Bob was one of the foremost proponents of the game
and has contributed immensely to the popularity of golf - as a participant,
a spectator and as an author.
His book, "Confessions of a Hooker," which
spotlights the memorable moments of his more than fifty years of
golfing, was on the New York Times 'best seller' list for 53 weeks.
In prominent display in his trophy room were: the Old Tom Morris
Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association, the Golf
Writer's Gold Tee Award and a PGA medal honoring him as "one
of the three men who have done the most for golf." And most
evident; a silver cup from Sports Illustrated commemorating his
fifth hole-in-one fired at Butler National Golf Course in Oak Brook,
Illinois. (He added two more holes-in-one to his record at courses
in Palm Springs.) Enshrined in the World Golf Hall of Fame is a
bas relief of his profile with a plaque that reads, "BOB HOPE
- known by his nose, applauded for his humor, envied for his wit
and loved by millions for his unselfish concern for all beings,
Bob Hope is truly one-of-a-kind. He popularized golf to the unknowing,
sponsored it for charity and played it for fun. Not a golf champion
but a great champion of golf."
Probably his greatest achievement in golf was the
development and hosting of the Bob Hope/Chrysler Classic, a pro-am
tournament held annually in Palm Springs, California. Now in its
45th year, the Classic draws the most famous pros and celebrity
amateurs. A total charity effort, the Classic has raised over 40
million dollars for the Eisenhower Medical Center and 70 other deserving
Bob played on some 2,000 courses - from Brazil to
Bangkok, Alaska to Australia - in the company of golfs top professionals,
caddies, celebrities, generals and sometimes even presidents. In
1995 the favorite foursome to tee off at the Desert Classic featured
President Bill Clinton and former presidents George Bush and Gerald
Ford and Bob Hope. Hope's 'take' at the end of play included "Clinton
had the best score, Ford the most errors and Bush the most hits...
me, I cheated better than ever."
It was said of Hope that "if he could live his
life over again -- he wouldn't have time." In the words of
John Steinbeck, concerning Hope: "It is impossible to see how
he can do so much, can cover so much ground, can work so hard and
be so effective. There's a man. There really is a man."
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