Page 7, 24th July 1981

24th July 1981
Page 7
Page 7, 24th July 1981 — Lord Longford's golfing style more like a game of croquet
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Organisations: Irish Tourist Board
Locations: Manchester, Dublin

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Lord Longford's golfing style more like a game of croquet

SANDWICH, as the scene for the British Open Golf Championship came in for a lot of criticism, but I suppose there was as much gamesmanship involved as anything else. Many years ago, I remember being taken there by, of all people. the present one and only Lord Longford. I say of all people for no other reason than he seems to me to be the last person you associate with niblick, brassie or driver — but he never ceases to spring surprises.

I honestly can't remember whether he played good golf or bad that afternoon but he destroyed even the unlikely possibility of mc playing in any coherent fashion by producing not the normal putter but a Tshaped object which he swung between his legs, somewhat in the style of a mallet in a game of croquet.

To see Frank hunched over this object, glasses sliding down his nose, hair flying upwards over the shining dome, would be enough to have Jack Nicklaus go round in 104.

Still on golf, did you read about American Jerry Pate, who ended a three year spell or indifferent golf with a win in the Danny Thomas-Memphis Classic? He celebrated by walking straight off the lath tee and plunging into a lake. He was celebrating, among other things, a total earnings of one million dollars in a career that really began only five years ago when he won the US Open.

Last time I heard of a lake featuring in golf was in Manchester, where a depressed and defeated golfer in exasperation flung his whole set of golf clubs into the lake and disappeared in the evening mist. Some time afterwards. he was observed sheepishly making his way back, wading waist high into the lake to retrieve his golf clubs, zip the side pocket and recover , . his car keys.

I DON'T knov. who puts together the readings on Sundays that so helpfully appear on our seats for Mass. A few weeks ago. in Dublin, I wondered if it wasn't, in fact, the Irish Tourist Board.

They say the great promotional trick of all time is to make virtues out or faults. July was still blowing its March-like course through the holiday calendar when the choice for the Old Testament reading from. the prophet Isaiah intoned: "As the rain and the snow came down from heaven and return not thither but water the earth. making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater . . . "

Powerful stuff, this, more especially ii there's a desert or two handy, instead of the curlews calling out there on the marsh. However, we weren't finished yet. The first Responsorial Psalm rammed home the point. "You care for the earth, give it water. You fill it with riches. Your river in heaven brims over to provide its grain".

There was some more drenched prose along these lines and I don't know if I left the church any holier than I went in, but I did have a new view on summer.




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