National Geographic : 1952 Jul
Strict St. Andrews rules are played here. Balls are never lifted, whatever the lie. When one golfer hooked a ball up onto the club house roof, they say he marched upstairs with his caddie, barged through a member's bedroom, and stoically played the shot from the rain gutter. Other rules are equally tough Women are barred from member ship; even when playing as guests they must give way to male four somes. No dances or lawn parties are ever held. Men who fail to replace divots face a two-week suspension of playing privileges. Probably no course anywhere is more exclusive. Golfers from other clubs get no automatic playing privileges at the National. Pros pective members must be known to at least two members of the board. The only honorary member is General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower. For a long while the National could claim to be our truest ex ample of the seaside links. Now another, designed by Robert Trent Jones, is the Dunes Beach and Golf Club which opened recently at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Here, where an estuary known 130 Edward C. Ferriday, Jr. as Singleton Swash empties into Odds Favor This Shot's Landing in the Lake the Atlantic and where the links land is framed by live oaks, Jones Pine Valley Golf Club's course near Clementon, New Jersey, is land is framed by live oaks, Jones so difficult that its par 70 stood unbroken for 24 years of competi- has contrived to work some arm tive play. Craig Wood finally cracked it in 1938 with a 69. One of the water into six of his 18 holes. eminent golfer took 43 strokes on this, the celebrated 14th hole. In contrast to such a master piece was a rugged layout I played duplication of the European holes Macdonald in Wyoming. When I first essayed this 9-holer thought finest-the Redan at North Berwick, I was assigned an Indian guide as caddie. the Alps at Prestwick, the Twelfth at Biarritz, Nothing could have been more appropriate. the Sahara at Sandwich, the Eden, Road, and There are, on this curious course, occasional High holes at St. Andrews; and others, tees and greens; these are to remind you that Macdonald borrowed more than inspira- you are playing golf. The rest of the time tion. He imported tons of heather from Scot- you fight your way through waist-deep bear land, special grass seed from New Zealand, grass and thornbushes. huckleberry bushes from all over Long Island. One can only admire the ingenuity with On horseback and on foot he loudly supervised which Westerners have created such courses each step in the realization of his dream under any and all conditions. At El Paso, course; sometimes he even jumped down and Texas, where grass faces a fight to survive, swung a shovel in a bunker himself, greens have been made of cottonseed. Their At the National It's Gentlemen First only drawback is that a cigarette stub can set a blaze which water is helpless to combat. Into his 6,639-yard course, Macdonald, At Yuma, Arizona, I went around a course who believed that a trap should "punish pride when it was 115 ° in the shade and (I think) and egotism," crammed some 500 bunkers, 185 ° on the fairway. Like local members, and added more later. Some were small and I tucked wet grape leaves under my hat and tricky; others were 200 yards long and so refreshed myself with warm water and salt deep they needed stepladders. Hazards he tablets cached at each tee. No one else seemed didn't have to furnish were wind, fog, vagrant concerned; yet I had the distinct impression foxes, deer, and quail. that the day was a trifle sultry for golf.