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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 286
THE WHITE HOUSE GOES GREEN G OLF has a longstanding history in the White House. In fact, since 1909, all but three US presidents have played golf – and it was during this week in 1954 that President Dwight “Ike” Eisenhower had a putting green installed on the grounds, after it was gifted to him by the USGA. Robert Trent Jones Jr, who designed upwards of 400 golf courses covering 35 countries, was tasked with designing the putting surface. It was installed on the South Lawn before being removed by President Richard Nixon in the ‘70s. But George H.W. Bush – whose father and grandfather were both USGA presidents – had it reinstalled in 1991. A few years later, in 1995, President Bill Clinton, who grew up caddying in Arkansas, called Robert Trent Jones Jr and asked him to design a new green. It was built quickly and was installed under the shade of the Hoover Oak, 30 paces from the Oval Office. “It’s not a large green – about 2,000 square feet, slightly crowned,” Trent Jones Jr said. “It’s just a short walk, so Clinton would putt to clear his mind between negotiations, during the Bosnian crisis, or after the Oklahoma City bombing. “The green has no bunker. Mr. Clinton wanted one, but a Secret Service agent didn’t have faith in the President’s sand game. He told me, ‘Mr. Jones, if you build a bunker, his shots will hit the White House, the alarms will go off, and we’ve got a Code Red. Please don’t build a bunker.’” While President John F. Kennedy is thought to have possessed the most fluid swing, President Donald Trump boasts the lowest USGA handicap of any sitting president. 1954 THIS WEEK IN ... • A 537-kilogram swordfish is caught in Chile by Louis Marron. The fish is over 4.5 metres long and was caught using Bonito as bait. • Ernest Hemmingway is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Literature for “The Old Man & The Sea”. • Betsy Rawls wins the Sacramento Open on the LPGA Tour. The American also won the event in 1951. • Heavyweight champion, Rocky Marciano, knocks out Jersey Joe Walcott in Chicago. ALSO MAKING NEWS THIS WEEK IN 1954 WATCH: THE HISTORY OF GOLF IN THE WHITE HOUSE WORDS BY MICHAEL JONES
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