This striking silhouette of Harold Wilson was used on page one of the Observer on 6 April 1969. David Newell-Smith offered up a different shot from his trip and an accompanying piece by golf correspondent Peter Dobereiner titled Harold Wilson’s swing to the left was published on the sports pages.
The follow-through is cramped and the weight supported mainly on the right foot. The finish of the Prime Minister’s swing as he drives during a holiday round in the Scillies reveals him to be a lunger. This shot, it can be inferred, was a hook or, for those who seek political implications even in such a wholesome activity as golf, a big swing to the left. Mr Wilson, whose handicap is 16, shows a proper recreational attitude to the game by habitually keeping his pipe in his mouth while he plays.
The pipe has fallen out of golfing fashion since the heyday of the great Abe Mitchell, but it can be a valuable aid to a player, if it is aimed at the ball at address, using the bowl as a foresight as it were, and if rigorously held in that position until after the ball has departed. The effect on the golfer’s balance – and therefore on the quality of his shots – can be dramatically beneficial. It’s certainly worth a try on courses like this where gorse abounds to devour the wayward shot.