New York Times Discovers ‘Poor People’ Who Golf


Corey Kilgannon is outdoing himself over at the New York Times City Room blog! Yesterday, he wrote of a real-life hobo he discovered roaming about Central Park, a cowboy-faced “ramblin’ man” named Larry, lookin’ “to hop a train outta here.” Today we get the tale of two creative cousins from Washington Heights who, several times a week, “buy a sack of used golf balls at a Midtown golf shop,” “grab a fifth of Bacardi rum and some pineapple juice,” and “head to the water with a trash-picked pair of junior clubs.” Get that: They golf!

“The Hudson, the Harlem River — we mix it up,” said Angel Medina, as he and his cousin whacked ball after ball into the water off Inwood Hill Park one recent afternoon. “This is the poor man’s golf range. Like in the movies, where people hit golf balls off a yacht. This is our version of that.”

Hooray for innovation, and for people who’ve found a way to avoid paying the exorbitant rates at Chelsea Piers to play a sport they enjoy. Hooray for golfing to music and with a Solo cup of sweet booziness, which must serve to make golfing slightly less tedious. Hooray for the Times and their love of anthropological details!

Music blared from Thomas Medina’s cellphone, and on the ground, next to a bag of golf tees, was a bag of bruised Top-Flites, scarred Titleists, nicked Pinnacles and worn-out Callaways. The balls had truly seen better days. It was just as well that they were headed for the bottom of the Harlem River.

The cousins, by the way, learned to golf at the South Kent School in Connecticut, which they attended, reports the Times, “on financial aid.”

On Manhattan’s Edge, a ‘Poor Man’s Golf Range’ [NYT]

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 20, 2011

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