The clubhouse at the Newport Country Club is a vague replica of the casino at Monte Carlo. A top-heavy structure, it stands on a hill overlooking the sweep of Narragansett Bay to the north, and to the northeast the town of Newport, down by the harbor about two miles distant. The golf course surrounds the clubhouse like the spokes of a wheel, and from the upper porches you can watch through a pair of binoculars and see a foursome for most of its tour of the course. It is too far oft to make out details, and the fact that it's the presidential foursome you're watching from afar doesn't really help matters. It moves like any other—the cluster at the distant tee, the sudden march forward when the last drive is hit, the cataleptic halts along the fairway. Then the glint of a swung iron, the move forward again, with the President's blue golfing cart usually in the fore and then the final cluster on the green.
You find you swing your binoculars up, away from this, to watch a destroyer moving out across the bay, or a fisherman standing on the distant rocks casting for striped bass (you watch for a sudden bend in his rod), or even to inspect the gables and chimneys of the Newport "cottages" that face on the golf course—the John Barry Ryan place, the James estate, now—like so many of the great residences—church property, the Auchin-closs house where Senator John Kennedy is staying, and from which he wandered down the first day the President played, wearing dark glasses, and stood in a bush behind a telephone pole to watch the players pass.
Periodically, though, the golfers pass close by the clubhouse, on the 9th, 13th and 18th greens. You come down from the porch, walk across to whatever green they are approaching and stand up against the guard ropes. From the clubhouse bar straggle the reporters and photographers assigned to cover the President. They are able to judge the speed of his round perfectly. One of them will look at his watch and say, "Well, he must be on the 7th. Fifteen more minutes or so and he'll be up here on the 9th"; and then everybody looks at his drink to gauge whether it will be enough to last him through those 15 minutes.
When the press goes to watch him come into the 9th, they sit on the lip of a trap guarding the green and dabble their feet in the sand. Others are there waiting by the ropes: people who have ventured down the clubhouse drive, usually with children, to stand waiting with their cameras; club members standing a little apart, the steady wind which comes in off Narragansett Bay whipping back the brims of their hats as they watch the approach shots being made.
The ball nearest the pin is likely to be Norman Palmer's, the club professional and the President's partner. But the others in the foursome are accurate with their irons, particularly their short game, and it is common to have all four shots safely on the green.
Then you see the blue golfing cart coming up, the President driving, his familiar features becoming easily discernible. He stops the cart, steps out, and his caddie gives him his putter with the head tipped red at both ends. He walks toward you. It's discomfiting to see the President of the United States walking toward you carrying a putter. You back away hastily to give him a wide berth to the green. You watch him step up to his putt.
Then you realize that you have very little interest in whether or not he sinks the putt. You barely watch it roll toward the cup. The other players' shots are of no interest at all. You find yourself staring at the President, while around you mouths are ajar with the strain of ogling. It is remindful of the way people stare at a fine painting or a statue—as if some measure, or understanding, of its greatness could be absorbed by deep concentration. But what you're looking at in this case is the back of a man standing 30 feet away, dressed in a golfing hat, blue sweater, brown trousers, idly leaning on a putter and watching his partner try to sink a long putt. And he is watched with the wonder of children staring at a sleeping lion in the zoo.
He says something. You've missed it. You nudge the man on your left and ask him what was said. He replies without taking his eyes off the President, "I think he said, 'Good putt, partner.' " So you file that away, remembering the flat, rather high inflection of the President's voice.
They've putted out. The caddie slaps the flag back in the cup, and the foursome starts for the next tee. You walk along with them. You find yourself too near the President for comfort, and you move off diagonally. Everybody walks briskly, shoes crunching in the gravel of the driveway, golf clubs jingling. Suddenly a boy moves in on the President. He says loudly: "Mr. President, I'm the guy that sent you the silver dollar." Everybody stops. The President looks flustered. The boy's grandmother rushes up to explain that the dollar had been sent along during the campaign in 1956. "Well, I guess that's what did it," the President says. Everybody laughs—very loudly. The march to the tee continues. Tension slackens off. Conversation has struck up all around.
Still, though, he remains the cynosure of all eyes, and it isn't until the foursome moves off the tee and onto the fairway where the public is prohibited that he is alone on the course—alone, that is, with his three golfing companions, four caddies, often the White House physician, two or three of the White House staff and the secret service men flanking the players at a distance, like outriding destroyers guarding a carrier.
