In last week's issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED the possible future of golf took form, in The Age of Sport, through the eyes of our golf editor, Herbert Warren Wind. Next week Bernard Darwin looks the other way and recalls its past.
The name of Bernard Darwin has a stature among golfers of all countries comparable to that of his grandfather, the naturalist Charles Darwin, among scientists. Darwin is the author of some two dozen books on the game, was golf correspondent for the London Times for nearly 50 years and a player for England in international matches for more than two decades. Those who have had a chance to watch the tremendous rise of golf during this century consider his writings and his personality as responsible as any single factor for its present imposing place in sport.
Herb Wind's association with Darwin began in 1939 while Wind was at Cambridge studying English literature for a degree and studying golf during the Cambridge-Oxford matches for pleasure. In Darwin he met the man who combines the highest traditions of both subjects.
One of Wind's most vivid memories is an afternoon at the 1950 British Amateur when he stood with Darwin at the main window of the Royal and Ancient at St. Andrews (a club of which Darwin was captain in 1934-35) as Darwin gave a running commentary on the play. "Naturally I enjoyed it," Wind says, "except for the unimportant fact that I felt very dumb. Here he was analyzing the matches more perceptively from the clubhouse than the rest of us could do with all our eager plowing and scampering over the course. He knew it like his backyard."
Wind saw Bernard Darwin again at the Walker Cup last year. One result of that meeting is next week's story. In it Darwin revives some great golfing scenes in which Americans have played the leading roles. These are the finest moments of players like Travis, Ouimet and Hagen, Jones and Hogan—observed, as in a sense Darwin has observed all of golf, with remarkable perception through a main window.