Pros from Dover

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Tue Jul 23 05:03:32 UTC 2002

> I have never seen the movie and it has been almost 30 years since
> I read the book.  Does anyone know if the Tokyo golf outing is in
> the book (I recall Hawkeye and his pals playing golf in odd places
> but I don't recall any trips to Japan).  Unfortunately H. Richard
> Hornberger MD, who wrote the book under the pseudonym "Richard
> Hooker", died in 1997 so we can't ask him.)

The 1970 screenplay was written by Ring Lardner, Jr. Unfortunately, he is no
longer with us either. But, looking at the script, it is clearly a reference
to golfing:

"PRETTY WAC: Hey you can't go in there! Who are you?
"HAWKEYE: I'm the pro from Dover and this is my favorite caddie."

A little while later, Trapper says to the head-nurse:

"TRAPPER: Look Mother. I want to go to work in one hour. We're the pros from
Dover and we figure to crack that kid's chest and get out to the golf course
before it's dark."

The pair use the phrase self-referentially a couple of more times before
they leave Tokyo.

(M*A*S*H, by Ring Lardner, Jr., 1970, )

My guess is that Lardner coined the phrase (unless it's in the book, which I
haven't read). I have no idea what "Dover" refers to. There are no famous
golf courses that I know of by that name or near a place called Dover. A web
search identifies a 9-hole course in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine. Possibly,
Hawkeye is making a facetious reference to a small, local golf course that
he knew back home.

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