Judge Griffin B. Bell, President George H.W. Bush, and the Walker Cup

Article excerpt

In August 2001 the Walker Cup amateur golf competition was contested at the Ocean Forest Golf Club at Sea Island, Georgia. This is a competition between the best amateur players from the United States, Great Britain, and Ireland. Ocean Forest was one of Judge Bell's favorite home courses.

The opening ceremony was televised on the Golf Channel and it was an impressive event. Introductions of the teams, posting of flags of the member nations, playing of anthems, and a flyover by military jets were included. However, the main feature of die opening ceremonies was an address by former President George H. W. Bush, for whose grandfather, George Herbert Walker, die competition is named.

President Bush began his remarks by describing what a joy golf had been Üiroughout the entirety of his life. He talked about being a young lad and playing golf with both his grandfather and his father. As an adult, he described the pleasures of playing in so many beautiful locations and with such a variety of fine and interesting people.

President Bush said that the most success he had in golf was during the time that he served as President of die United States. During those days when he faced a putt of three or four feet in length, the competitors would almost always say, "Mr. President, that's good."

Then President Bush said that things had really changed for the worst since that time. He said that very day he was playing a match against former Attorney General Griffin Bell, there at Ocean Forest. They came to the last hole, and President Bush needed to make a three-foot putt to halve the match. …