For all his sweet talk with the ladies, Bolt, it must be owned, was at times still Tommy Bolt. Saturday, on the 11th green at Pinecrest, he missed a simple putt and reverted magnificently to form, hurling his putter ferociously at the ground. The shaft sank 21 inches into the soft soil, a new world record, as somebody remarked. Glaring at the protruding end of the shaft, Bolt then kicked it, breaking it in two. Since he had no other putter in his bag, he was forced to finish the round using his driver for a putter. He may have discovered something. On the 17th green, he drove-putt for an eagle. This set him to laughing about his predicament but, moments before, he had been anything but the gay, carefree golfer. On his approach to the 17th he lost his temper again and buried his nine-iron up to the grip. It was in so deep the caddie was unable to dislodge it. For the first tantrum Bolt was fined $100; for the second, possibly because Bolt had broken his own record, nothing.
In the evening after dinner, while the men, even Bolt, were relaxing or dancing with their wives in the bar or were upstairs in their rooms helping to look after the baby, some of the more dedicated women would come back in their Bermuda shorts to practice putting on a floodlit green in front of the hotel. Someone even ran across tall Carol Mann practicing her swing in front of a full-length hallway mirror opposite the elevator on the second floor.
Not new, only rare
Scotch mixed foursomes are a common part of the togetherness program at virtually every American country club, but they are rare indeed among the pros. Just after World War II there was such a tournament at the Dubs-dread course at Orlando, Fla., but it was at match play, and mingled pros and amateurs more or less indiscriminately.
The idea for assembling a well-organized group of the best men and women came from an enterprising Connecticut teaching pro named Ben Roman, whose son is the captain of this year's Princeton golf team. In the winter Roman runs the golf at Harder Hall, which is one of a new breed of resorts that doesn't even want your business unless you (and your wife) plan to play golf every day. A couple of years ago Roman suggested to Harold (Sonny) Renfield, president of Renfield Importers, Ltd., who handle Haig & Haig whisky in the U.S., that he promote the tournament. Renfield, a golf bug, was mildly interested, but mostly for the mixed Scotch angle. Eventually David Jacobson, one of a pair of brothers who run Harder Hall and nearby Pinecrest in the winter, were approached. Jacobson phoned Ed Carter, then tournament director for the PGA, and Carter forthwith assigned a date in late December, provided Haig & Haig put up $15,000 for a two-day event.
A short time later Renfield had some second thoughts, for he learned of the press's absurd practice of refusing to mention a brand name in reporting a sports event. For instance, the Buick Open, with a $50,000 purse put up by General Motors, usually gets into the paper as the Flint Open, since it is held in Flint, Mich. The Lucky Lager Brewing Co. puts up a similar purse for a tournament in San Francisco, but it comes out in print as the Lucky International. Last year when the De Soto division of Chrysler wanted to sponsor a tournament, they went to all the trouble of staging it at De Soto Lakes Club in Bradenton. Fla. The press couldn't get around that one.
On Carter's promise that he would supply a representative group of men pros, Renfield finally agreed to take a chance anyway, and he put up the necessary $15,000 last year for a two-day event. Carter also suggested that a field of amateurs be invited. Jim Turnesa and Gloria Armstrong won the pro division last year, Truman Connell and Barbara McIntire the amateur, and in some news reports Haig & Haig got mentioned. Renfield was pleased with the publicity and immediately pledged a $25,000 purse for the 1961 event, which was lengthened to four days.
After splitting the winner's share, Mickey Wright took home $1,738, the second-highest purse for a woman pro during the entire year (the Ladies' PGA Championship winner won $2,500). That helps to explain why only four of the leading 20 money winners among the women were absent—three for family reasons, and Louise Suggs, because she couldn't play with Mike Souchak, who had an ailing wrist. This female turnout confirmed Ed Carter's prediction that "the girls will crawl to Sebring on their hands and knees for that kind of dough."
As this year's tournament came to a close, there was some quiet talk among the Haig & Haig emissaries that the purse for next year's renewal might even be raised as high as $50,000. For that kind of money, the Players and Palmers and Sanderses and Caspers might crawl to Sebring, too and Scotch mixed foursomes might start to build up the kind of popularity they deserve.