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May 22, 2012
BENTON HARBOR, MICHIGAN
JULIUS MASON:¬† Good afternoon, I'm The PGA of America's Julius Mason, and I would like to thank you for joining us today at our major championship comes to Benton Harbor news conference.
To kick things off, please welcome the chairman of the 73rd Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, Mr.Dave Whitwam.¬† Dave?
DAVE WHITWAM:¬† Well, we are delighted to have you all here this afternoon.¬† On behalf of the communities of southwest and west Michigan, we welcome you to our communities and we welcome you to the 73rd Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, and we welcome you to the Golf Club at Harbor Shores.
This is a great week for our communities.¬† It's a great week for the broader community development effort that Harbor Shores represents.¬† The greatest names in golf honor us with their presence today as they compete for one of the most prestigious trophies on the Champions Tour.¬† We extend our appreciation to The PGA of America for selecting Harbor Shores for this particular championship venue.
As a set of communities this week, we celebrate the experiences we are going to have as a set of communities.¬† But we also view this, ladies and gentlemen, as an important milestone in one more step in the ongoing journey of community transformation that we started well over a decade ago.¬† The Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course at Harbor Shores as surely been a huge enabler to attract this prestigious golf event.
How every, the broad, and I think the bold vision of Harbor Shores is not merely to build a great golf course or not merely to build a great residential community, nor even to attract a major professional golf tournament.
Rather, from the beginning, the overarching vision has been to use the Harbor Shores project as an economic enabler for community transformation in the broadest sense and to contribute positively to the quality of life and economic opportunity for all of the citizens who make up our communities in southwestern Michigan.
This is required us to create a shared vision across all of these communities and across all of these organizations, a vision that was to set out to create a set of interdependent world‑class communities where no one is left behind.¬† As such, Harbor Shores is a non‑profit venture.¬† I think most of you know that, and I believe as such, it's a very unique public/private partnership.¬† The project's success is dependent upon unprecedented levels of collaborations and partnerships between golfers that are individuals, between governmental units, between businesses, national and state and local government officials, foundations and community leaders.
When completed, Harbor Shores will represent about a $500 million investment in the community and economic development, and any profits that are generated from this project will flow to a community foundation, which will then be reinvested back into the communities for future development.
As I think about this project and look at other projects across America, I believe the scope and skill of the Harbor Shores transformation effort is likely unparalleled in America today, as is the collaborative effort it took for us to get here.
And it goes without saying that without the leadership and commitment of Jeff Fettig and Whirlpool Corporation, this project would never have been possible.
I spoke earlier about this week being a milestone along with the community transformational journey that we have been on now for over a decade.¬† Much work remains to be done, but so much progress has been made and it's because of the shared vision that our communities have around community transformation.
We do understand, and I will tell that you this week's activity here at Harbor Shores is a huge and very important milestone as we move along this journey of transformation.
So, Jack, we are so very grateful for the magnificent signature golf course that you designed and you built here in Benton Harbor, St. Joseph and Benton Charter Township, Michigan, and we are grateful for the PGA and all of the professionals who are here this week to further this journey that we have been on.¬† And we think the events of this week, the highlighting of this community and the highlighting of the effort that we have underway, your presence, this course, will do wonders for the journey that we have embarked upon.
So thank you very much.
JULIUS MASON:¬† Well said.¬† Thank you very much for your leadership.¬† Now, ladies and gentlemen, welcome the CEO of THE PGA AMERICA, and he's also an honorary PGA of America Member, from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Mr.Joe Steranka.
JOE STERANKA:¬† Thank you, Julius.¬† This completes a triumvirate of PGA Championship events.¬† We have had a number of PGA Championships in this great state.¬† We have had a great Ryder Cup match at Oakland Hills.¬† But to bring the scene 73rd Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid here to Harbor Shores is not only something that is important to us from an association that conducts great championships, but as a leader of the golf industry, an industry that supplies some 2 billion jobs in America and has an economic of $76 billion a year.
