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We can add something of our own to this, thanks to a 39-handicap duffer who writes that he himself recently scored a hole-in-one. Nothing much happened for a month or so. During this period he seemed all but unrecognized. The local paper reported his ace, indeed, but added gratuitously that despite it his score for the round was 125. Our golfer was forced to give his experience added circulation himself, even to the extent of such conversational transitions as, "Speaking of Nixon's visit to Russia, I shot a hole-in-one the other day."
But then recognition began. His case of Wheaties and accompanying citation arrived, closely followed by a letter of congratulations from the manufacturers of Life Savers; they noted that they have been making holes-in-one for a long time. Canada Dry sent 12 large bottles of ginger ale. A local brewery delivered a case of beer. Golf ball manufacturers sent word of their willingness to mount the historic ball as a table trophy if it happened to be one of theirs. (The historic ball, in this case, had been hit out of bounds and lost on the next hole.)
Our duffer's doorbell stopped ringing at this point, but the National Golf Foundation could have told him there are other prizes for his achievement, including suitably engraved pins, ball markers, wallet cards, wall cartoons, certificates, plaques and even a map of the Monterey Peninsula if his ace had been made in California, which it wasn't.
There is a debit side to all this, and our man advises taking out clubhouse insurance against it if your bartender will let you. Once word of your ace gets around the course, fellow members head for the bar with the persistent notion—and it's nationwide—that you owe them champagne Cost comes to more than the value of the Wheaties.
Japanese men like to be attended by women, which accounts for the fact that there are 37,400 girl caddies in Japan. There are also 1,200,000 golfers in Japan, compared to 4,000 before the war, including geishas who play-because their patrons expect them to sympathize intelligently. The consequences of this golf boom have been felt most directly by the girl caddies. For although the million or so novices are extraordinarily keen about golf they are not very good at it yet; they constitute a vast army of duffers swiping wildly at the ball. As a result, 500 girl caddies were conked last year, and 29 were knocked cold at Tokyo courses alone.
Realizing it will take some time before the duffers straighten out their duck hooks, Japan's safety-conscious Ministry of Labor has recommended protective helmets, dugouts and ducking practice for caddies. Said Moritsugu Baba, Chief of the Odawara Bureau of the Ministry, after a perilous tour of the links: "One usually thinks of golf as a refined game for gentlemen, but it's more like wandering around front lines."
Said one girl, as she tried on the first of the bright yellow plastic helmets last week: "Feeling of security far outweighs helmet's weight."
Sloop Without Her Pants
Few autocrats are as absolute in their authority as the benevolent despot known to blue-water yachtsmen as The Rule. An intricate compilation of mathematical formulas imposed—with the consent of the governed—on long-distance racing yachts by the Cruising Club of America, The Rule undertakes to make each ocean racer the equal of every other by placing temporal handicaps on the naturally swift and giving a mathematic leg-up to the nautically halt. So much for The Rule's intent.