Tuesday, 08 November 2016 10:10

Out of Favour
Editor Richard Long

Set up Boss’ Golf
Encounter With
Bill Clinton

Former editor of The Dominion Richard Long,(pictured) a long-time colleague of Mike Robson’s presented the gathering with an insight into his boss’ sense of fair play. As editor of The Dominion, he recounted, he had one day pounced on the fact that his morning newspaper in circulation terms had nudged The Evening Post out of its customary stop-selling slot. Unable to resist the opportunity he had had published in his own newspaper The Dominion a few paragraphs to this effect.

Mike Robson had made it clear to Long that this was not the kind of skiting he welcomed pitting as it did, one group daily against another. He, Robson, was not impressed.

Anxious to get back in his chief’s good books, Long now twisted and turned seeking an opportunity to redeem himself. It was now that salvation appeared in the avuncular form of United States ambassador Josiah Beeman. The ambassador had an approval problem too. He was still looking for a suitable golf partner in New Zealand for his own boss, visiting United States President and golf buff Bill Clinton.

It was now that Long saw his own game opening up. Mike Robson was the obvious partner, he advocated. Diplomatic and tactful in terms of ensuring parity between his own swings and those of the President. A natural partner. And so it was that Mike Robson found himself teeing off at Millbrook with Bill Clinton.

Sometime afterward and by now feeling a certain glow of managing directorial favour re-radiating in his direction, Long delicately took up the matter of how the presidential game had actually gone?

Clinton, responded Robson, had been a predictably tough competitor fighting over every swing and claiming at every opportunity the presidential mulligan or no-count fluffed shot. For his part Robson felt that he had maintained an easy focus in spite of there being as part of the presidential entourage someone with a golf bag that in fact contained an armament designed to disable any low flying and thus threatening light aircraft.

The only unforeseen element came at the conclusion of the 18 holes, explained Robson.

Oh, what was that? Asked Long

Clinton wanted to do the 18 holes again “now.” At that moment .