Well, here in Michigan, this gives us a chance to shine the spotlight, and to put that pure Michigan message out there to 117 countries and 240 million households around the world and all of the coverage that Golf Channel and NBC provide; but also, to sell great what happens with golf and tourism.
Tourism here in the State of Michigan is over a billion dollars a year and two million visits to the state because of golf, and that's driven in many cases by 800 members of the Michigan PGA Section that lead 50,000 jobs here in the State of Michigan's 800‑plus golf courses.
Golf very much is a small‑business‑driven industry and we talk a lot about the importance of small business in these economic times.¬† So this is a chance for us to celebrate the small business people that make communities run and by the backbone of communities.
So we go to Lansing or to Washington, D.C. and talk about the economic impact.¬† We talk about the environmental impact, and you know, when we talk about golf, we usually don't use the word or term "super‑fund" unless we are talking about a first place prize for the Senior PGA.¬† But somehow, that's part of the story here this week, and it's a great testament to golf's positive environmental impact.
But we are very proud of the human impact of golf.¬† It is a great game with great values and tradition.¬† It's healthy recreation for families and kids of all ages.¬† You don't have to be the tallest or the fastest or the strongest to play golf or even excel at golf.¬† And no community, I think, better exemplifies the opportunity that lies in these communities because of golf.¬† And it's the reason that we agreed as part of Whirlpool and KitchenAid's investment in golf and with the PGA of America and specifically with the Senior PGA, to bring our Championship here not once, but twice; so we'll be back again in 2014.
We also agreed to make a contribution to the Boys & Girls Clubs and The First Tee, this $300,000 that has been pledged over four years to the Boys & Girls Clubs here is part of that commitment, and $75,000 this year is going to go to the great new facility that I saw under construction over by the park here in town.¬† It's that type of community investment that happens because of golf.
This community has paid us back.¬† We have had 2,000 people volunteer time to come out here and help us run this championship.¬† We set a record filling all of the volunteer slots for the Senior PGA in just five weeks.
So, we are very pleased with the start of this.¬† Jack, you've given the guys a great test that I know is going to bring a worthy champion that hoists the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy, and we are very, very pleased to be here.¬† Thank you, and I'll turn it back to you, Julius.
JULIUS MASON:¬† Thank you very much, Joe, and now ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the chairman and CEO of Whirlpool Corporation, Mr.Jeff Fettig.
JEFF FETTIG:¬† Thank you, and Whirlpool and KitchenAid are really honored to be part of the 73rd Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid.
You know from the very beginning in our discussions about this, we realized that our two organizations shared very common values:¬† A sense of pride in everything we do, a commitment to winning with integrity, and also supporting the local communities in which we operate.
I think our mutual brands, that is, the PGA and KitchenAid, are well known for bringing people together, and lasting relationships forged along a way of trust and commitment and supporting the people in the communities that benefit from this.
Together, Whirlpool Corporation and the PGA have 196 years of combined history.¬† Our organizations have been doing something right for a long, long time.¬† Today we have 60,000 people in our company making the world's best and most innovative home appliances.¬† We are very proud of the fact that our products in this country that we make over 80 percent of the products that we sell in this country, and we have invested in this, not only in the State of Michigan, but the United States for 101 years.
We were founded here, as many of you know.¬† Last year was our 100‑year anniversary.¬† We proudly joined other businesses and community leaders who are doing a lot of great things to help this area through new housing that you see throughout the community to the funding and the new Benton Harbor Boys & Girls Club Facility and the new First Tee, supporting the hospital, Habitat For Community, United Way; fundamentally, the people in this community are doing great things in this community and we are happy to be a big part of that.
We also welcome the chance to support the work of the community by donating land and some resources to help the Harbor Shores project become a reality.¬† Our confidence in this area is so strong today that we as a company have committed almost $100 million in new facilities, investments, mostly in downtown Benton Harbor.