Down on the Ocean Drive, which runs between Narragansett Bay and the golf course, paralleling three fairways, the tops of parked cars glint in the sun. Small crowds will be waiting for him there. With the binoculars you can see the heads, the children perched up on shoulders, as the people stand waiting quietly in the bushes along the public highway. Some of them will have come a long way to watch this man on his vacation.
The news that the President was coming to Newport had little effect on the golfing community. The President had requested specifically before his arrival that nothing at the country club be changed on his account. His wishes were complied with: the membership used the links while the President played; the clubhouse remained in need of a coat of paint, both inside and out; the wicker furniture stood helter-skelter in its bleak need of repair; the small and out-of-date library continued to grace the ballroom table with Golf, Its Rules and Decisions, published in 1937, American College Athletics (of the year 1929), and a 5-year-old Golf Association yearbook.
In fact, the only indication that the clubhouse was the President's golfing headquarters was a radio operated on the sun porch to keep in touch with the golfing party when it was on the course, and a card reading "President Eisenhower" tacked onto a locker in the upstairs dressing room. The latter was never used. The President was either dressed for golf when he arrived or he pulled on his golfing shoes in a lounge off the barroom. He rarely went into the clubhouse, except on one or two occasions when he would stop for refreshments at the bar. He would order up a Coca-Cola, a choice which must have gladdened the eye of Mr. William Robinson, occasionally one of the President's golfing companions at Newport, who is also the president of the Coca-Cola company.
Far from the halcyon days
Actually, there is nothing in the clubhouse to draw a visitor or to impress the curious. The building and its present-day activities are far from pretentious—a violent change from the halcyon days of Newport society when luncheon and tea were served to members and a man in livery stood at the front gate. The accommodations are smaller than one would expect in a building which from afar seems to loom over the landscape. There is a front lobby which acts as a golf shop, the small bar with a mirror behind it on which a group of ill-painted poodles are toasting each other in what appear to be Martinis, a lounge for members, the dressing rooms upstairs and a ballroom with an adjoining sun porch. The ballroom takes up most of the space in the clubhouse, but it is rarely used for the function for which it was designed. Still, with that vague possibility in mind, a sign has been tacked up requesting players not to walk with spiked shoes on the ballroom floor.
The sporting prints on the clubhouse walls are what one might expect: the horrific Bateman drawings of The Man Who Missed the Ball on the First Tee at St. Andrews, The Girl Who Ordered Milk at the Café Royale and the familiar Discovery of a Dandelion on the Center Court at Wimbledon.
The golfing trophies (including one donated by His Royal Highness II Conte di Torino in 1896 and reputed to be the oldest trophy in competition in the U.S.) stand not behind glass but scattered about the clubhouse on tables. All of them are in need of polish.
The fact of the matter is that golf is what's important at the Newport Country Club. The exclusivity of the membership, and even the presence of a President, have not changed the utilitarian tenor of the place. The club facilities, after all, are sufficient, and the clubhouse itself is pleasant. French doors open onto terraces which command fine views over the course. Winds sweep in, rustling through the high-ceilinged rooms, and give one the pleasant illusion of being outdoors. Rabbits sometimes get in through the sun porch, also a pigeon or two, and two springs ago an owl somehow got down the ballroom chimney.
The President played on one of the oldest courses in the United States. In fact, a local legend, unsupported by most golf historians, persists that golf in this country was first played on a field just adjacent to the present 10th fairway.
It is unlikely that the course had ever in its long history suffered as searing a summer as this one. From the middle of May until late August no rain fell. The announcement of the presidential visit came at a time when the drought's effects were most serious. In many places the underlying ledge rock cropped up like reefs at low tide and the grass turned brown and bristly in the heat. The Greens Committee shook their heads in despair, gazed at the clear skies and wondered if the President on his arrival would liken the course to a vast burlap bag.
In charge of doctoring the course through the drought was Ray Granger, a greenkeeper who has been with the club for 27 years. By reputation one of the top greenkeepers in the country, Granger has had his share of troubles with the elements—hurricanes in particular. They sweep in across Narragansett Bay, piling waves across Ocean Drive to inundate parts of the course with as much as six feet of water. The 1954 hurricane swept a house off the course. The bleak skeletons of viburnum and willow trees a half mile inland attest to the long reach of the damage the hurricanes inflict.
