The result is that you are constantly being surprised by some delightful irrelevancy. Here are a lot of old golf balls with square dimples (each, of course, with its note explaining who hit the golf ball and why). But if there is a little space left over at the end of a row of golf balls, you are likely to find it filled up with a handful of extra medals, or a scorecard from the 1926 Western Amateur, or even somebody's shoe. There are quite a lot of shoes around, some bronzed, some just shoes.
Here is a room with a clubmaker's bench and tools, with an old stovepipe hat full of feathers in case someone needs a feather ball made to order.
Here is a place with racks and racks and racks of clubs used by famous golfers. Hundreds of them. Standing and looking at those clubs and thinking about the thousands of good shots that have been hit with them is very soothing.
Here is a place filled with pictures and clubs and other things having to do with Presidents who have played golf. There is a picture of the young Franklin Delano Roosevelt hitting a five-iron. He looks as if he has hit the ball solidly, but has pulled the shot a little. There is President Eisenhower's painting of the 16th at Augusta. The paint is a little splotchy, but it is a nice painting.
Here is a display of putters that have been submitted to the USGA for approval but have been declared officially wicked. They are a marvelous example of the endless ingenuity—and desperation—of mankind. There are putters with little mirrors and prisms. With pistol grips. With bombsights. The one I like best has two tiny wheels on the blade, one fore and one aft.
On a balcony there are collections of trick clubs used by people like Joe Kirkwood: drivers with jointed shafts, a nine-iron with a face as big as a pie tin, clubs with the heads turned inside out. Photographs of Joe Kirkwood hanging by his teeth from a rope that is dangling from an airplane flying 175 mph through a blizzard, and hitting a ball 250 yards with a rubber-shafted driver. From a bad lie.
There is a library, pleasant and restful. A good place to sit for a while when you are tired from all that standing and looking and thinking about things. The fireplace in the library is made of Portuguese marble. Over it is a famous painting called The First International Foursome, which includes James II or somebody who looks a lot like him.
And of course from the library you can look out on the brick patio which leads to the walled garden. Perhaps one more look at the garden would be a good idea....
There is much, much more to see. I have told you only a little, to whet your appetite. Golf House is about an hour's drive from New York City. It is open every day except holidays (9-5 during the week, 10-4 on Saturdays and Sundays). It is free. And it will make you feel better. I hope you go there soon.