If you're a Republican and a golfer, the best thing about the 1996 presidential election is that it won't be contested at match play.
This year's crop of GOP contenders are, as golfers, no threat to incumbent Democrat and 16-something-handicap Bill Clinton. In fact, only one of the Republicans, long shot (for president, not on the golf course) Morry Taylor of Michigan, (1) has any kind of a game.
Although Taylor barely makes a blip in the polls, he is prepared to tee it up anyplace, anytime, with any of the GOP hopefuls.
"My game's not as good as Dan Quayle's," he says, "but I'd beat any one of the other presidential candidates." Taylor, whose campaign slogan is, appropriately, Taylor Made for President, belongs to Lochmoor Country Club in Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., and Quincy Country Club in Quincy, Ill. When he isn't running for the nation's highest office, Taylor serves as president and CEO of Titan Wheel International in Des Moines, a multinational company that manufactures wheels for Caterpillar farm implements and, of course, golf carts. Here's the skinny on the golf games, or lack thereof, of the other Republicans.
(2) Dick Lugar
The senator from Indiana might be the only candidate capable of playing Taylor without getting strokes. His handlers say Lugar doesn't play much but add ominously, "He played in college. "If he carries a one-iron, all bets are off.
(3) Pat Buchanan
He's not a player but did caddie as a youngster (and reportedly first met I Richard Nixon—for whom he later worked as a speechwriter—on a golf course).
(4) Lamar Alexander
The former Secretary of Education from Tennessee never took lessons.
(5) Bob Dole
War injuries ruled out golf for the Senate majority leader from Kansas but did not stop Dole from hefting a club recently at a press conference as he mused about where President Clinton was spending his free time during the budget crisis.
(6) Malcolm [Steve] Forbes
Sure, he's the son of a Hurley-driving billionaire but apparently did not lead the country club life.
(7) Phil Gramm
A press aide wants the world to know that the Texan "flat-out doesn't play."