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The Loop

The Loop

Ike's Golf Career

March 24, 2008

For Minnesotan Richard Rasmussen Golf Digest's April story on President Dwight D. Eisenhower's prodigious golf habit brought back memories.

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For a ten year old in 1955 there was no First Tee or Tiger Woods to inspire one to be a golfer,but there was President Eisenhower.An iconic figure who had led the Allies to victory in Europe and with great dignity led America as its President. He was a figure we looked to emulate and > his passion for golf was transferred to a whole generation who have become lifelong golfers. Thanks for the nostalgic visit to our youth.

Richard, I was ten in 1955, too, and while I liked Ike, his golf didn't get me excited. What pulled me into the game, about four years later, was a Michigan club about a half mile from my home where, if you paid attention and were really well behaved, they'd pay you $3 to carry a golfer's bag around for a few hours. Amazing! Dearborn Country Club was the place. And Dearborn's caddy program, under the irascible oversight of pro Faust Bianco pulled my brother and I into the game and eventually helped us earn Evans Scholarships to the University of Michigan.

So as much as I miss presidents who aren't afraid to say they play a lot of golf, I miss caddy programs more. I'm happy to say Dearborn is still turning out Evans Scholars, as are many clubs in the Midwest where the program thrives, but carts--and our misguided belief that they somehow make the game easier or more fun--have done away with the best "first tee" program ever invented.

Thanks for the letter...and for the memories.

--Bob Carney

(Photo: AP)