You Can Take It With You

Golfer’s collection of divots from great courses is latest example there’s something wrong with us

November 05, 2021

Avid golfers are often avid collectors. Of experiences, yes, but also things. Scorecards, logoed golf shirts, selfies in front of iconic golf holes—there are plenty of ways one might commemorate a visit to hallowed golf turf.

Including, apparently, grabbing some of the turf itself.

That at least is what Kansas golfer Dan Young does, and he’s got the batch of plastic bags filled with crusty divots to prove it.

Credit Golf Channel host Shane Bacon for endeavoring to shine new light on the warped minds of golfers by asking his Twitter followers to name “the nerdiest golf thing” they collected. To go with the expected collections of scorecards and ball markers, the responses to Bacon also included a few outliers—from logoed plastic bags to logoed water bottles to, better yet, logoed water bottles filled with sand from those course’s bunkers.

But none rivaled the ingenuity or sheer weirdness of Young’s collection of divots, which he said he began five years ago, and includes sod from Augusta National, Bandon Dunes, Whistling Straits and the Old Course at St. Andrews.

“I must confess I didn’t play all these courses,” Young, who plays out of Prairie Trails in El Dorado, Kansas, wrote in a message. “My friends have helped me out.”

Young did play all the courses in Scotland in his collection, and it was at the Old Course where he received the expected quizzical look from a caddie as he scooped up his keepsake. But even then, the subtext was when it comes to golfers, the bizarre isn’t that bizarre at all.

“He said, ‘What are you doing?’ I told him I collect them,” Young recalled. “He said, ‘Cool,” and we went on our merry way.’ ”