Just to show you how current I am, here's Jeff Silverman and John Garrity's SI preview piece on the WPA and Bethpage. I just read it again and couldn't get over this FDR anecdote.
Whitten better add this to the next Architects of Golf!
"He loved playing golf more than just about anything else," says H.W. Brands, author of Roosevelt, Traitor to His Class. FDR even kept an old golf ball on his desk in the Oval Office. "I believe that his inability to play made the game even more important to him, and he liked the idea that the government could make it possible for ordinary people to play."
No ordinary man himself, Roosevelt gained deep insight into the sufferings of others through his own transformative struggle with polio — the humbling midlife counterpoint to the ease and privilege into which he was born. He was eight when his father had a six-hole course built on the family's Hyde Park, N.Y., estate, and by his early teens Franklin was shooting in the low 80s. In 1899, as secretary-treasurer of the nine-hole club on Campobello, the island playground for the wealthy off the coast of Maine, he designed and supervised the enlargement of tees and greens. Fresh out of Harvard in 1904, he won the club championship. No golfing president can top that.