GOLF, Pinehurst and Painting (From Cover)
Golf and my family go back quite a way. My father Reginald G. Narelle was born in Australia in 1891, the son on one of Australia most famous Opera singers, Marie Narelle. He traveled around the world with his mother until they settled in New York City in 1910. I’m not sure when he picked up the game, but it must have been pretty early, because I have pictures of him putting on a green in Australia with a bare foot caddie. Unfortunately, what remains of his Golf legacy are only a few mementos, and as we all know Golf stories can become just a little over exaggerated, so I will contain myself to just the facts as I know them.
I know he was a member of the Westchester Country Club in Rye New York, as well as the famous Siwanoy in Bronxville N.Y. In the fall of 1914 Tom Kerrigan came to Siwanoy as golf professional. He was an accomplished player who led the 1921 British Open by two stokes with just two holes to play, only to fall victim to a surging and unruly gallery. He was the driving force behind the organization of the PGA and the staging of its first championship, which was held in October of 1916 at Siwanoy. In those early years, my dad played golf with many of the finest players of the day including the great Bobby Jones whom he accompanied to England when he (Bobby Jones) played in the British Open.
In the late 40′s my family moved from Roslyn N.Y. to Pinehurst N.C. so my dad could play golf during the winter months. We lived in the first house on the right when you exited the Carolina Hotel. I grew up playing all over Pinehurst’s NO.1 and 2; it was sort of like my playground. Timmy Tuffs was my best buddy growing up; his grandfather was the developer of Pinehurst. Golf was everywhere. As my dad receded into his golden years, he would often pull from his inside coat pocket original score cards dating back to 1954 (when he was 63) and proudly display his accomplishments:
Westchester Country Club, South Course (Men’s Card) a 5,798-yard Par 70, he
scored a 71.
His playing partner at the time was Tom Nieporte.
On Pinehurst’s No. #1 a 6,104 yard par 70 he scored a 69, one under par.
PINEHURST NO. 2 h\s favorite score card was the 18th hole at Pinehurst
#2, a 424 yard par 4.
He scored an eagle on one of toughest holes in golf.
He would reminisce about the time he was up in Michigan talking with the GM (General Motors) boys and the upper Michigan golf championship was going on. When they found out his handicap was then two, he became a late entry. He won the final round against the clubhouse pro and became the first amateur to win the championship. When he moved to Virginia, in the late 60′s, he became a member of the Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club, where he played 9 holes almost every day. His average score was always close to his age. Golf was not a hobby to him, it was his life.
Growing up with such an accomplished golfer had a lasting impression on me. I see the game as a serious undertaking, one in which skill only comes after hours of practice and dedication. My secret desire will always be to play like him, but I know that is only a fantasy. I am content to do what I do best. My dad mastered the game with his clubs; I am out to conquer it with oil paint and brushes. Painting and golf have a lot in common: hard work, dedication and a burning desire to do your best. To me that is what Golf is all about, knowing each time you go out on the first tee it is a brand new ballgame. Your past records mean nothing, it is just you and that empty scorecard, or in my case an empty canvas. But when you are on your game, nothing can explain that feeling of accomplishment. I am happy to share these paintings with you. All printings are for sale and can be purchased directly through the pro shop or by contacting me directly. If you or someone you know is looking for a special gift consider a commissioned painting of their favorite hole. It is a gift that will last a lifetime.
Special thanks to Nancy Dooley, a golf instructor and fellow artist who teaches and paints in Virginia Beach, Virginia. With her appreciation for art and love for the game she help me contact many of the leading Golf Courses Pros, as well as national and international Golf Course Designer.