We also join Cornerstone Alliance and the governor to showcase this community and invite others to bring their businesses here, and we have realized that our upwards of over 4,000 talented employees and full‑time contractors that live and work in this southwest Michigan community; it is something special.
Now we have Harbor Shores, the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, which is really the centerpiece of the transformational effort that brings together our different communities.¬† I believe this project combines the very best of golf with a commitment of giving all of the profits from the development back to the community.
Harbor Shores will challenge the best of all golfers with rewards far beyond just a golf scorecard; namely that people working together can create an impact in the improvement of their communities, and I think it's happening every day here in southwest Michigan.¬† So that's something we are proud to be part of.
JULIUS MASON:¬† Thank you, very much, for your passion, Jeff.
And now, please welcome the president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Mr.Mike Finney.
MIKE FINNEY:¬† On behalf of Governor Rick Snyder, it's really my pleasure to extend appreciation to all of the fantastic investment that whirl pool corporation has made in the State of Michigan.¬† It certainly doesn't go unnoticed.
I think Governor Snyder had a chance earlier to personally extend his appreciation and I wanted to just reinforce that.¬† And also to The PGA of America; having this kind of an opportunity to represent the Benton Harbor region is quite a phenomenal opportunity for us and it's exciting to know that it will be back in the near future.
Michigan is known as a manufacturing state.¬† We manufacture appliances.¬† We manufacture furniture.¬† We manufacture pharmaceuticals.¬† And of course, we are known for manufacturing automobiles.¬† But what a lot of folks don't know about Michigan is that pure Michigan is an incredible tourism venue.
As Joe said, we have several million visitors come to our state on an annual basis and spend more than a billion dollars, and a significant portion of that is a result of the incredible golfing venues that we have throughout the state, and obviously Harbor Shores is just an amazing example of what can be done, what you can enjoy here in the state.
Now, I had a chance to experience it firsthand today, and I've heard a lot about Mr.Nicklaus's courses and the challenges that you have.¬† And as I say, he told a story a little bit earlier about having to almost chip on a green in order to get a putt to the front pin.¬† I experienced that hole today, and none of us got our putts to the pin.
So it's really a phenomenal venue.¬† Michigan could not be more excited to have it, and we could not be more pleased with the commitment and the investment that's been shown by Whirlpool Corporation and Mr.Fettig and his team.¬† On behalf of Governor Rick Snyder, thank you very much.
JULIUS MASON:¬† Thank you for your support and thank you foreign joying 17 greens out there.
Ladies and gentlemen, he's a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.¬† He's the designer of Harbor Shores, and he's the 1991 Senior PGA Champion.¬† Jack, thanks for joining us today.
JACK NICKLAUS:¬† Thanks, Julius, and you know, 1991, that's a long time back, isn't it.¬† As a senior; that means I had to be 50.¬† A long time ago.
Anyway, I was asked outside, why Harbor Shores.¬† My answer is always why, not Harbor Shores.
I first was asked by my friend and long‑time partner who worked for me, Mark Haysman, came to me and said that he had a project he wanted to do in Michigan to revitalize the community here in Benton Harbor, and it was sort of a super‑fund project and would I be interested in being involved.
I said, well, sure.¬† That's what we do.¬† We do golf courses and we have done a couple of restoration and reclamation major projects.¬† We did one out in Anaconda.¬† That was a super‑fund project, and we did one that wasn't super‑fund, but was close enough in Dearborn.¬† As we all know where the most automotive plants dumped all their waste and we did one at Dearborn, TPC at Dearborn, and so we had a little bit of experience doing that.
We came up here and took maps of the site and said, well, where is the golf course going to go?
He said, right there.