The salt does it. And the only salvation is to wash the salt off with the fresh water sprinkling system before it kills the grass. In the '54 hurricane, Granger got in a boat and rowed out to the 17th fairway, where the water was lapping at the eaves of the shelter house and somehow got the sprinklers going, setting them spiraling slowly and continuously under the seas for the week it took the waters to recede.
Fresh water was, of course, also the answer to the '57 drought. But the watering system at Newport is an antiquated one. The two-inch pipe supplying the fifth hole has so little pressure in it that, as Granger says, "barely enough water comes out to slake a man's thirst."
Playing in saw grass
A number of measures had to be taken to save the course—in particular, letting the grass grow to protect itself against the sun. Granger called off the mowing until the members began to complain that they were playing in saw grass. But it worked. When the rain finally fell in late August, fairways and greens took on a sheen that surprised and delighted visiting golfers.
The course may have been in the best shape possible when the President arrived, but there was some speculation as to whether he would enjoy it. Golf courses have their particular personalities, their characteristics, their quirks, all of which can irritate rather than present an agreeable challenge.
Press Secretary Hagerty had gone the rounds of Newport with Howard Cushing, the president of the club, a few weeks before the President arrived, and thought the course would meet with his approval. But the first day, the President looked out over the fairways before setting forth and asked grimly: "You got any of those long 4½ par-4 holes?"
"Yes," said Mr. Cushing, in what was not a particularly reassuring answer. "We've got a lot of them here; and we've got a couple of 3½ par-3s."
"Those are bad," said the President. "They break my back." With this, he stepped up to the practice tee and flubbed his first shot. "Oh-oh," he said.
To complicate matters, there was a heavy wind blowing that day. The President announced that he wasn't sure he could even stand up in the wind, much less hit the ball. But his drive from the first tee went down the fairway 230 yards, straight to the pin. Applause rose up around him, and he gave a big grin and doffed his country club golfing hat.
He birdied that first hole, but it was one of his few successes of the day. The wind bothered him, and the sand traps caught many of his shots.
When he finished his round, the President expressed his dismay at the number of traps. "Too many of the things," he said.
He could hardly be blamed for his statement. One hundred and thirtytwo traps awaited him, almost three times the number of traps at either the Augusta National or Burning Tree, the other two golf courses he has used consistently.
There used to be around 150 traps at Newport. Fifteen have been removed, not because of the ill temper of the membership (the club is proud of its hazards), but because the upkeep of so many sand traps, which must be raked every day and have their edges clipped, was overtaxing Ray Granger's limited force of assistants.
During his vacation the President spent a lot of time in Granger's traps, the sand seeping into his golf shoes; but less so as time went on, and the experience, in any case, meant an immeasurable improvement, from all reports, in his blasting shots. He wields the wedge as he should—"exploding out" with a strong stroke, the cloud of dry sand settling on him as he climbs out of the trap for his next shot.
In general, the President's game, which is strong on short irons and putting, turned out to be not particularly suited to the Newport course. The great essential of the golfer's equipment at Newport is a long and very accurate drive to avoid traps set along and across the fairways. The President's long game wasn't that accurate. But despite the sand traps and the steady wind blowing hard from the bay, he came to love the course and accepted its exacting nature as a most interesting challenge. He seemed to arrive earlier at the clubhouse as his vacation progressed and one morning arrived simultaneously with the milk truck delivering supplies.
At the country club, the presidential golfing day would start with the arrival, a half hour before the President himself, of a gray Navy truck pulling a trailer surmounted by a canvas-covered, boxlike structure. Inside was the presidential golfing cart, which for security reasons was kept under lock and key when not in use. Of Chevrolet make, the President's cart is probably the fanciest of its kind—laden down with accouterments one would be hard put to find a use for on the golf links: two headlights ("for use during an eclipse," a member of the press suggested), a brake light in the rear, a cigaret lighter and a horn mounted on the steering bar. At the back of the cart there is an open compartment and brackets for two golf bags—a space unused since all the golf bags in the foursome were carried by caddies.
The cart with a Motorola
Two other carts from the country club, unadorned and weather-beaten, accompanied the President's vehicle on the golfing round—one of them for the other members of the foursome, the other for a secret service man with an ear cocked for messages coming through on a Motorola radio placed in the back of the cart, a last link in the communication setup reaching in over the stone walls confining the links.
