Search Is On for Families With Long Golf Tradition

AS part of its year-long centennial celebration, the United States Golf Association (USGA) is looking for families who love the game and treat their passion as an heirloom. To find them, the association is conducting a contest called the Four-Generation Search.

To enter, participants must send a photo of golfing family members (including those recently retired from the game) who represent four generations and submit a short essay on the family's ties to the sport. Entry forms are available by calling (800) 345-GOLF or writing to the USGA (Golf House, P.O. Box 5000, Far Hills, N.J., 07931). The grand prize is a trip for four to either this year's US Open or next year's championship.

In announcing the search, the USGA cites the Grainger family of North Carolina: Ike Grainger Sr., who once shot his age at 71 and is a former USGA president, now imparts his enthusiasm for the game to his three-year-old great-granddaughter Lee, who has started swinging clubs. (The Graingers are ineligible for the contest.) Entry deadline is April 30.

Assists are Stockton's stock in trade

`I NEVER thought a player like me would have a chance to have records,'' says John Stockton, who has nonetheless broken a major National Basketball Association record. Last week, Utah's 6 ft. 1 in. playmaker moved past Magic Johnson to become the league's all-time assists leader, an assist being a pass that leads more or less directly to a basket.

Stockton is nearing the previously unattainable 10,000 mark, and if he maintains his current lead he will equal Bob Cousy's feat of winning eight consecutive assist crowns. It helps, says the graduate of Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., to have a teammate like strapping forward Karl Malone who can score when fed the ball. ``My job is pretty much made easy by a guy who can move as well as him, is a smart player, works hard, gets open, and can finish shots,'' says Stockton, who is also within reach of surpassing Maurice Cheeks as the NBA's all-time steals king.

While Stockton is generous in sharing the credit for his success, no less an authority than Magic Johnson taped a tribute to Stockton that was shown after the record-setting game. Johnson said the Utah guard was a master at making the pass. ``He knows how to anticipate, how to make the defensive guys lean one way and make the pass the other way,'' Johnson said. ``Everything in passing is angles, and John is the best at angles.''

Nation's No. 1 basketball fan

EVERYBODY knows that President Clinton loves the national-champion University of Arkansas men's basketball team, but he showed himself a genuine college hoops fan over the weekend by attending George Washington University's upset victory over the top-ranked University of Massachusetts. Mr. Clinton and daughter Chelsea didn't make a quick exit, either, staying for part of the game between the women's teams from George Washington and Temple University.

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