Where?¬† I'm looking at buildings, I'm looking at dumps, and I'm looking at everything they didn't even think of.¬† And they think you have this golf course so you have this nice pristine‑looking property and look between the trees and just tickle this a little bit here and there and pretty soon we have a golf course.¬† We didn't do that.¬† We had to knock down buildings, and how much did we have to move off‑site, Jeff, do you remember?
JEFF FETTIG:¬† I think it was a football field.
JACK NICKLAUS:¬† That's A football field 65 feet high of material moved‑‑ to make room for this property.
It was fun.¬† I had a young man named Chris Rule that worked for me and he had done a routing on the property and I came and looked at the routing and I didn't change a thing.¬† He did such a beautiful job, I always change routings; I suppose I couldn't figure out which building to get through next or which door to open to get the next hole out.¬† It was very, very disjointed.¬† We had a little bit of space between holes at times and a couple of roads to cross.¬† But it was actually really a lot of fun.¬† But more fun for a variety of reasons, always fun to do a golf course.¬† It's all fun to see the golf course finished, but more than that, it's fun to see a community revitalized.
And the jobs that were created here by this project, the support that Jeff and Whirlpool corporation gave to it, and the support of the community of the people in Benton Harbor and St. Joe's, and everybody really pulled together and that's what you need in this country is to see people pull together and get something done.
We were really privileged to be a part of that.¬† We're a small part; we are just a golf course with some green grass.¬† But what everybody else did and we were allowed to be a part of that was really very, very, very rewarding and a lot of fun for us.
I think that's what's going to happen this week and a couple years from now, too, the PGA Senior Championship, a very special tournament.¬† The PGA of America, they have the PGA Championship, The Ryder Cup Matches, the PGA Seniors, your three main championships, and it's pretty good to be one of those tournaments.
I had the pleasure here a couple of years ago opening the golf course with three of my friends; my old friend, Arnold Palmer, and Tom Watson and Johnny Miller.¬† We had a lot of fun out here.¬† A lot of people enjoyed it and had a great day.¬† I think you're going to see a lot of great golf course this week and a lot of fun is going to happen.
So enjoy the week, and the players‑‑ I've seen so many players in the locker room that walking up to me and say, "Jack, what a phenomenal golf course.¬† What a beautiful place."¬†¬†
"Well, have you putted the greens yet?"
Yeah, he says‑‑(laughter) well, I was in my elephant mode at that time.¬† I was burying them in the only place I could find them.¬† Anyway, we'll have a little spice in the greens and the golf course is in beautiful condition, and hopefully we'll have great weather and a great championship.¬† So it's nice to be here with you.
JULIUS MASON:¬† Thank you very much, Jack, for being with us here today.
Q.¬† I know this isn't the first course you've designed in the State of Michigan.¬† Being an Ohio man, do you ever have reservations about being in this state?
JACK NICKLAUS:¬† We have a phrase in Ohio.¬† We say we go to Michigan, the better part of Michigan is under water.¬† What that means is that more than 50 percent of it is under water.¬† That's just an Ohio phrase.
Actually Chris Rule who worked for me was from Lansing and he went to Ohio State.¬† So he had reservations, too.¬† But his daughter went to Michigan State.
No, I actually have an affinity in Michigan.¬† I came up here as a kid and went to a lot of‑‑ several years, my parents would go up north and I discovered a golf course called Crystal Downs and I was 11 years old when I played Crystal Downs, and I had no idea that Crystal Downs was a famous golf course or would be a famous golf course.
But I remember playing it, and then about 20 years later, all of a sudden appeared on a list, and I said, I played that golf course; it was pretty good then, and I was only an 11‑year‑old kid.¬† So you have great golf in Michigan, you have great weather in the summertime to enjoy and have fun.
I think that the last time I really did some recreation up here, I came up here for steelhead fishing in April, and I remember every time I would make a couple of casts and then I would take my ice off the rods.¬† But anyway, I've had a lot of fun in Michigan through the years.
Q.¬† At the risk of repeating myself, I asked this question to Tom Watson about an hour ago, and you're older than Tom so you'll have a better perspective on this.
