Beware: Hissing Hazards

It's called the world's longest golf hole. It stretches 49,280 yards, or 28 miles, through the Nevada desert. It starts at the Nevada state prison in Jean and ends at the 14th green of the Showboat Country Club in Henderson.

Starting Thursday, a tournament will be held on the hole to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Assn. Regular USGA rules will be enforced, along with some special local rules.

Rule 7 reads: "Relief will be given from all rattlesnakes and the ball must be abandoned. A hissing sound in itself is not grounds for relief."

Are snakes really a threat?

Says George Rock of the Land Management Service in Las Vegas: "An unusually hot and dry June has produced a bumper crop of rattlesnakes this year to the point where almost every large rock is occupied by several rattlers. I would be very careful removing loose rocks from around golf balls and also digging too deep into the ground with a sharp club like a sand wedge."

Nonetheless, 473 people have volunteered to work as caddies for the event.

All 473 are inmates of the prison.

Trivia Time: When Bobby Wine, the new manager of the Atlanta Braves, played shortstop for the Philadelphia Phillies, who was the second baseman and what song did they bring to mind? (Answer below.)

Was Times staffer Dan Hafner going overboard when he wrote of Rickey Henderson, Don Mattingly and Dave Winfield: "They may be the best ever assembled in the top three spots in the lineup."?

Maybe not, although he may get some letters from Cincinnati. In 1975, the Reds often led off with Pete Rose, Joe Morgan and Johnny Bench, all probably future Hall of Famers.

When the season's over, don't forget to compare their statistics--especially if you're a Yankee fan. Cincinnati fans might be embarrassed.

Add Rose: Responding to those who call him strictly a singles hitter, he told the New York Times: "I'm second on the all-time list in doubles to Tris Speaker and sixth in the history of this game in total bases--right behind Babe Ruth. And I'm closing in on him."

Speaker leads in doubles with 793, followed by Rose with 738. Henry Aaron leads in total bases with 6,856, followed by Stan Musial 6,134, Willie Mays 6,066, Ty Cobb 5,862, Ruth 5,793 and Rose 5,656.

John Madden, on rookie receiver Jerry Rice of the San Francisco 49ers: "Rice has everything. He's a steal. The 49ers get just what they need once again, a great offensive impact player."

The Meal Ticket: Craig James played for Ron Meyer at SMU, where he was alternated with Eric Dickerson at tailback. They were reunited at New England in the NFL but were uncoupled last year when the Patriots dumped Meyer as coach.

Now, Meyer is a sports agent in Dallas, and he has recruited James again. James' current contract has several years to run, but Meyer says, "I can't wait to negotiate a new one."

Trivia Answer: Cookie Rojas. The song was "The Days of Wine and Roses."


Manager Stan Wasiak, 65, of the Vero Beach Dodgers, predicting that his record for wins by a minor league manager will never be broken after recording his 2,498th in 36 years: "No one will survive that many buses."

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