At 9 o'clock all would be in readiness for the President's arrival—a police car standing at the entrance of the drive, the press and various onlookers clustered in front of the clubhouse steps and with them Norman Palmer, the club professional, and Howard Cushing. Palmer invariably played as the President's partner. Mr. Cushing, in his capacity as president of the club, was also a regular member of the foursome. In the weeks preceding the President's arrival, the thought of playing host was unsettling, and Mr. Cushing was on the practice fairways. Almost every day. The morning of the President's first golfing day, he was up by 7 and, to take his mind off his approaching responsibilities, groped his way through a thick early-morning mist to the rocks off his estate to fish for striped bass. Succeeding days, though, he treated more or less as a matter of course, and indeed one day inadvertently arrived 10 minutes after the President, who that morning had made one of his surprisingly early starts.
The President reached the club as soon as he could. After a brief stint of work in his office at the War College on Coasters Island he would board the Barbara Anne for the trip across the harbor to the Fort Adams dock, only four minutes from the links.
Greeted there by Mr. Cushing, he would walk briskly with him toward a temporary practice range, where a pile of 30 or 40 balls awaited them. The first day the President played, no one realized that he would want to hit out practice balls until, after being presented with a club golfing hat, he looked around and said, "Fine, but where can I go to get my joints limbered up?" A pail of practice balls was hurriedly produced.
Palmer stood in front of him, nudging a golf ball out from the pile with a two-iron, giving it a good lie and then offering low words of compliment or advice as the ball arched onto the fairway. Palmer calls himself a teaching professional. An ex-ski instructor, he has been a golf professional for only four years. The game, though, has been an integral part of his life. Thirty-three years old, he spent most of his youth in a house adjoining the 7th fairway at Woodstock, N.H. At 6 he was caddying on the course.
His professional career started at Florida's Seminole Country Club, where he was Claude Harmon's assistant. He became the head professional at Newport last year. He plays in a pro-amateur tournament from time to time, but he is in a true sense a "home pro"—preferring to spend eight hours on a lesson tee nudging balls onto a good lie and teaching—deriving his pleasure from the improvement of his pupils. Palmer likes the President's game and found almost no faults in it which couldn't be blamed on bad timing.
Under Palmer's scrutiny, the President would hit out his practice shots with a six-iron, then a three-iron, a four-wood, and finally he would turn and chip four or five balls onto the first tee, which is adjacent to the practice fairway. He hit each of his practice shots with great deliberation, often so concentrated on keeping his head properly down that he would not lift his eyes to follow the flight of the ball. With the last of his chip-shots hit, the President would beckon to the rest of the foursome and stride across to the first tee. "Come on, victims," he would call out, as he fished for a tee in his pocket.
At the edge of the first tee and facing the players as they tee up stands a weather-stained sundial on which rests the statuette of a boy addressing a golf ball with a driver. Lady Cunier Richards, who did the statuette in 1917, took extensive artistic liberties with her subject. The boy's golfing outfit—a slouch hat and boots—gives him a marked resemblance to Huck Finn. His stance is curious as well. He holds the driver the way most people hold a putter—arms bent and elbows out.
A ballplayer's stance
But his stance is no stranger than some of those affected in the presidential foursome. Of these the most curious is that of Press Secretary James Hagerty. Hagerty stands up to the ball in what a golfer would call the ultimate of the closed stance. Right-handed he pulls his right foot back and crouches under his left shoulder in a position reminiscent of Heinie Manush at the plate. The image of a baseball player is furthered in Hagerty's case by a New York Yankee baseball cap which he wears in deference to the rabid attention he gives that team. From under the brim of this hat he peers down over his left shoulder at the ball, snatches his club head up, and with a convulsive start lashes down at his target. Hagerty wears faded yellow golfing trousers with attached back pockets that hang outside and bounce slightly as he swings. Somehow the stroke produces shots of extraordinary effectiveness, especially the long irons. The drives, though, are apt to be inaccurate; in fact, the President refers to his own flubbed drives as "Hagerty drives." A weak drive, and the President will say ruefully, "Well, there's a Jim Hagerty for you."
No less curious to watch is Howard Cushing's bizarre swing. He is a heavy man, powerfully built, well over six feet in height. The club looks like a willow switch in his hands. He hunkers down over the ball, staring at it with an intensity that knots his muscles until he seems as unsupple as an oak tree. The club head comes back, though, and descends in a swift scooping arc. On his follow-through, Cushing lets go of the club with his right hand, then re-grips it. Despite what Norman Palmer would call basic faults, he has grooved his swing, as has Hagerty, sometimes to excellent effect.