JACK NICKLAUS:¬† Maybe.
Q.¬† Jock Hutchison and Fred McCloud are the first two names on the Bourne Trophy and were honorary starters at Augusta for years.¬† Did you get to know them very well, and what's your impressions about them, and how does it feel to have your name on the same cup as them?
JACK NICKLAUS:¬† No, I didn't know them.¬† I think I probably met both of them. ¬†I was a young kid and Tom would have been ten years younger than I am, so Tom wouldn't have known them.¬† I wouldn't know anything about them other than they were some of the pioneers of the game of golf and some of the early winners, and they were PGA winners.¬† The PGA of America has supported the game of golf for many, many years in this country and without the members of The PGA of America and those guys teaching golf and so forth, we wouldn't have a lot of golf in this country.
Q.¬† Wondering if someone tries to bring out a wedge on 10 if you are going to go stop them like you did Johnny Miller two years ago?
JACK NICKLAUS:¬† You don't know the story.¬† I said it earlier.¬† We are planning the opening of the golf course and that 10th green is really the green is right on top and it's such a difficult pitch from the bottom, I said, why don't we just put that ‑‑ putt from the bottom to the top.¬† Not many players are going to hit the top because you really can't do it, but it gives them the opportunity to have another pin placement.
So we did that.¬† When we did the Open, the pin was on the top left.¬† And Tom and I got it up the top left, but Johnny Miller hit two shots on the to green.¬† We were playing alternate‑shot and Arnold got the ball up about two‑thirds up the hill, eight‑foot carom up the hill, and all of a sudden it came back zooming off the green behind him.¬† And Johnny looks over and says:¬† This thing is impossible, you can't putt the ball from here.¬† Give me a sand wedge.
Now, I can just see on television, I can see all of your programs, Johnny Miller take a wedge out on Jack's green that he can't putt.¬† I'm sitting there, well, I don't need that on all of our greens.¬† So I'm thinking, wait a minute, Johnny, you don't need to do that, you can putt that.¬† It was 108 feet, and he had one quick glance at it, whacked the ball up the hill and back down and it goes into the hole.¬† What's so tough about that?¬† (Laughter).
So it was a lot of fun, he did putt it, but I don't think anybody tried to take a wedge to it since.
Q.¬† I asked Fred Couples about the green on 10, and he said, while you're the greatest golfer of all time, you could start over on that green.
JACK NICKLAUS:¬† He did make that comment, but I would try to say, if he could leave the it on the green where the green was, on top‑‑ but would he rather try to putt from the bottom or try to pitch to it and that's basically it.¬† But it actually gives them an extra pin placement on the bottom.
Actually it's very functional.¬† Do I think it's difficult?¬† Yeah, it is difficult.¬† It's really difficult.¬† But then again, you know, these guys are pretty good players.
Q.¬† Speaking of having fun, 21 years ago in Oakland County you had a battle with Chi Chi Rodr√≠guez.¬† Could you go back and just recall some of the things about that tournament?
JACK NICKLAUS:¬† Oakland Hills, playoff?¬† I don't remember a whole lot about it except I shot 65.¬† (Laughter).
I never won at Oakland Hills.¬† I had come close.¬† I came close as an amateur there and also won the U.S. Open there as an amateur there; finished fourth.¬† Always kicked myself for playing the last seven holes to over par and not winning that.
But anyway.¬† Came back and played a few other events and never really got‑‑ I would get close and so forth and then played the PGA Seniors there.¬† It was U.S. Open, I'm sorry‑‑ senior U.S. Open.¬† And Chi Chi and I tied and shot a good round in the playoff, and I was delighted to play on a golf course I actually really liked but was never able to be successful on it.
Q.¬† Our weather forecast for the week is really, really good, warm temperatures, sunny and a little bit windy.¬† Can you give a best guess for winning score?
