Most teaching golf pros are content to fulfill their professional obligations through diagnosis of their members' swings and an occasional off-the-record confidence of what Sam said to Ben at this year's Seminole. Not so Floyd Rood, the muscular and eloquent pro at St. Mary's Golf Club, 70 miles west of New Orleans. Rood's unceasing preoccupation with golf as a means to a better life for all has progressively led him from developing a foolproof putter to a unique program of constructing golf holes at correctional institutions, where he teaches boys the fundamentals of the game and the lucrative trades of caddying and course maintenance.
The first such installation was dedicated last month at New Orleans' Milne Home, some of whose boys are shown above with Rood. Plans are now afoot for a nine-hole course for the Louisiana Training Institute, and Rood has a hopeful eye on institutions in the federal corrective system. All this has taken Rood a long distance from the practice tee at St. Mary's, but because of a lifetime commitment to boys in trouble Rood is delighted: "Most boys leave institutions with nothing but dangerously idle hands—and there's always room for a caddie."