The President's caddie
The ball the President hits down the fairway is a Spalding Dot marked "Mr. President." Of those watching, the one who pays most attention to the ball's flight is Jack Allen, the country club caddie master who acted as the President's caddie throughout his vacation. Allen watches the line of flight until the ball rolls dead—watching for the last-second kicks and scurries that can twist a ball off the line of direction and cause the familiar, mournful, milling-about search by caddies and players. When the ball stops, Allen automatically picks out a feature from the landscape to mark the line of direction and waits impatiently for the rest of the foursome to hit their drives. With the last drive hit, Allen and the other caddies are off the tee and rushing up the fairway at a fast clip. Newport caddies have had it drummed into them to stay out in front of the players. With the speed of the presidential foursome—and it was a very fast one indeed—being abetted by electric carts, the caddies moved at a dogtrot pace. Some of the smaller Newport caddies, bent over by the weight of their bags, seemed from afar to be rushing headlong into a powerful wind.
Allen, though, is well-constituted for his task. He was a crack athlete at Rhode Island State. At golf Allen's natural abilities are such that the first time he went out on a golf links he scored in the low 80s. He says of that first golf round that "it seemed an awfully easy game."
Despite the irony of occasionally carrying golf bags for Newport golfers who can barely scratch the ball along the ground, Allen takes his caddying in dead seriousness. Though he was intended to caddie only the first day, the President was impressed enough to ask Norman Palmer if he could keep Allen on as his caddie.
Allen arrived at the club at 8 o'clock to busy himself with the usual duties of the caddie master until the arrival of the President's group. He would walk over to the President's limousine, where the driver, a secret service man, opened up the trunk and hoisted out the President's golf bag. Red and black, and embossed on one side with a tiny circlet of gold stars, the bag has an umbrella attached, bulging compartments, and contains a set of Bobby Jones clubs: five woods, a set of irons and a sand wedge—all the irons with " Dwight D. Eisenhower" engraved on the back of the face of the club.
On the way to the first tee, the President would hand three new balls to Allen. Allen alternated two of them during the round, handing a washed ball to the President on every tee and retrieving the other for a scrubbing.
Out on the fairway, the President would occasionally ask Allen's advice, particularly about distances, which are especially deceiving on the Newport course. Allen knows the course well; his advice was usually followed by the proper shot, and the President in the flurry of congratulations would say, "Jackie lined it up, Jackie lined it up for me," and he would grin at Allen, flipping the club to him, club head up, in a gesture which is characteristic when he makes a good shot.
For all his eagerness to be off to locate the President's drive, Allen was not the first of the presidential group off the tee.
A carbine in the bag
Some five minutes before the players teed up, a man wearing dark glasses and dressed in a voluminous sport shirt flopped outside his belt and over his khaki trousers, would step off the tee and wander down the fairway, angling back and forth across the course. He carried with him a small and cheap-looking golf bag, which had in it a beaten-up four-wood, a rusty eight-iron and an Army carbine. He was one of the half-dozen or so of the secret service men who guarded the President during his tour of the course.