Hawaiians would like to hope that next week's Canada Cup matches will produce two more folk heroes, for the islands will have their own two-man team competing, Ted Makalena and Paul Scodeller. (Superficially, it seems the U.S. now has four golfers in the tournament, what with Palmer and Nicklaus too. But the tournament committee thought it would be nice to have a local entry.) Makalena, a stocky Hawaiian native constructed along the lines of Jackie Pung and Merrill Carlsmith, reigns as head pro over the orderly mayhem at Ala Wai. Scodeller, born in Pekin, Ill. but a 10-year resident of Hawaii, is head pro at the Navy-Marine course. Scodeller's club is almost as popular as Makalena's (110,000 rounds were played at Navy-Marine last year) and he too has his own special problem: military brass. Three frequent visitors to the course are Admiral Ulysses S. Grant Sharp Jr., commander in chief of the U.S. forces in the Pacific (CINCPAC), Admiral Thomas Moorer, Pacific fleet commander, and Vice Admiral Bernard Clarey, CINCPAC fleet's deputy commander.
"Things being what they are in Vietnam," says Scodeller, "each of them carries a walkie-talkie on the course. Occasionally Clarey's command will radio for advice about something and he'll refer them over to Moorer, on a different fairway. When Moorer is reached, he'll pass it on to Sharp, a few more sand traps away. Other golfers complain that they sometimes miss shots because of the squawking of the radios."
Makalena and Scodeller believe they have a good chance to win the team championship for Hawaii—and it is noteworthy that in the 11 years of Canada Cup play the host country has won three times—but this year's field looks far too tough for the locals. Nicklaus and Palmer are heavy favorites to make it five victories in a row for the U.S. To do so, they must defeat the young but seasoned team of Bruce Crampton and Bruce Devlin of Australia; the Spaniards, Angel Miguel and Ram�n Sota ( Sota was on the surprising Spanish team that fared so well at last year's Canada Cup in Paris); and some not-to-be-ignored fellows like Gary Player, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Roberto de Vicenzo and Bob Charles.
One thing that could scramble the result is wind—the friend of the golfing long shot. Getting acquainted with the wind at Royal Kaanapali is like trying to get friendly with Chou En-lai. The course, partly because it is only two years old, is a walk on the bleak side. Its scattered palm trees break the wind about as much as a telephone pole would a cyclone, and this is a fierce and fractious wind, one that swoops in off Auau Channel. It fluctuates so wildly that it will change direction abruptly while a shot is in the air. There are 107 sand traps on the 7,179-yard course to catch windblown shots, and the 13th, 14th and 15th holes wrap around a 2,000-foot-long lagoon. The greens are big—an average of 15,000 square feet—and roll precipitously.
Another hazard may be the condition of the course. Architect Jones's original estimate called for a construction cost of $500,000 to $600,000. Then he discovered that the course site lay on heavy rock. By the time the first nine was blasted out of unyielding Maui, the original budget for the entire 18 holes had been surpassed. Final construction costs for the course, which opened in 1962 as the centerpiece for a resort-hotel complex that is 30 minutes by air from Honolulu, will be close to $2 million. A course with only a thin layer of soil needs plenty of fresh water, and there is a shortage of fresh water on Maui. The fairways have suffered as a result, with two of them becoming so badly eroded that they had to be rebuilt this year. The greens, meanwhile, have been plagued by army worms. In Hawaii the defense against army worms is the myna bird, which feeds on them at night. Unfortunately, myna birds like to live in trees. Instead of trees, Royal Kaanapali has worms.
But in the last few weeks the course has looked much improved, and the setting is spectacular. Win or lose, the world's top golfers are going to enjoy their days of trying to give each other the aloha push on the links and their evenings of gazing at the Hawaiian surf from the terraces of the Sheraton- Maui and Royal Lahaina. And if they begin to complain about the condition of Royal Kaanapali, old Merrill Carlsmith can ask them how they would like to play a course in a volcano crater and putt on greens of lava dust.