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President Kennedy sent his special message on natural resources to Congress last week, and it turned out to be a message of great good cheer for everyone who cares about the outdoors. It called for a national program and prompt, strong action to save America's as yet unspoiled open country. It placed outdoor sports and recreation on the same level of importance as, say, the hydroelectric development of our rivers.
Two hours after the message was read, Stewart Udall, Kennedy's energetic Secretary of the Interior, called his department heads together. "We have been given the opportunity to equal and excel the conservation record of Theodore Roosevelt," Udall said. "Let's get busy."
Udall told his men to prepare a detailed, practical program to benefit every part of the country. The deadline: two weeks.
Ralph A. Kennedy, a pencil salesman and later sales executive who was born in Hopkinton, Mass. and died in N.Y. City last week at the age of 78, suffered from a wonderful obsession. It was to see how many different golf courses he could play. After 47 years (he started in 1910 and ground to a halt in 1957) his total was 3,150—as unassailable a record, we warrant, as ever was posted in sports. He played all 9 or 18 holes of each course and tried never to shoot the same course twice. He was chagrined to learn that No. 3,036 was the same as No. 1,002—Jumping Brook near Asbury Park, N.J. Naturally, he counted it only once.
He played at Guayaquil, Ecuador, where fissures in hard-baked clay fairways sometimes swallow the ball (no penalty besides loss of the ball). At Negritos in Peru he found the fairways and greens were sand and the ball (painted black) had to be dug out after each lofted shot.
No. 3,000 was, by design, St. Andrews. There, at the age of 69, he shot a formidable 93. Requiescat.
BREAKING THE TAPE