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Sports columnist on golf in Cuba, November 18, 1958

November 18, 2008 |  6:49 am
1958_1118_page1
 

1958_1118_sports Times columnist visits Cuba and reports about golf. Golf?

"The Cuban rebel leader, Fidel Castro, has dealt the tourist business in Havana an awful blow," Braven Dyer wrote, adding that the incoming revolt didn't stop the celebrity golfers from having a great time.

According to Dyer, his party was stopped by soldiers as they drove from the Havana Hilton to the golf course. Johnny Weissmuller, an Olympic athlete who became famous again in a second career as Tarzan, "let out his jungle yell and the gendarmes promptly lowered their rifles, smiled and yipped 'Tarzan' as they waved us on."

Other celebrities of the era along for the trip included Buddy Rogers, Hoagy Carmichael and Bob Crosby.

Readers learned that the Havana Hilton had only five floors open because "the rebels have scared people away." Dyer detailed dinner one night: "You never saw such food. The most popular drink with tourists is the frozen Daiquiri, made of rum so light you hardly know you've had it until the roof caves in."

I realize this was a different era, with different standards, but a golfing trip to the Cuba during the revolution? Maybe there's a hard-hitting piece from this trip I haven't found yet. I'll keep looking. This story just read like a travel brochure and should have been spiked.

The rebels took control of Havana on Jan. 1, 1959. Probably plenty of available tee times that day.

--Keith Thursby


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