Alistair Cooke quote

"The Scots say that Nature itself dictated that golf should be played by the seashore. Rather, the Scots saw in the eroded sea coasts a cheap battleground on which they could whip their fellow men in a game based on the Calvinist doctrine that man is meant to suffer here below and never more than when he goes out to enjoy himself."

Alistair Cooke

Born: November 20, 1908

Die: March 30, 2004

Occupation: Journalist

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More quotes of Alistair Cooke

Alistair Cooke

Texas does not, like any other region, simply have indigenous dishes. It proclaims them. It congratulates you, on your arrival, at having escaped from the slop pails of the other 49 states.

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Alistair Cooke

To watch an American on a beach or crowding into a subway, or buying a theater ticket, or sitting at home with his radio on, tells you something about one aspect of the American character: the capacity...

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Alistair Cooke

Curiosity endows the people who have it with a generosity in argument and a serenity in their own mode of life which springs from their cheerful willingness to let life take the form it will.

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Alistair Cooke

A professional is someone who can do his best work when he doesn't feel like it.

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Alistair Cooke

To the goggling unbeliever Texans say, as people always say about their mangier dishes, 'But it's just like chicken, only tenderer.' Rattlesnake is, in fact, just like chicken - only tougher.

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Alistair Cooke

The best compliment to a child or a friend is the feeling you give him that he has been set free to make his own inquiries, to come to conclusions that are right for him, whether or not they coincide with...

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Alistair Cooke

Golf is an open exhibition of overweening ambition, courage deflated by stupidity, skill soured by a whiff of arrogance.

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Alistair Cooke

The best thing about Eisenhower's Presidency was his Jeffersonian conviction that there should be as little government and as much golf as possible.

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Alistair Cooke

To get an elementary grasp of the game of golf, a human must learn, by endless practice, a continuous and subtle series of highly unnatural movements, involving about sixty-four muscles, that result in...

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Alistair Cooke

It has been an unchallengeable American doctrine that cranberry sauce, a pink goo with overtones of sugared tomatoes, is a delectable necessity of the Thanksgiving board and that turkey is uneatable without...

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Alistair Cooke

In golf, humiliations are the essence of the game.

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Alistair Cooke

Cocktail music is accepted as audible wallpaper.

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Alistair Cooke

Every sport pretends to a literature, but people don't believe it of any other sport but their own.

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Alistair Cooke

There is even - as with no other game - a fascinating detective literature, a wry commentary on the human comedy, implicit in the book of rules.

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Alistair Cooke

I wrote to Mr. McEnroe, Senior. I said: "Here is the sentence once written by the immortal Bobby Jones. I thought you might like to have it done in needlepoint and mounted in a suitable frame to hang over...

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Alistair Cooke

So the British, of all ages, still walk the course. On trips to Florida or the American desert, they still marvel, or shudder, at the fleets of electric carts going off in the morning like the first assault...

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Alistair Cooke

It is a wonderful tribute to the game or to the dottiness of the people who play it that for some people somewhere there is no such thing as an insurmountable obstacle, an unplayable course, the wrong...

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Alistair Cooke

The Masters is more like a vast Edwardian garden party than a golf tournament.

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Alistair Cooke

The Scots say that Nature itself dictated that golf should be played by the seashore. Rather, the Scots saw in the eroded sea coasts a cheap battleground on which they could whip their fellow men in a...

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Alistair Cooke

I have an insane desire to shave a stroke or two off my handicap.

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Alistair Cooke

They have been playing golf for 800 years and nobody has satisfactorily said why.

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Alistair Cooke

The emblem on the necktie reserved for the members of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews - The Vatican of golf - is of St. Andrew himself bearing the slatier cross on which, once he was captured...

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Alistair Cooke

[Golfers] are a special kind of moral relist who nips the normal romantic and idealstic yearnings in the bud by proving once or twice a week that life is unconquerable but endurable.

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Alistair Cooke

I hasten to say to snobs from the Surrey pine-and-sand country that no invention since the corn plaster or the electric toothbrush has brought greater balm to the extremities of the senior golfer than...

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Alistair Cooke

It rose slowly like a gull sensing a reckless blue fish to close to the surface, and then it dived relentlessly for the green, kicked and stopped three feet short of the flag.

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Alistair Cooke

Sir Guy Campbell's classic account of the formation of the links, beginning with Genesis and moving step by step to the thrilling arrival of 'tilth' on the fingers of coastal land, suggests that such notable...

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Alistair Cooke

Americans are less mystical about what produced their inland or meadow courses; they are the product of the bulldozerm rotary ploughs, mowers, sprinkler systems and alarmingly generous wads of folding...

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Alistair Cooke

More than anything else, though, to anyone who would write about it, golf offers a four-hour drama in two acts, which becomes memorable even in the tape-recorded reminiscenses of old champs, and which...

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Alistair Cooke

For many years I had an impression of my golf swing, which was that I vividly resembled Tom Weiskopf in the takeaway and Dave Marr on the downswing. Unfortunately, there came a day when I was invited to...

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Alistair Cooke

When that happens [the demise of golf], old men will furtively beckon to their sons and, like fugitives from the guillotine recalling the elegant orgies at the court of Louis XV, will recite the glories...

