May 30, 1991 12:00 PM

RAF Group Capt. Niall Irving prefers the bunkers on English golf courses to those in Scud-targeted Riyadh. A fighter pilot serving a one-year tour as a press officer, Irving, 44, was sent to Riyadh even though he had never been on-camera. It was a trying time: He knew six of the 10 British flyers captured or killed inaction. Now, says Irving gratefully, “I am reaching obscurity fast”—and trying to lower his 25 handicap.

The war erupted just as Lt. Gen. Thomas Kelly, director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was set to retire and enjoy his 38-foot cabin cruiser, Leprechaun. The 58-year-old German-town, Pa., native readily agreed to stay on. “I didn’t want to leave right in the middle of the damn thing,” he says. Kelly’s avuncular candor led to an interesting postretirement posting: When not cruising the rivers of Virginia, he will be a military analyst for NBC.

“It’s a great day to be the master of a great old dog,” said Norman Schwarzkopf on his homecoming. These days that black Lab—also answering to “Bear”—prowls a field close to the Schwarzkopfs’ home in Tampa as his master muses about life post-Army and a sport unpursuable in the sands of Saudi Arabia, fly-fishing.

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