Jack Nicklaus, legendary golfer and longtime Ford Family friend, joined Steve Ford for a conversation on his legacy and the lasting legacy of Gerald R. Ford at the JW Marriott in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Foundation Trustee Doug DeVos hosted the event which continued the Gerald R. Ford Centennial Celebrations which have included former First Ladies Barbara Bush & Laura Bush, Jon Meacham and Donald Rumsfeld.
The conversation was paired with the 2nd Annual 2013 Ruth's Chris Charity Golf Event, which was sponsored by Amway. Both events benefited the Student Learning Center at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.
Jack Nicklaus not only was a longtime friend of Gerald & Betty Ford but he also served as Honorary Pallbearer during Gerald R. Ford's funeral. Nicklaus holds the record for most Major Championship Victories (18) while also placing third all-time in career wins (73) with 58 career runner-ups with 19 in Majors. Nicklaus also played an key role in helping return Golf back into the Olympics, is a passionate philanthropist, has helped introduced thousands to the game of golf and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Steve Ford and Jack Nicklaus spoke at lengthen about the similarities Gerald R. Ford and Jack Nicklaus shared including strong family upbringings and strong family values. Nicklaus attended The Ohio State University during which he won won two U.S. Amateur tournament twice and an NCAA Championship. He learned numerous lessons from his father and as a young golfer that stayed with him for the rest of his life including understanding what he could and could not control so he could do his best with what he could, being prepared to succeed, just within yourself by not worrying about other players and what they are doing, learning from his mistakes and not making the same mistakes again.
Nicklaus recalled numerous moments throughout his career, including winning his first major which was in Arnold Palmer's home course, being a rookie on the PGA Tour, his favorite tournament to play & win which was The Masters at Augusta, learning from Ben Hogan, changing preparations for tournaments when he started walking off yardage on courses and spending time with Gerald R. Ford the day Jimmy Carter was sworn in as President.
Zach Hope also provided remarks on his grandfather, Bob Hope, and the special friendship he shared with Gerald R. Ford. Zach helped the Foundation in opening the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum's exhibit "Bob Hope: An American Treasure" back in 2012.
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