“You put your track shoes on when you’re playing with him,” said fellow World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum member Hale Irwin.
“I am a great believer in moving pretty fast around a golf course,” said World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum member Arnold Palmer. “Well, President Bush made sure that happened.”
After his presidency, Bush became even more involved with the game. He was given the PGA of America Distinguished Service Award in 1997, the USGA’s 2008 Bob Jones Award and the PGA TOUR Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.
In 1996, Bush served as honorary chairman of The Presidents Cup and attended every one of the biennial competitions through 2009. He is also an honorary member of the PGA and honorary chair of the USGA Museum and Archives President’s council.
Bush was also on hand when PGA TOUR Commissioner announced the formation of The First Tee in 1997. As The First Tee’s first honorary chairman, Bush presided over the organization as it expanded into one of the country’s most impressive, wide-ranging youth outreach programs. The First Tee reaches more than 4.7 million participants in 50 states and six international locations, as well as 120 U.S. military installations.
And he has even carried on the family tradition of passing the game on. In 2011, he took on an emeritus role and passed the honorary chairman’s torch to his son, President George W. Bush.
“I do love the game,” Bush said.