JACK NICKLAUS:¬† Well, par 71, and I was asked that a little earlier and I said that I thought it probably would shoot 278 maybe, somewhere in that area.¬† If it's windy, you're going to have‑‑ the greens are going to get harder and faster, and these greens, when they get are hard and fast will be very difficult.
The scores will stay up and may not break 280 if that's the case.¬† I would imagine The PGA of America is a bunch of really nice guys.¬† I'm sure they will make sure the course is very playable.
Q.¬† You're headed out to a teaching clinic after this.¬† Why is it so important for you to get out and pass your knowledge out to the next generation?
JACK NICKLAUS:¬† I don't have any knowledge to pass.¬† They asked me if I would help and do it for a few kids.¬† I do that occasionally.¬† I don't profess to be a teacher.¬† I leave that up to the PGA.
But I find that every time you go someplace, you have some kids that maybe you can impact their life in some way, whether by my knowledge as a golf instructor‑‑ I don't know if that will pass for very much but maybe getting a lesson from a guy who won a couple of golf tournaments might be fun.
Q.¬† What other holes do you think will come into play this weekend?
JACK NICKLAUS:¬† I think they will all come into play.¬† People ask me, what's your‑‑ well, Jack, what's your favourite hole out here.¬† And my answer to that will always be the one I'm playing.¬† And then they say, what is your favorite shot?¬† Well, it's definitely the one I'm playing.¬† Well, what's your favorite club in your bag?¬† Well, the one I'm playing.
What I'm trying to say is that I don't really find‑‑ if you take something for granted, and you think that you have an easy hole, then all of a sudden you mess it up, but all of a sudden that cost you the tournament; or you have a tough hole and you sit there and you've got to do what you have to do to be able to play the hole.
So sometimes you have to be aggressive.¬† Sometimes you have to be conservative.¬† But in the end, you have to play every hole and you have to play every shot, and the guy that obviously has the least number of strokes wins.¬† That may not be the question or answer you were looking for but that's the way I played always.
Every shot was just‑‑ every tee shot is just as important, and you have to make the putt, because if you miss one, they all add up at the end of the day and that's what you have to do.
Q.¬† You talked a little about golf in the State of Michigan and you had opportunities as a kid growing up; where would you rate Michigan as far as cold weather or is that hard to do?
JACK NICKLAUS:¬† They have good golf courses in Michigan.¬† The Detroit area is just loaded with really good golf courses.¬† There are a lot of great golf courses in that area.¬† You have a lot of great golf courses up in the state.¬† I don't know a lot about the middle of the state.¬† I haven't played a lot of golf there.¬† You have a lot not too far away from here, 50 yards maybe, I think that's a pretty good golf course, at least I think it is.
But the golf in Michigan is strong.¬† I think you start looking at the state's population and how many people play golf, I think Minnesota probably plays more golf per capita than any other state.¬† Michigan isn't far behind, top three.¬† Joe would know better than I.¬† But there's a lot of golf to be played in the State of Michigan and a lot of good golf.
Q.¬† Between teaching and designing the courses and then playing, what's the most rewarding part of golf for you now in your career?
JACK NICKLAUS:¬† Most rewarding is when I don't have to play.¬† I don't play really anymore.¬† I play once a month maybe.¬† Golf is a game to me that's part of being competitive.¬† I love competition.¬† I love to compete.¬† And golf was my vehicle for competition.
Once I lost my vehicle or my ability to be able to play and compete at that level‑‑ actually the last time I played 18 holes, I shot a few strokes below my age, so pretty good.¬† I was really pleased with that.¬† But most of the time I play, I'm going to shoot 75 or 76.¬† I think that's a pretty good round of golf; that and about five bucks will get you a cup of coffee most anywhere and that's what I do.
