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Camden native pens book detailing Eisenhower’s love of golf

Posted: August 20, 2013 3:34 p.m.
Updated: August 21, 2013 5:00 a.m.

Camden native and golf writer/author David Sowell has penned a new book entitled “Ike, Golf, and Augusta.”
The book is available in paperback through as well as in a Kindle version.
The book traces Dwight Eisenhower’s path to golf’s Hall of Fame, and one could make the case his journey to the Oval Office as well, begins in the clubhouse of a war ravaged French country club, during the Battle of the Bulge, when he meets with an Augusta National member.
This encounter leads to an invite to the Augusta National Golf Club several years later. When Ike sets foot on the grounds of the club as a guest, he is 57 years old and at best a casual golfer. When he departs, he is a member and on a rapid path to becoming a golf fanatic.
Sowell’s book chronicles President Eisenhower’s obsession for the game of golf, his love of Augusta National, and his relationships with a small but ultra-powerful group of the Augusta National membership he calls “the gang.”
The book details how Ike receives a wealth of assistance in pursuing his zest for the sport.  Just a few examples are:
* The physicist who designed the intricate detonator for the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki provides him with a device that tracks his swing plane and swing speed.
* The USGA builds him a putting green for the White House lawn.  The PGA does the same for his home in Gettysburg.
* Bobby Jones provides him with clubs and balls.
* Robert Trent Jones builds a mini-course for him at Camp David.
Even Khrushchev gets into the act, commissioning a course be built for Ike’s use during a planned trip to the USSR.
Ike, Golf, and Augusta also details how Ike’s golf was intertwined with both of his presidential election victories, and the big events of his eight years in office, from the Army-McCarthy Hearings to the U-2 crisis. It also covers the effect his golf had on his family, his staff, his allies, and his opponents, both domestic and foreign.
It will also cover the significant influence he had on the game that his good friend Arnold Palmer once summed up with this statement. “One would be hard pressed to find any single person who did more to popularize the game of golf, not only in the United States but throughout the world, than President Eisenhower.”

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