Man in crowd behind rope suddenly asks, "What do you think of alums, Arnie?" meaning the aluminum shafts golfers are beginning to experiment with. Palmer's face lost in thought. Long pause. Palmer sets up ball. Then delivers opinion. Very clear voice. Says that aluminum shafts are an interesting development. Everybody reflects on his statement. He hits iron shot. Everyone stares at its flight fixedly. Soars out. Blair takes three, four hurried steps to left, and ball hits and bounces where he was.
"Yah, it's an interesting development," Palmer says. The same man ventures: "That an aluminum shaft you're using there?"
Everyone leans forward slightly.
"About half of these clubs are aluminum, the other half steel."
Everyone backs away, informed.
An airplane goes over, its motor very loud in the mist. Palmer looks up. Everyone looks up.
Time for another club. Strips cellophane wrapping. Hefts it. Motions Blair back.
All his practice balls are new and are marked Palmer 1. He strips glove off glove hand to get feel of club. His glove hand is dyed purple from the glove. Enormous wrists.
Another man asks: "That a four-iron you got there, Arnie?" Perceptible leaning forward again.
A pause. For dramatic effect? Palmer says: "No, got a five here."