PEOPLE - Sports Illustrated Vault |
Publish date:



The proliferation of golf tournaments sponsored by entertainers may reach the ultimate sometime in 1971 when the first annual Jackie Gleason golf tournament is scheduled to take place near Fort Lauderdale. Right now, the tournament is supposed to have a $300,000 purse with $75,000 going to the winner, but Gleason says, "We will top whatever prize money is being offered elsewhere." Such an extravaganza cannot be held just anywhere, so Gleason, himself a golf addict of long standing, is planning what is billed as "the most elaborate golf facility in the world"—a par-72, 455-acre course that can be stretched out to play 8,029 yards and will cost around $50 million. With permanent camera locations at all 18 holes and elevated walkways for spectators, the course is designed with TV in mind, even to the point of flower beds and rock gardens for the color cameras. The course's name? The Great One, what else?

Comedian Joe E. Lewis has what might be called the evening line on female jockeys. Says Joe E., as reported by Columnist Leonard Lyons: "Some men have been ruined by women and some men by horses. Now we have a parlay...."

A Pierre Trudeau he is not, but neither is Georges Pompidou, who has a good shot at becoming the next president of France, what you would call a sedentary statesman. Until he had a bad accident in 1958, Pompidou was such a good skier that he gave his wife Claude "an inferiority complex." Both M. and Mme. Pompidou are skilled equestrians (she is astride the horse; he is at its head), he is an enthusiastic Rugby fan and a pheasant hunter, but his favorite sport is the French bowling game pétanque. Pompidou learned to swim at Saint-Tropez in 1951 at the age of 40. Says Mme.: "He likes swimming—a little, but he is a bad swimmer." A Mme. de Gaulle she is not.

"Hitters are so different from pitchers," is the analysis of one who should know—Mamie Van Doren, Miss Van Doren, 36, once dated by Pitchers Sandy Koufax and Bo Belinsky and recently divorced from minor league Pitcher Lee Meyers, has now focused her attention on Outfielder Tony Conigliaro, 24. "He doesn't look like a baseball player," says Mamie. "He's every woman's dream. He has sex appeal as well as sock appeal." Dating hitters is more difficult, Mamie went on to say, because hitters have to play every night. And what does Tony C. have to say about Mamie? "We're just good friends."

Altruism seems to be ranking right up there with X's and O's in the hearts of Sid Gillman and Joe Paterno. Gillman, head coach and general manager of the San Diego Chargers, is serving as chairman of the mayor's committee for the San Diego Job Fair, a community effort to find summer employment for 6,000 disadvantaged youths. "One of these days I'll get back to football," Gillman says. "I haven't met with my coaching staff for a month and they think I'm crazy." Paterno, head coach at Penn State, donated a $500 set of golf clubs to be used as the grand prize in a raffle to raise money for a new uniform for the Nittany Lion mascot and for the Martin Luther King Jr. scholarship fund. The clubs were given to Paterno by the Orange Bowl committee after Penn State edged Kansas last New Year's Day. Of course, Paterno's golf game may have contributed as much to the donation as his good heart. "My handicap," he says, "is my swing."

One of the biggest hits in Paris is a nightclub act being held in, appropriately enough, the Palais des Sports. There, Pop Singer Johnny Hallyday has been knocking them cold. Dressed in maroon trunks and ring shoes, Hallyday sings while "fighting" Dancer Lester Wilson. Backing Hallyday is a 40-piece band, a group of electric guitars, girl dancers, flashing lights, bells, police sirens and amplified crowd screams. The act winds up with Wilson on the ropes, seemingly unconscious, and Hallyday lying on the stage, smeared with fake blood, emitting amplified groans while teen-age girls race up the aisle screaming for him to throw a punch in their direction. In other words, sock it to me.

Jackie-watchers thrilled when Mrs. Aristotle Onassis and her son John turned up at the St. Bernard Horse Show in Gladstone, N.J. One of four entrants in the family event, Jackie, on Winchester, and young John, on Macaroni, took a second, but a show official dryly remarked that "Jackie is a very poor rider, with terrible form. Maybe she does better in the hunt field, which I am sure is what she really likes to do." As for John, at one point when Jackie called him, he locked himself in the lavatory—which may indicate what he doesn't like to do.