I play more tennis than I do golf anymore.¬† Do I love the game?¬† Yeah.¬† My kids, three of my four boys were golf professionals.¬† They all actually got their amateur status back, and the other boy still plays very well, too.¬† They play some amateur golf and have fun.¬† I don't have many of my grand kids playing.¬† They are all playing other sports but they play a little bit and have fun.
As they get older, they will be able to play and they will be able to enjoy the game.¬† None of them will ever be a professional golfer or anything, but golf is a great game and it's a great game to communicate and be part of what's going on; and the Boys & Girls Clubs here, they will produce golfers out of that.¬† The First Tee will produce golfers out of that.¬† Whether they produce tournament golfers or not is not important.
People learning values the in game of golf and being able to spend time with people and being able to enjoy time; and being able to communicate; when you're a kid and you enjoy going out and playing a golf course that maybe it's got 30‑year‑olds 40‑year‑olds, 50‑year‑olds, 60‑year‑olds and older.¬† So you're only a kid, you learn how to act with that and you learn manners.¬† There's many, many different things that the game of golf teaches you.¬† It teaches you sportsmanship and so forth and so on.¬† You don't have to be a tournament player to do that.¬† It's just a great game for life that people can play, and spend time together.
So what First Tee teaches these kids.¬† They are going to teach them the nine core values from The First Tee and they are going to teach them‑‑ they will grow up to be better citizens.
I was at Augusta Sunday night, and they were having capital they are raising for First Tee right now, and they are raising $100million, and they have been at it for three months and they are almost three quarters of the way there.¬† Pretty amazing to me in three months.
They had two of the kids from Augusta speak at the dinner.¬† And I mean, they were just terrific.¬† They had this one boy, he was so clever.¬† I mean, he absolutely‑‑ just everybody just laughing on the floor.¬† And he had written his own speech, but he had all kind of little stories and little jokes.
And he had said‑‑ he said he had gotten that out of working with First Tee, lessons they taught him on how he could do different things.
I had the opportunity to speak in front of Congress twice for First Tee, and we had breakfast in Washington, about 20 Congressman and 20 senators there, and they had two kids, one from Oklahoma City I think and one from Jacksonville.¬† And these two kids both said that their parents were in jail and in homes some¬† place, were drug addicts and just horrible situations.
First Tee turned their life around.¬† What turned it around, the fact that these two kids were both valedictorians of their class, never played golf obviously until they started First Tee and both going to college on golf scholarships.¬† I'm sitting next to John Boehner and Boehner has got tears running down his face, which is pretty easy for him, which he did that a lot.¬† And I turned around in the room and every Congressman and Senator had tears running down their face, too, because of these kids.¬† That's what golf is all about:¬† What it can do, what it can teach people, and that's what this project is all about.¬† It's about these kids and how you change this community and how the whole thing works together.¬† That's what it's all about.
Q.¬† You mentioned your reaction the first time you came to this site.¬† I'm wondering how long did it take you or how many visits did it take you before you realized that someone else's vision of a great golf course really could be accomplished?
JACK NICKLAUS:¬† Well, I don't think anybody had a vision of a great golf course.¬† We were trying to revitalize the community and golf was a part of it.¬† I think that I was fortunate to be part of it‑‑ and to give me the tools to build a pretty decent golf course.¬† I think we were fortunate to come up with that.¬† We couldn't come up with a bad golf course.¬† You try not to.
The worst properties, generally speaking, turn out to be our best golf courses, because you work hard.¬† You work harder on something and you want to make it right.¬† Then generally speaking, you get a better result.¬† Sometimes you get the most beautiful pieces of property and you look at it and all of a sudden get done with it and you say, why did I do, that why couldn't I have done that.
Well, here, we didn't have a whole lot of options and I think we used every natural thing we could do and worked within environmentally what we were allowed to do, and I think we were pretty lucky that we came up with a pretty good product.
JULIUS MASON:¬† Ladies and gentlemen, thanks to Mike to Jeff to Joe to Dave and to Jack.¬† I think the 73rd Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid is off to a really good start.
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