James Bond's Golfing Caper

June 22, 1964
June 22, 1964

Table of Contents
June 22, 1964

Tables of Contents
King David
Sweet Torture
Voice Of World Tennis
Motor Sports
Lost Heroes
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

James Bond's Golfing Caper

Even Author Ian Fleming, for all the sorry scum he's had to deal with, found it a strain to excuse Auric Goldfinger, the villain of one of his James Bond adventures. What got everybody down on Auric, the fat Red rascal, was his greediness—he tried to stick up Fort Knox, you know—and that somewhat tasteless self-indulgence he had of rendering his girl friends living dolls by painting them over with gold. Still, Goldfinger's most unworthy crime had to be the liberties he took on the golf course. The fact is, he was a dirty cheat. But in Agent 007 Goldfinger met his match in low cunning. These pictures, taken in England while the golf sequence from Goldfinger was being filmed for a movie, show what Bond was up against, and also make it clear that he could hold his own in any Sunday foursome at the country club.

This is an article from the June 22, 1964 issue Original Layout

With $14,000 at stake, Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) tries some obvious golf gamesmanship by bothering Bond (Sean Connery) when his backswing is at its peak. Goldfinger sometimes jingles change in his pocket or, as above, offers gratuitous critiques of Bond's style. Another plus for Goldfinger's game is the unnerving apparition of Oddjob (Harold Sakata), caddie and man of all dirty work. Oddjob (right) drives the Rolls in the background—Its body is 18-karat gold destined for Moscow—intimidates watchers by squeezing a golf ball until the juice runs out of its center, and otherwise makes himself useful by devouring stray cats and helping his boss paint girls.

Getting down to cases, Goldfinger's cheating is effective if not remarkably delicate, as when he helps himself out of a nasty sand trap (left). Another time, Goldfinger improves his lie by mashing down a troublesome tuft of grass with his shoe. Such missteps are reported to Bond by his caddie, and Bond is 3 down after nine holes and worried sick. Without a qualm—it regrettably must be reported—Bond decides to cheat back. A good opportunity arises when Goldfinger hits a poor drive into the deep rough. The ball cannot be found, and no wonder. Bond is standing on it.

Rather than admit his ball is lost, Goldfinger fakes finding it after Oddjob drops a new one down his pants leg (above). Bond loudly notes the number of the new ball and, with the match all even, manages to trick Goldfinger into playing a different ball on the 18th. The moment Goldfinger hits it—as it is written in the book—"Bond's heart sang. Got you, you bastard." On the 18th green Bond points out that Goldfinger has apparently hit a wrong ball, and thereby wins the hole and the match. Understandably, "rage suddenly burst Gold-finger's usually relaxed face like a bomb."

Bond pockets his winnings. Goldfinger, impressed, hires him for the Fort Knox job—a mistake worse than a three-putt green—and puts him in touch with the heroine, a New York cat burglar named Galore (Honor Blackman, a judo expert on British TV). In Fleming's book the girl is a mere bandit; in the more inventive movie version she is the leader of an aerial circus and is employed by Goldfinger to fly a covering action while he tries to pick the locks of Fort Knox. Naturally, Goldfinger's plans go haywire and he gets his comeuppance. Bond, of course, gets Galore.