27 MARCH 1909, Page 25

The Mystery of Golf. By Arnold lis.ultain. (Houghton,

and Co. 21s. net.)—We do not know whether there is anything absolutely new in Mr. Haultain's book. What there is, be it old or new, is well put. The "mystery" of the game is its inexplicable charm,—the excitement of other games appeals to the outsider, but not of this. We might compare it to the fascination some- times exercised by a woman who is not pretty. Under this general heading of charm comes a whole array of subordinate phenomena, objective and subjective. The vicissitudes of the game, if the word may be used in this sense, form one of these. Objectively, it is the strange luck of the" green." One day everything goes right ; another everything goes wrong. Subjectively, it is to be seen in the mood of the player. Even the greatest exponents of golf have their good times and their bad; the moderate performer is

dispar sat in a most unaccountable way. One cause may be that in nothing Is a man so ldft to hImself. There ii combat ; but the combat, though it tenches the nerves, is not visible, at; least not palpable, except now and then on the putting-green. The book is sumptuously printed, but why the ludicrous, more than Sponserian, extravagance in the spelling of the rubric' notes?