America lost one of its great men this week as tributes to George H.W. Bush have poured in from all over the globe.
He was the presidency’s last connection to The Greatest Generation. He was a war hero, an amazing statesman and a longtime great friend to the game of golf.
He was always a sportsman. He loved the game and he was a total advocate of playing it at a fast pace. He couldn’t stand slow play. All the more reason to love the guy.
One time, after playing golf with another former president — Bill Clinton — Bush had this to say:
“The guys I like to play golf with would finish 18 holes before he could finish nine,” Bush said, nodding toward Clinton, the Democrat who in the 1992 election had ended the Republican Bush’s tenure at one term in the White House. “It makes you wonder how a man can be so decisive in politics and so indecisive in golf.”
At this tournament in the Bahamas last week, Tiger Woods paid this tribute to Bush:
“He was fantastic to be around. He was just one of the smartest people I’ve ever been around, and so down to earth. Obviously, his name is synonymous with golf. Being around him for all these years and getting a chance to, you know, be around him at the Presidents Cup and him being involved in it since its inception in ’94, he was such a class act.
“Anyone who’s ever been around him knows how much he loved his golf and how much he supported it and how much we’re going to miss him.”
Bush loved and played the game . He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011 through the Lifetime Achievement category. He also received the Bob Jones Award in 2014, the highest honor given by the U.S.G.A. His brisk pace of play was welcomed by all his playing companions, including Woods, who once played a round of golf with Bush in Houston.
“It was one of those very quick ones, 18 holes in probably under two and a half hours,” Woods said.
When asked who played faster, Woods laughed.
“It was basically club, ball, one look, gone,” Woods quipped.