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Original Issue

THE QUESTION: How much gamesmanship do you think is permissible in golf?

Governor of Puerto Rico
As I understand the word, gamesmanship is the art of upsetting your opponent psychologically, destroying his game and winning your wager. There is much to be said pro and con but, in my opinion, gamesmanship is unfair in politics, it is unfair in love and it is unfair in golf. Let us be fair at all costs.

Conservationist and venture capitalist
New York City
In principle, none at all, but that is so removed from actual conditions that there has to be some qualification. I think it depends on each foursome. I would not even think of gamesmanship with casual acquaintances. On the other hand, I know how much fun it can be among good friends.

New York City
As much as you can get away with. The guy might get mad, but he won't explode. Innocent remarks like "What a swing; what form; what a putt." There is little I enjoy as much as playing a foursome with men who are crackerjack golfers but who needle each other's scores into the upper 80s.

Golf pro at Winged Fool GC
Mamaroneck, N.Y.
As much as possible. A needle here and there is a trick of the trade. The good pros I know have been having fun for years. Suppose I ask for the wrong club? My caddie knows what club I really want. If my opponent falls for it and his shot is 30 yards short, that is his hard luck. He should have a mind of his own.

Executive, Bonwit Teller and Tiffany
New York City
If golfers indulge in gamesmanship in a humorous manner, in a spirit of give and take, I think any amount of it is permissible. If, as a result, a close friend becomes upset and his game falls apart, it can be very amusing. He usually recovers at the 19th hole. I do not mean, of course, that you should antagonize anybody.

Wife of golf course architect
Montclair, N.J.
That depends. Some golfers have a flair for gamesmanship and do not offend. Others make your blood boil. However, those who can upset you, ruin your game and make you like it are mighty few and far between. They are generally welcome. However, it is better to play it safe and not risk losing a friend.

Episcopal Bishop of Puerto Rico
Santurce, P.R.
A friend recently said, "I am sorry for the Bishop. He must say and do what the public thinks he should say and do. The rest of us can say and do what we please." In the case of golf gamesmanship, I rebel against this thinking. There are no rules in golf against upsetting your opponent psychologically.

Former PGA champion
Lafayette, La.
A lot of it is O.K. As an example, suppose I'm in the rough with a good lie and my opponent is waiting on the green. I look around, change clubs and fidget for five minutes. My opponent thinks I've had it. Then I hit right to the cup. Upset, he says to himself: "The lucky so-and-so."

Pro at Mayfair Inn CC
Sanford, Fla.
Most of it has been eliminated in medal play where there is no time for gamesmanship. We stick to our style of play and won't be influenced by others. You know all these pros. You're not going to say or do something that the others on the circuit will criticize you for. You may even lose as a result of it.

Old Westbury, N.Y.
Gamesmanship is not permissible where opponents are not friends, but you can give a friend the dagger up to the end of the shaft and then turn it. You can bet he'll give it back to you, double if possible. But you avoid the needle when a friend can't take it. It's only O.K. when both have thick hides.