Tee-off at the Summit?
Transatlantic cables last week were abuzz with reports that Britain's Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was off to Scotland on a secret, high-priority mission. Its object: some intense practice on the links to fit the chief executive of Great Britain to take on his U.S. counterpart when the two meet in Washington later this month.
Scots experts promptly rushed to the defense of their Prime Minister with the claim that his game was already three to five strokes better than that of the American President. "Mr. Macmillan's swing and style are very good and orthodox," said one Highland pro. "His driving is a shade better than his putting and he's steadier with his woods than his irons. He's not very good in the bunkers either, but he has more fine shots than bad ones. He's got that real old Scots swing."
In the U.S. a patriot who knows both golf and international conflict—Frank Pace Jr., former Secretary of the Army and now president of the International Golf Association—announced himself ready to provide a suitable trophy for the winner of whatever tournament play at the summit might be arranged.
Unfortunately, the prospect of an international sporting event that might have proved second only to the forthcoming America's Cup races in patriotically partisan interest went up in the smoke of diplomatic duty when official spokesmen at Whitehall and the White House announced that, what with conferences, official trips and what not, there would probably be no time for golf during the Prime Minister's U.S. visit. But the fact remained that Harold Macmillan had indeed spent a pleasant day or two in Scotland playing golf.
Unlike that of Ike, whose occasional well-earned tours on the golf course are the object of constant comment by a captious and caustic American press, Macmillan's golf goes virtually unnoticed in Britain's papers. The four rounds he played with his genial wife, Lady Dorothy, last week at Perthshire's mountain-ringed Glen-eagles marked the second time he has been able to play in a year, and only two London papers even bothered to note them. Even the Macmillans' fellow-golfers paid little attention. "You see," said the club pro, "they were too busy playing themselves to notice the Prime Minister."
Accompanied by only a single secretary and one discreetly self-effacing security officer, the British pair covered the 6,577-yard course four times in an average two and a half hours with no more formal arrangements than a quick phone call to make sure a good caddie was available. On the first round the Prime Minister beat Lady Dorothy by nine strokes with an 86. During the next three rounds he shot an 83, an 81 and a figure which his caddie tactfully described—after some Macmillan moments in a sandtrap—as "around 87."
The final match, though not at all likely to put the fear of British conquest into Ike, was marked by one splendid moment of triumph when the Prime Minister sent a long, sweet ball winging down the fairway at the difficult 421-yard ninth hole. "Not a bad drive," said 64-year-old Harold Macmillan, "for an old man bordering on 70."
Throwing the Osmium
How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince's daughter, sang wise (and susceptible) old King Solomon some time ago. If the Russian fans at Leningrad last July did not sing the same thing or something like it when Russian high jumpers eight times topped the marks of the best jumpers in the U.S., they should have, for all the Soviet jumpers, including Champion Yuri Stepanov (who leaped a record 7 feet 1⅛ inches), were wearing specially built-up shoes whose inch-thick sponge-rubber soles sent them off the ground like springboards.