1st tee with President Bill Clinton at the Humana Golf Classic

Story and photos by Pat Krause
Story and photos by Pat Krause

Former President Bill Clinton was a very noticeable presence in the Humana Golf Classic. Tuesday he held the Clinton Initiative Conference. Wednesday he toured schools and the Valley. Thursday found him on the first tee with Golf Legends Gary Player and Billy Casper. President Clinton was not able to play in the tournament this year because of the Inauguration of President Obama. He decided to go out onto the golf course and meet the golfers, greet golfing fans, shake hands and sign autographs instead. He is the most charismatic and down to earth person. He talks to you like you were good friends and is always upbeat and loves to tell stories. He promised to be here for the whole week next year.

He held a Q&A for the press with Jim Finchem and Bob Mara, Head of the PGA Humana Golf tournament. He spoke about how this tournament has increased in popularity with the golfers and the fans. This tournament is the same time as the Dubai Classic so it takes aways some of the top golfers. Many of the top players decided to play this tournament instead giving Humana more credence in the PGA tours. Clinton told many stories about he and Obama. He said he is going to try to get President Obama here next year to give him a couple days away from the Whitehouse.

What golfer does not want to make 1,008,000 dollars for winning this tournament that has over a 5 million dollar purse. Another thing that golfers like is the fact that millions of dollars are given away locally to many charities. Formerly the Hope Classic has given away millions to charity in the last 54 years, The tournament and the golfers take great pride for this effort that Humana will continue.

The Humana Classic is building a great reputation as a Health Building Tournament. There are health driven vendors in Hope Square. Exercises are held on the lawn. Pedometers are handed out to golfing fans. There are many things to do beside follow a golfer. Fans can sit and watch the golf on a huge TV screen. There were special days for women, children,seniors and the military. Every year more things are introduced for the gallery.