The Humana Challenge Golf Tournament, formerly the HOPE, was played on 3 courses, La Quinta and the Palmer and Nicklaus courses.Celebrities playing in the tournament were fewer this year but that is because of a different format where there were 2 pro golfers in each foursome. The tournament was also reduced to 4 days instead of 5. More pro golfers were able to play and there were less amateurs in the tournament.
Celebrities included the great actor Morgan Freeman, Singers Alice Cooper, Smokey Robinson and Michael Bolton. Basketball great Julius Irving and actors Craig T. Nelson, Don Cheadle,Billy Crudup, Oliver Hudson and Lewis Black. Comedian Tom Dreesen also played. President Bill Clinton played on Saturday with pro golfer Greg Norman who was personally invited by President Clinton along with CEO of Humana, Michael McCallister and pro golfer Scott McCarron. Pro golfers Phil Mickelson and Greg Norman got special invitations from President Clinton to play in this tournament.
President Bill Clinton has proven to be the best Ambassador and host of this tournament. He was seen out talking with golfing fans every day, shaking hands and posing for photographs. He really seemed to be enjoying his new role as Humana Challenge Host of this tournament. On the day he played he took time to walk over and shake hands with the people in the Handicap section. Tickets for Saturday tripled for any other saturday during the history of the tournament. Parents brought their children so they could get a glimpse of a former president.
Saturday play had to be suspended because of strong winds that proved to be hazardous to players and fans. Signs were tipped over and branches were torn from the trees and flying all over. A first in this tournaments history.
Humana has signed on for eight years and President Clinton has said he will be involved each year. This will make the Tournament a force to be reckoned with in years to come. Top Pro golfers will want to make this the start of their season and more fans will be coming to watch this great event.
All Photos by Pat Krause Copyright 2012