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The Tory Leader on Evan Roberts.


2!d. Per Head. 2

ISelection of School Managers.


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GOLF GOSSIP.. Impressions of the Champion at Machynlleth. (By COLONEL FOOZLER). It was a brave company that followed th& Champion and Cooper over the Machynlleth links bhat sullen, soaking morning when Jup Pluv gushed forth and drenched all who dared out without their thickest Macks and widespread- • ing gighams. Ladies tripped the sodden turf through belts of dripping bracken, and raced the up and downs 'midst torrential showers with the pluck which golf enthusiasm alone can generate. What cared we for weeping skies while the world's greatest golfer was exhibiting his marvellous powers for our special entertainment and, shall I say, instruction In common, no doubt, with others, I had a keen eye for champion stance, swing, leg and bodily movement, and wrist work in all manner of strokes, but, ah how difficult it is to attain like results from th9 practice of such seemingly easy operations. Rome was not built in a day, nor are Taylor's developed in a season. Yet this was the Taylor whom ten years back I first saw upon one of the classic links north of the Tweed, now play- ing with even greater brilliance than then. Age cannot wither his pre-eminence, nor endless con- tests stale his infinite variety of masterful play. He is still the doyen of the glorious game, the delight of the world of golf which extends o'er every sea and continent, the greatest of that great triumvirate, and together with his close friend, Jimmy Braid, forms a combination as yet uncon- quered. What did we care though it torrented t. Cooper, the Aberdovey pro. made an admirable opponent to the Champion, against whom he had played before. This intimacy precluded any tendency to nervousness which must naturally afflict even the best of players who confront our champions in presence of a critical audience, and Cooper rose splendidly to the occasion. Only two strokes were his arrears at the close of the contest. and considering the character of the weather, the condition of the green, one or two of which have been only recently laid, and also his limited opportunities for practice, an 80 was decidedly creditable. His driving was clean, well-timed and directed, if it lacked the power of the Champion's, and but for occasional faultiness in approach, he might have squared the game. Cooper is distinctly a popular exponent. His perennial smile even in the most vexatious diffi- culties is a useful study in self-restraint—that virtue which so often triumphs over superior skill-and his genial companionship has made him a universal favourite. As I observed last week, if Cooper enjoyed the practice given to most pros." he would be surpassed by precious few golfers in in these parts. I have extracted a promise from him to come up to Newtown, where he shall have a worthy welcome. It was a positive delight to note with what 3uperb confidence the Champion handled every club and faced every lie." His driving was a. revelation in wrist work. He did not indulge the full swing so finely described by Cooper, yet he invariably got a longer ball. Take Taylor's hand. feal that hearty grip from a full-fleshed fist, and you can ever afterwards understand what tre- mendous work he can get out of those wrists that look like bars of iron. And what an excellent judge he is, too, of the prevailing conditions of the- moment, atmospheric and otherwise. He seems to grasp them all in that brief gaze as he stands over the ball, the while exercising his wrists instead of, as in our case, making a twigglmg- address. Once or twice, certainly, he pulled a bit, and was lucky to escape punishment, but the best constructed machine will occasionally kink. On the whole his exhibition was magnificent, capti- vating—worthy of the British and French champion. ———— If it was grand in the morning, it was grander still in the afternoon, when his score of 71 was made up of three 5's, eleven 4's (seven in succes- sion), and four 3's. That score, I fancy, will stick as the record for some years to come, not- withstanding the improving nature of the course. Those who followed him will not readily forget that charming iron shot which carried him straight as an arrow through the rock-bound pas& to the sixth green, where he holed in four. It was a beauty that ought to have been photo- graphed. But for the virgin character of the greens, which rendered abortive many capital putts, that score of 71 might have been consider- ably reduced. The champion was in rare putting form, and so it was tantalising to witness re- peatedly the ball's saucy flirtation with the cup. In the course of a chat after the match the champion assured me that the Machynlleth links will prove a first class course with an expendituia of plenty of labour and a little money. The fun- damental consideration, he said, of a golf course is greens as perfect as they can be made for on the green the match between players of equal merit is lost or won." He also attaches great importance to the character of the immediate surroundings of the greens, remarking it is unfair that a well placed and well judged approach shot should be deflected by irregularities at that vital stage of the game." He is not opposed to any kind of hazards and bunkers, but the green surroundings he regards as of only second in importance to the greens themselves. The fencing cf greens he opposes wherever it is possible to do without such protection, because it necessitates local rules that may transgress the laws of the game. On these three aspects Mr Taylor speaks decisively, and the Machynlleth Club will, no doubt, respect his advice. The spectators were also greatly interested in the performances of the young pro's," Lewis, of Newtown, and Gadd, of Towyn, who kept up very creditably with their more experienced partners. Gadd has a fine free style of driving, and gives promise of developing first class golf. Lewis evidently felt the honour and also the responsi- bility of partnering the champion just a trifle too much for his nerves, but the crowd saw a young player whom they fancied and hope to hear more of. I am glad to know that the champion speaks well of him. A friendly match between Lewis and Cooper on the Newtown links would provide an attractive entertainment for county golfers, and I trust it will be arranged soon, for the Aberdovey "pro" has troops of admirers throughout the shire.. ————— I must not omit to mention the most prominent figure among the spectators-Lord Herbert Vane- Tempest. His Lordship, at whose expense the champion came to Machynlleth, laid himself out for the enjoyment of the gathering, and he must feel repaid by the knowledge of their hearty appreciation of his kindness and generosity. Under his auspices golf at Machynlleth should flourish. Would that every golf club in the- county had such a patron. His Lordship, I know, will not care to see it in print, but I am to take- the liberty of stating that besides gifting a hand- some money present to the champion he made a most acceptable present to each of the other three pros in recognition of their fine performances. Nor must I forget to express the thanks of the. delighted crowd to Dr A. O. Davies, who did not spare himself for their entertainment. His happy presence was like a shaft of sunshine through the rain, and with his characteristic courtesy to all he made a most admirable lieutenant to Lord Herbert. With equal assiduity, Mr Leighton, the. hon. secretary, laboured for the success of the- function, and most successfully did he play his onerous part. So, too, did all the members of a capable and enthusiastic committee. The Mach- ynlleth Club cannot attain to greater sucoess than I wish for it. Cirsumstances have denied me the pleasure of writing much lately, but I promise more regular contributions in future, encouraged as I am by numerous appreciative references to this column.

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