George W. Bush came up aces Wednesday. The former president said in a social media post that, at age 72, he hit his first hole-in-one.
Bush posted a photo of himself triumphantly showing the yellow golf ball he drained at the 12th hole of Dallas’s Trinity Forest Golf Club. According to the club’s member scorecard, the 12th is a par-3, 164 yards from the white tees.
Bush noted that he was playing with officials from the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which hosts at Trinity Forest an annual golf tournament for military personnel seriously wounded or injured since Sept. 11, 2001. The club, which opened for play in 2016, also began hosting the PGA’s AT&T Byron Nelson event last year.
“Next golf goal: live to 100 so I can shoot my age,” Bush said in his post.
Bush, who was in the White House from 2001 to 2009, said that he gave the sport up in 2003 because “playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.” He claimed his decision came after he was told while on a golf course that a truck bomb in Baghdad had killed over a dozen people, including U.N. special representative Sergio Vieira de Mello.
“I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf,” Bush said in 2008. “I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them.”
Bush was criticized in 2002 for being at a golf course when he told reporters, “I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you. Now watch this drive.”
In 2013, Bush defended his successor, Barack Obama, after the latter caught flak for the frequency of his golfing excursions. “I see our president criticized for playing golf. I don’t. I think he ought to play golf,” Bush said.
“Because I know what it’s like to be in the bubble,” Bush continued. “I know the pressures of the job, and to be able to get outside and play golf with some of your pals is important for the president. It does give you an outlet.”
Golf runs deep in Bush’s family. His father and fellow former president, George H.W. Bush, who died in November at age 94, was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. His grandfather, former U.S. Sen. Prescott Sheldon Bush, served for a time as head of the United States Golf Association, and his maternal great-grandfather George Herbert Walker was the most consequential figure of them all, in terms of his contributions to the sport.
Walker also served as president of the USGA, and in 1920, he conceived of an international team competition for amateur golfers. The first official Walker Cup was held in 1922 and it is still held on a biannual basis, having featured the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, and Jordan Spieth.
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