Nowadays there are mobile toilets strategically placed on the course when tournaments are played, but pros used to be faced with a real problem if they were ever taken short in the old days. With a large gallery following round, there was no opportunity for privacy in the bushes.
After the first round of the 1947 Hawaiian Open I shared the lead with Dutch Harrison and Dai Rees on 69. That evening we were taken for a barbeque. A drink which they called something like “Okooly How” was passed round.
I had one sip and it almost made my hair stand on end. But I gradually got used to it and had some more glasses.
The following morning I felt like death and it was a real effort to force myself out of bed. I was cursing my stupidity.
Walking down the first I still felt groggy and was wondering how I was going to stick it out when a Hawaiian policeman came over to me. He was dressed in khaki shirt and breeches, black belt with revolver and knife in special holsters, shiny black gaiters and black boots.
“You play very good yesterday,” he said.
“Yes,” I replied. “But I don’t feel so good today.” I told him about the drink I had had.
“I know what will put you right,” he said.
He walked over to one of the palms at the side of the fairway, shinned up it and snicked off a coconut.
When he got back to me he got his knife out and sliced off the top. It was a soft coconut and you could push your fingers into the side of it.
“Get a Coca-Cola straw and have a good drink,” he said. There were iced drink stalls on almost every hole (the temperature was 95 degrees F or 35 degrees C) and I had no trouble in getting a straw.
The taste of the milk from the coconut was so good that I kept on drinking. I must have had half a pint.
Unfortunately, while solving one problem it was creating another.
At the 5th I hit a long drive down the middle and knew that I had got to do something.
“Look fellers, I’ve got to go. Take your time for God’s sake and wait for me on the green.” By this time the policeman had gone, probably to have a good laugh.
There were big sugar canes about 8 feet high at the side of the fairway. I hopped across a ditch and walked into them. I made sure I was out of sight of the spectators and only just made it in time.
I looked around to see what other vegetation there was, but there was nothing. I had to use the sugar cane leaves, which were like sandpaper. God was it uncomfortable!
I came out quickly and saw that they had played their second shots and were down on the green laughing like hell. I quickly snatched an iron out of my bag and banged the ball on to the green.
“That feels a lot better,” I said, walking up to them. We holed out and drove off the next tee.
But walking down the fairway my stomach began to churn again and eventually I had to say: “Look I’ve got to go in again.”
This time there were some cows in a pen in the trees. I don’t know whether it was their food or the manure but there was a terrible smell. I had no choice – I had to go in right beside them.
After a few more holes I was taken once more. I finished in 77 for the round and was lucky it wasn’t 97. In the end I finished about 15th but Dai came 2nd while Reg Horne didn’t come anywhere. Dai was mad that we had agreed with Reg to split our winnings.