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One afternoon last week a foursome headed briskly up the slope that leads to the green of the water-hazarded 18th hole at Cherry Hills Country Club in Englewood, just outside of Denver. Off in the majestic distance were the tripledecked Rockies, with their fleeting suggestion of a mammoth Yankee Stadium with a wrinkled roof. Watching, in just about utter silence, were a half dozen club members, a couple of club officials and a peppering of U.S. Secret Service men trying their darndest to act like golf ball salesmen on a busman's holiday.
A CADDY WITH A COWBOY LOOK
A few yards short of the green a sizable man with military bearing and a very slight paunch got out of one of those $950 electric auto-ettes which practically eliminate walking for the golfer. He wore a white cap, a light-gray polo shirt and pale tan slacks. Waiting for him was a blue-jeaned caddy with a real cowboy look.
The caddy cocked his ear as the man spoke, then pulled out an iron from the huge black-and-gray bag slung over his shoulder. The man took it, flicked the grass tops with a practice swing and chipped neatly on to the green.
"The Boss had the touch that time," said Buster Core, assistant pro at the club. One of the Secret Service men nodded.
President Dwight David Eisenhower sank his putt on the final hole, and as he handed the delicate weapon to the caddy he said something private to him and laughed. The caddy smiled back, said nothing, and departed quickly to go about his business—taking the big black-and-gray bag out back of the pro shop to wash and wipe the grass-stained irons of the President after another round of golf was over.
The caddy's name is John Mollard, 15, a high school junior. He lives in Englewood, about 10 miles outside of Denver and he's caddied at Cherry Hills five years counting this one. But this one really shouldn't count. Because he got promoted to a job in the pro shop and now he only caddies for one particular golfer: The Boss, the name by which President Eisenhower is constantly referred to around Cherry Hills.
John never calls him The Boss, though. He always calls him "Mister President" when speaking of him, and always "Sir" to his face. He was taken by complete surprise when this plum of a job was handed to him. He had no idea what was up until two weeks before the President's arrival in Denver. Then, one morning when he walked into the pro shop to go to work, he was called aside by Buster Core.
"The President's coming," Buster said, "and you're going to be his caddy."