There's one famous use for pencils that isn't often talked about in the world of graphite. Pencils are not only the preferred instrument for the sport of golf, but they also have a reputation for being disposable. Do you golf? Have you ever sharpened and re-used a golf pencil? If you have, you're probably in the minority.
I played varsity golf in high school. This doesn't mean that I'm a good golfer. I'm actually pretty terrible, I just happened to go to a small high school in rural Ohio where female golfers were in high demand. Though I had already developed a strong interest in pencils at the time, I paid little attention to the tiny ones that were handed out at the beginning of a match. Usually I brought my own, but on the odd occasion I didn't have one I did exactly what everyone else did: I used the club provided version and threw it away immediately after the round. Eventually I began to understand why they're preferred. They're short so they can fit in a pocket or be stored with your tees, if you lose them (which is easy to do when you're lugging a bag of clubs around for hours) it's not a huge deal because they're cheap and plentiful and they don't have erasers so it's harder to cheat (I made that one up, but doesn't it make sense?). All of that considered, there are still more cons than pros for the humble golf pencil.
You might recall this Sportscenter commercial where Bubba Watson is shortening his full-sized pencil of choice with a trusty Panasonic, he had the right idea:
As I was thinking about writing this I googled 'luxury golf pencil'. Nothing pertaining to my actual search came up, though I did find the highest rated golf pencil on Amazon which according to the comments is used more by teachers than by golfers. When I'm buying for the shop and I come across a nice short pencil, the first thing that comes to mind is its usefulness on the course. Surely most of them are made for other things like for use in bullet pencils, for pockets, for libraries, for small hands, etc but I can't help but think of how I would have liked to have a golf pencil worth keeping during my time on the green.
For a while we've had a Caran d'Ache mini pencil that's made of cedar and is the size of a golf pencil. Much to my disappointment it hasn't been given the recognition it deserves. I'd let go of the idea of selling pencils to golfers until we recently received the holy grail of golf pencil that is the Viking Viskelaeder Mini Pencil. It's painted a classy matte black with silver text but most importantly it writes dark enough to actually read on those awful coated score cards. There's also a good eraser, so if you mess up or need to shave a couple of strokes on your score on the sly you *might* get away with it. I think I've found my perfect companion.
It's been years since I last picked up a golf club and I'm not really planning on doing it any time soon but I will admit that I can't resist the urge to pick up a free golf pencil when I see one (or an Ikea pencil for that matter). Like many free things, the urge to take it is more overpowering than the urge to actually use it. Should I ever strap on my sky blue golf cleats and hit the green again, you better believe I'll have a Viking in my pocket.
PS. This one is particularly funny if you're a John Daly fan.