourage more women and girls to try the sport. Comins’s poem ‘Rose Bed, Wisteria and Apple Trees’, dedicated to Agnes Booth, the next-door neighbour who first inspired him to take up the game, has been selected as the ‘Campaign Poem’. First published in Comins’s collection Battling Against the Odds (Templar, 2016), it now appears on the National Golf Month website.
Comins said: “Golf is a sport which inspires me as a poet. And ‘Rose Bed’ is a tribute to Agnes’s tireless encouragement. As well as teaching me the mechanics of a golf swing, she also immersed me in the spirit of the game. She’d be delighted to see her efforts celebrated this way and the idea of #girlsgetgolfing’, too.”
Doug Poole, Project Director of National Golf Month, said, “Up and down the country, every week, lots of women work to get kids into golf. This fantastic poem recognises and celebrates those efforts.”
Other poets in sport include Ian McMillan, who was Poet in Residence at Barnsley FC, Sarah Wardle, Poet in Residence at Tottenham Hotspur, and John Mole, whose snooker poems can be found on the worldsnooker.com website. In 2015, The Poetry Society collaborated with Sony Mobile and the creative agency Hey Human to commission poems inspired by sporting highs by Ben Wilkinson, Helen Mort and others.