The picture swing of the foursome, other than Norman Palmer's, is the President's. It is neat and compact, if slightly stiff. The power in it is not as obviously generated as Hagerty's or Cushing's, but the ease with which he gets his distance would indicate that he gets the maximum effect. One oldtime Newport resident, out on the first day, was impressed enough to say, "Well, I must say he looks a damn sight better than Teddy Roosevelt ever did playing tennis."
The President's caddie
The ball the President hits down the fairway is a Spalding Dot marked "Mr. President." Of those watching, the one who pays most attention to the ball's flight is Jack Allen, the country club caddie master who acted as the President's caddie throughout his vacation. Allen watches the line of flight until the ball rolls dead—watching for the last-second kicks and scurries that can twist a ball off the line of direction and cause the familiar, mournful, milling-about search by caddies and players. When the ball stops, Allen automatically picks out a feature from the landscape to mark the line of direction and waits impatiently for the rest of the foursome to hit their drives. With the last drive hit, Allen and the other caddies are off the tee and rushing up the fairway at a fast clip. Newport caddies have had it drummed into them to stay out in front of the players. With the speed of the presidential foursome—and it was a very fast one indeed—being abetted by electric carts, the caddies moved at a dogtrot pace. Some of the smaller Newport caddies, bent over by the weight of their bags, seemed from afar to be rushing headlong into a powerful wind.
Allen, though, is well-constituted for his task. He was a crack athlete at Rhode Island State. At golf Allen's natural abilities are such that the first time he went out on a golf links he scored in the low 80s. He says of that first golf round that "it seemed an awfully easy game."
Despite the irony of occasionally carrying golf bags for Newport golfers who can barely scratch the ball along the ground, Allen takes his caddying in dead seriousness. Though he was intended to caddie only the first day, the President was impressed enough to ask Norman Palmer if he could keep Allen on as his caddie.
Allen arrived at the club at 8 o'clock to busy himself with the usual duties of the caddie master until the arrival of the President's group. He would walk over to the President's limousine, where the driver, a secret service man, opened up the trunk and hoisted out the President's golf bag. Red and black, and embossed on one side with a tiny circlet of gold stars, the bag has an umbrella attached, bulging compartments, and contains a set of Bobby Jones clubs: five woods, a set of irons and a sand wedge—all the irons with "Dwight D. Eisenhower" engraved on the back of the face of the club.
On the way to the first tee, the President would hand three new balls to Allen. Allen alternated two of them during the round, handing a washed ball to the President on every tee and retrieving the other for a scrubbing.
Out on the fairway, the President would occasionally ask Allen's advice, particularly about distances, which are especially deceiving on the Newport course. Allen knows the course well; his advice was usually followed by the proper shot, and the President in the flurry of congratulations would say, "Jackie lined it up, Jackie lined it up for me," and he would grin at Allen, flipping the club to him, club head up, in a gesture which is characteristic when he makes a good shot.
For all his eagerness to be off to locate the President's drive, Allen was not the first of the presidential group off the tee.
A carbine in the bag
Some five minutes before the players teed up, a man wearing dark glasses and dressed in a voluminous sport shirt flopped outside his belt and over his khaki trousers, would step off the tee and wander down the fairway, angling back and forth across the course. He carried with him a small and cheap-looking golf bag, which had in it a beaten-up four-wood, a rusty eight-iron and an Army carbine. He was one of the half-dozen or so of the secret service men who guarded the President during his tour of the course.
The golf bag was simply a fortuitous container for arms, not an attempt at disguise. It would have been difficult to mistake any of the secret service men for golfers or their endless plodding march as a search for a monumentally lost ball.
Though they accompanied the President for the full 18 holes and were never out of sight of him, none of the secret service saw him make a shot. An important putt sunk, a tricky iron well-played, a lengthy drive—all these the President played to a gallery of backs as far as the secret service was concerned. They always faced away from him—so markedly that if one were not aware of their function they would have provided an example of rudeness without peer.
An unsettling experience
On the receiving end of their inquisitiveness were the bushes in the rough, the crowds lining the public roads to watch the President pass and the other players on the course.
The effect on other players was sometimes unsettling. One morning, for instance, two of the club members, Mrs. Guy Cary and Mrs. Burns MacDonald, started out five minutes before the presidential party and found themselves accompanied by the advance-guard member of the secret service. They tried to ignore him but eventually became so flustered that they picked up on the 8th hole and left the course. "It wasn't his fault," Mrs. MacDonald reported. "I just found I was topping my drives and stabbing at my putts. He didn't say anything, that fellow...he just looked at us...through those dark glasses...with that bag on his shoulders."
