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REMEMBER THE RED....
CROSS IN THE COUNTRY
How sharper than a duffer's hook it is, say the club pros of America, to have a bunch of thankless touring pros. The club men, who give lessons, sell equipment and go home at night, say they have trained, advised and hosted the touring pros, who travel about making headlines and big money, down through the years, free of charge, and now the touring boys have abandoned them.
When virtually all the top money-winning pros split off from the PGA to form the APG and run their own show, the club men were left behind. Some of them are now setting to work to train more young players and build the PGA back up to where it can challenge the upstart APG. Others are more interested in spiting the deserters. Some of these, taking APG to stand for Arnold Palmer Go, are refusing to sell Palmer equipment. Others are saying that they will no longer extend the traditional courtesy of letting the touring pros play their clubs' courses free of greens fees. One San Francisco club's board of directors recently voted to authorize the home pro to charge any touring pro, and other clubs are expected to follow that lead.
Such official bad relations may be ironed out in meetings this week and later between APG and PGA representatives. But it will be a long time before many club pros extend any heartfelt welcome homes to the stars they view as prodigal sons.
Wilt Chamberlain has been criticized for many things in his 10 turbulent years of professional basketball, but never—until this, his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers—for not being high enough. Or, more specifically, for not playing a high-enough post.
The Lakers, now employing three superstars, have risen, as expected (SI, Oct. 14 and Oct. 21), to the leadership of the NBA's Western Division. But they have not been nearly the juggernaut they oughta. The trouble—not completely unforeseen—is that Elgin Baylor and Jerry West have always played with centers who work on or around the foul line—the high post. The high-post center's job is to pass to, and then screen for, men moving past him toward the basket, or to turn and shoot from near the line. Chamberlain, however, is the prototype low-post center. He likes to station himself near the basket, where he can either pass to teammates revolving around him or take one giant step to the basket for dunks, and where he can also get plenty of offensive rebounds. In that area he creates too much congestion for Baylor or West to drive through handily.
Coach Bill van Breda Kolff hasn't resolved the issue for good, but so far he has been asking Wilt, rather than the others, to give. Reluctantly, Wilt has spent more and more time in the high post. "If the coach wants it that way, that's what I'm willing to do," he says. "But it definitely hurts my rebounding game. My feeling is negative, but I fight it down in the best interest of the team. I must go along until I feel that I can't."