Stay in Line, Mr. President

Former presidents may get large pensions and Secret Service protection for life. But there are some perks they don't get. Just ask Bill Clinton.

The 42nd president of the United States is a devoted golfer, but he can't seem to get a membership in any of the classy golf clubs in his new neighborhood of Westchester County, N.Y.

This isn't just a matter of Republican country club members who don't want the country's best-known Democrat around the clubhouse. Nor is it a distaste for the character issues Mr. Clinton faced while in office. At least no one's saying that outright.

But there might be whispers about just how much of a golfer Clinton really is. After all, he unabashedly takes "mulligans" - those extra shots most weekend golfers give themselves when they hit a terrible drive. And then there're all those extra people on the course when he plays, carrying beepers and who knows what else beneath their dark jackets.

In point of fact, those plush, traditional Westchester clubs simply have no openings, and long waiting lists - a decade at the famed Winged Foot Golf Club, host to a number of US Opens. There'll be no cutting in line, say the clubs - not even for the man who once held the most powerful job in the world.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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