We had showered and were toweling off, in all our male glory, when the bathroom door opened and Mrs. Armour walked in with two Scotch-and-waters on a silver tray. Tommy picked his watch off the chair and said, "You're two minutes late—I said 10 minutes."
Without a trace of embarrassment, Mrs. Armour put the drinks down on the table and left. Tommy, noting my acute discomfort, laughed and said, "She's seen naked men before—what do you think is so special about you?"
As I was leaving later that night, Armour's parting words were, "Be at the hotel at 10:30 tomorrow morning. I've got to introduce you to my friend Karl in the lobby." This cryptic statement meant nothing to me, but the experiences of the day had convinced me that I should ask no questions.
Promptly at 10:30 the next morning I was again met by Armour at the hotel entrance. This time, instead of walking through to the golf shop, we took a right turn into a lobby that housed half a dozen very fancy and very expensive stores. In the Boca Raton branch of one of New York's best men's clothing stores. Armour was effusively greeted by the manager.
"Karl, old friend," said Armour, "this is my friend John Gonella, just arrived from Scotland. Fix him up. All he's got are heavy tweeds and thick flannels. It's cold in Scotland."
For the next 15 minutes I stood in wonderment as Karl strode from shelves to display cases to clothing racks, taking half a dozen shirts from one place, beautiful light linen slacks from another, and undershorts, socks, two sports coats and three cashmere sweaters from hither and yon. He put all these clothes into boxes and gave them to me with a friendly smile and the words, "No charge to Mr. Armour's friends. I hope you will come see us again."
Then Tommy marched me out of the store and back to the golf shop. "Now you can play in Florida in comfort," he said, "instead of sweating your guts out. Wear the white shirt with the blue slacks—you'll look real sharp" And I should have. The only thing that Karl had forgotten to do was take off the price tags. When I read them, I nearly fainted.
A couple of days later, before our daily match with the two Chicagoans, Tommy took me down to the Cabana Club for lunch. There, by the pool, we joined a group of perhaps six people, who were also Armour's guests. After drinks and what seemed to me a Lucullan lunch. Tommy called for the check. He took a look at it and growled to the waiter, "This is too damned high for me to pay. Carlos, you see that black-haired guy sitting at the end of the pool with the blue robe—the one with the three women? Give him this check and tell him old Tom is a bit short today."
The waiter, to whom this routine was obviously not new, walked to the end of the pool, bent over the black-haired guy with the blue robe and handed him the check. Almost immediately the man turned around with a big smile, waved his hand and yelled, "O.K., Tommy, no problem—I'll take care of it." I got the waiter's attention as we were leaving the Cabana Club, and he told me that the bill was $118, including tip.
The following afternoon, Tommy and I went to the grillroom for lunch before our fifth round against the Chicagoans. As we sat down, Tommy asked, "You ever meet Hagen?" I allowed as how I had watched the great Walter play in the British Open several times when I was a schoolboy but had never met him. "Toby," Tommy called to the bartender, "get me Hagen on the phone. Detroit Athletic Club—last stool at the left end of the bar. And bring us a phone."