Well-versed in golf

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Queenstown artist Garrick Tremain has poured his wit, verse-making and cartooning skill into a book about golf. 

The Trouble with Golf, out this week, is Tremain’s second poetry book and 20th overall – 15 being collections of his political cartoons. 

His first volume, Nursery Rhymes Your Mother Never Read You, is the country’s best-selling poetry book – despite, he says, “the publishers and distributors being a complete waste of time”. 

Tremain – who is vice-president of the Arrowtown Golf Club – says he started playing 20 years ago after his wife suggested he do something out of the house to stop him working seven days a week. 

“Then I got hooked on it and she wished she’d never said it.” 

Tremain jokes about his motivation to write The Trouble with Golf: “”It’s such a frustrating game, I thought I’d write a book that will save people all this pain, and Nike, Callaway and these people will get wind of this and pay me millions not to publish it.” 

But the book also gives Tremain a vehicle to exhibit his wry sense of humour: “Man never looks more ridiculous than when he’s engaged in either golf, or worship, or sex,” he tells Mountain Scene. 

The 70-year-old says the game is “an absolute mirror to publishing”. 

“It’s exactly the same, standing in front of a blank canvas or standing on a tee – you know it’s going to be magnificent. 

“Of course, the first bloody stroke doesn’t go exactly like you wanted. 

“Then it gets worse and worse till you’re on the point of giving up and bang, you suddenly hit one and away you go again. Problem is, you can’t really believe how hopeless you are.” 

Tremain thinks the book will appeal best to the gift market – “people who say, ‘what can we buy dad, what can we buy Uncle Ernie, oh, he’s a golfer, look at this’.” 

Tremain – who earlier this year self-published a book of pen and wash drawings on Arrowtown – might do another kids’ book. 

“I’d like to give it a better shot – I’d like it to go international because my first was never given that chance. 

“I’ve got half-scribbled-down stupid verses all over the house – I might pull them together.”

 The Trouble with Golf is published by David Bateman and retails for $19.95