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Alistair Cooke

In the best of times, our days are numbered anyway. So it would be a crime against nature for any generation to take the world crisis so solemnly that it put off enjoying those things for which we were...

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Alistair Cooke

The day of judgment is either approaching or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for adjournment. If it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. I wish therefore that candles may be brought.

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Alistair Cooke

Between a quarter and a third of Los Angeless land area is now monopolized by the automobile and its needs-by freeways, highways, garages, gas stations, car lots, parking lots. And all of it is blanketed...

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Alistair Cooke

People, when they first come to America, whether as travelers or settlers, become aware of a new and agreeable feeling: that the whole country is their oyster.

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Alistair Cooke

Hollywood grew to be the most flourishing factory of popular mythology since the Greeks.

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Alistair Cooke

Man has an incurable habit of not fulfilling the prophecies of his fellow men.

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Alistair Cooke

These doomsday warriors look no more like soldiers than the soldiers of the Second World War looked like conquistadors. The more expert they become the more they look like lab assistants in small colleges

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Alistair Cooke

As always, the British especially shudder at the latest American vulgarity, and then they embrace it with enthusiasm two years later

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Alistair Cooke

Las Vegas is Everymans cut-rate Babylon. Not far away there is, or was, a roadside lunch counter and over it a sign proclaiming in three words that a Roman emperors orgy is now a democratic institution....

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Alistair Cooke

New York is the biggest collection of villages in the world.

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Alistair Cooke

Curiosity is free-wheeling intelligence.

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Alistair Cooke

Liberty is the luxury of self-discipline, that those nations historically who have failed to discipline themselves have had discipline imposed by others.

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Related quote

Alistair Cooke

The Scots say that Nature itself dictated that golf should be played by the seashore. Rather, the Scots saw in the eroded sea coasts a cheap battleground on which they could whip their fellow men in a...

Read more


Alistair Cooke

The emblem on the necktie reserved for the members of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews - The Vatican of golf - is of St. Andrew himself bearing the slatier cross on which, once he was captured...

Read more


Aiden Wilson Tozer

To square the records, however, it should be said that if the Calvinist does not rise as high, he usually stays up longer. He places more emphasis on the Holy Scriptures which never change, while his opposite...

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Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Even broken in spirit as he is, no one can feel more deeply than he does the beauties of nature. The starry sky, the sea, and every sight afforded by these wonderful regions, seems still to have the power...

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W. C. Sellar

The Scots (originally Irish, but by now Scotch) were at this time inhabiting Ireland, having driven the Irish (Picts) out of Scotland; while the Picts (originally Scots) were now Irish (living in brackets)...

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Charlotte Bronte

Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid...

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Alan Hovhaness

This is not to say that the Scots are not fine people, but they were all sort of... well, my grandfather was a minister and sort of Protestant, and this was rather depressing to me.

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Kin Hubbard

It used to be that a fellow went on the police force when everything else failed, but today he goes in the advertising game.

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Graydon Carter

I have always thought you could take the measure of a man by his sports manners - that is to say, the way in which he conducts himself on the playing field, or even over a game of chess or cards.

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Elizabeth Dole

Iraq is the central battleground in the war on terror. The terrorists certainly know what is at stake, which is why they are pulling out all the stops to derail our efforts there. They know that a free...

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Alistair Cooke

For many years I had an impression of my golf swing, which was that I vividly resembled Tom Weiskopf in the takeaway and Dave Marr on the downswing. Unfortunately, there came a day when I was invited to...

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Robert Graves

We once discussed which were the cleanest troops in the trenches, taken by nationalities. We agreed on a descending-order like this: English and German Protestants; Northern Irish, Welsh and Canadians;...

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Thomas Jefferson

What a stupendous, what an incomprehensible machine is man! Who can endure toil, famine, stripes, imprisonment & death itself in vindication of his own liberty, and the next moment ... inflict on his fellow...

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Robert Carlyle

A lot of Scots have settled in Canada over the years and it's a very easy place for Scots - they understand us, we understand them.

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Ken Kesey

This world belongs to the strong, my friend! The ritual of our existence is based on the strong getting stronger by devouring the weak. We must face up to this. No more than right that it should be this...

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Karl Pilkington

I'd say the best is when I was in Africa, I saw a hippo in a house. Someone had a pet hippo. And they're meant to be one of the most dangerous animals on the planet, and they had one that was sort of just...

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P. G. Wodehouse

Many bad golfers marry, feeling that a wife's loving solicitude may improve their game. But they are rugged, thick-skinned men, not sensitive and introspective. It is one of the chief merits of golf that...

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Halldór Laxness

He continued on, on to the glacier, towards the dawn, from ridge to ridge, in deep, new-fallen snow, paying no heed to the storms that might pursue him. As a child he had stood by the seashore at Ljósavík...

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Leonard Cohen

What is most original in a man's nature is often that which is most desperate. Thus new systems are forced on the world by men who simply cannot bear the pain of living with what is. Creators care nothing...

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Zaha Hadid

It's very important for cities all around the world to reinvent themselves, and Glasgow is a good example of that. The Scots are very nice. I don't think they are burdened by their history.

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Anton Yelchin

My playing music is strictly for fun. When I was in a band, I was really excited to talk about it since I had never really played music to that extent. It was never meant as something I would consider...

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“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

― Dr. Seuss