Throughout the President's vacation the secret service never had cause to reach for its golf bags. One of their number, on the third day the President played golf, came across a garter snake sunning itself on the fairway. But he didn't use any of the implements in his golf bag; he had a willow switch with him and he used that to chivy the garter snake back into the rough.
The foursome moved very quickly. The President himself set the pace. He took no time off for preliminary waggling; he tried one practice swing, stepped up to the ball and hit it, then moved after it with the avidity of a retriever. Often, in his blue cart, he would find himself out in front of the other players; rather gentle "fores!" would drift up the fairway, and the President would look around, grin and move his cart off to the side.
Conversation during a round would revolve almost entirely around golf. The President does not treat golf as a social pastime, an opportunity to amble along in the fresh air and chat idly. Golf is the matter at hand, and it monopolizes the conversation.
One of the reasons that the President's golfing companions remained the same during his vacation was that it was felt that new relays of golfers (and many Newporters were itching to play with the President) would have detracted from the easy camaraderie that comes with playing with the same partner against familiar opponents.
Looking to improve his game, the President would continually ask advice. A keen student of golf, he is an excellent self-analyst of his own game and usually knows what he's done wrong if a shot does not come off to his complete satisfaction. "Hit that one from the top," he would say. Or: "I believe I'm not staying with the shot long enough." Or: "I got that one on the heel of the club—no crack to the shot."
But sometimes he would not realize what was wrong, and Norman Palmer would help out. "Tuck your elbows in a bit, Mr. President," he would suggest. "That'll keep your shots from sliding off to the right."
Flubbing a shot bothers the President and elicits a deep groan. He would look moodily at the turf and hand the club back quietly to his caddie.
His next good shot, though, would change his mood markedly. He would toss the club to the caddie, his expression and manner that of a man who wouldn't wish to be anywhere else but on a golf course.
Despite the introspection the President gives his own game, he is also a team player. Beating his opponents was a primary concern and, though the stakes were low, at $1 Nassau (a three-way bet: $1 to the winner of each nine and $1 to the match winner), the competition was intense.
The President was the heavy winner. He and Palmer never let up, no matter how far ahead they were. On one occasion they were 8 up coming into the back 9. Robinson and Cushing, their opponents, suggested wryly that they let up a bit. "Well," said the President with a grin, "I've got to follow my motto: 'When you get 'em down, you've got to stomp on them,' " and with that he stepped up and hit a whistling drive down the fairway.
Palmer was the only player who was handicapped—adding four strokes to his game on both 9s. He kept the score card, which he destroyed after each match—the President felt that his score was a private matter. It was no secret, though, at Newport, that his game varied between the middle and high 80s and steadied out in the middle 80s when he became more familiar with the course.
The full absorption the President gave the game was remarked on by almost everyone who watched him play. He left the world of politics and international affairs behind at the War College. A mock ill temper would arise not on a political issue but at the sight of the 9th hole—which throughout his golfing vacation gave him the most trouble. He strongly recommended that it be thrown off the course. He also suggested that Hagerty's irons (which are the strength in the Press Secretary's game) be removed from the course. "It's unfair of Hagerty," said the President, "not to hit a decent shot with a wood when his score is as good as it is."
The President obviously enjoys his golf. He finds the game "haunting"—in that it is a personal struggle which one carries on to strive for a perfection which can never quite be reached. Some judge from the intensity with which the President goes at the game, that it provides too much of a challenge for him to enjoy it. But at the end of his day on the course at Newport, regardless of his score, it was with obvious reluctance that the President holed out his last putt and left the course for the cars waiting to take him down to the Fort Adams dock on Brenton's Cove.
With the Barbara Anne's course set for Coasters Island, the President would go below to shower and change. When he came on deck again, Brenton's Cove was far astern, the outlines of the cove itself lost against the background of the distant green bluffs. Off to port, nearer at hand, the yacht would pass another of Newport's famous landmarks—Gull Rock and its absurd little lighthouse with its Swiss chalet architecture.
But ahead—and he would see it as the boat swung in to dock—would be all the familiar trappings of his officialdom: the anthill activity of the War College, the to-and-fro of personnel, the marines at attention, the waiting officials, the banks of parked cars, radio masts, the boxlike buildings of the college itself and, glimpsed between them, the superstructures of anchored naval vessels, grim and gray.