Cuba has been in the news of late with President Barack Obama making the first official visit by a sitting president since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. What does that have to do with golf? Well, because of the Cuba news, we came across one of the more curious golf photos ever.
Fidel Castro playing with Che Guevara. It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, doesn't it
According to this photo (as well as a few others), it actually happened in Cuba at some time that nobody seems to be able to pinpoint.
But why? That's where it gets confusing.
According to Castro, the two were mocking noted golfer (and sitting U.S. President) Dwight D. Eisenhower. Here's the New York Times:
One day, Che [Guevara] and I went to play golf. He had been a caddie once to earn some money in his spare time; I, on the other hand, knew absolutely nothing about this expensive sport. The United States government had already decreed the suspension and the redistribution of Cuba’s sugar quota, after the Revolution had passed the Agrarian Reform Law. The golf game was a photo opportunity. The real purpose was to make fun of Eisenhower.
Crazy, right? And here's a little more of the context.
According to some accounts of that trip, Mr. Castro was unhappy to learn that the important business that kept President Eisenhower from meeting with him was a round of golf. So that would seem to furnish a motive for the subsequent golf-themed photo-op back in Cuba.
Who knows if that was really the case.
According to First Off the Tee by Don Van Natta Jr., the two played during John F. Kennedy's presidency (no word on whether this was presumed to be when the photo above was taken or a different time). And Castro, well, he was not very good.
An enterprising Associated Press reporter extracted the truth from sixteen-year-old caddy, who had carried Castro's golf bags. Castro's score easily exceeded 150 the caddy said. Guevara defeated the dictator by shooting a 127.
Let's just say neither was applying for Q School.