President George W. Bush named 2021 Ambassador of Golf

AKRON, Ohio – President George W. Bush has been named the 2021 recipient of the Ambassador of Golf Award, presented by the FirstEnergy Foundation. The Ambassador of Golf Award honors a person who has fostered the ideals of the game on an international level and whose concern for others extends beyond the golf course.

“The PGA TOUR and the world of golf owe President George W. Bush a great debt of gratitude for his longtime contributions to the game, and we are thrilled we will be able to honor the president with the Ambassador of Golf Award in 2021,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “In the longtime tradition of the Bush family, President Bush has used his platform to unify and shine a light on the impact the game of golf can have on our society through his tremendous work as honorary chairman of the First Tee and fostering the growth and worldwide goodwill of the Presidents Cup.”

Bush, who served as the 43rd President of the United States from 2001 through 2009, has served as Honorary Chair of the First Tee since 2012, taking over for his father, President George H.W. Bush. In that role, he provides leadership and support of the First Tee’s mission to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.

In 2011, he founded the Bush Institute’s Warrior Open for United States military personnel seriously wounded or injured since September 11, 2001. Since 2011, more than 180 warriors have participated in the Military Service Initiative’s Team 43 Sports, which include the Warrior Open and the W100K bike ride. The events amplify and draw attention to the service, sacrifice, and resilience of post-9/11 warriors and their families, particularly the issues they face in making a successful transition to civilian life.

Bush served as Honorary Chairman of the 2005 Presidents Cup at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club near Washington D.C., and hosted the event’s media day at The White House that same year. He also attended the biennial matches in 2005, 2013, 2015 and 2017.

The Bush family name has long been synonymous with the game of golf, dating back to the former President’s great grandfather, George H. Walker, who served as the President of the USGA in 1920 and is the namesake for the Walker Cup, which showcases top amateurs from the United States and Great Britain & Ireland every other year. His grandfather, Prescott Bush, served as USGA President in 1935.

Bush’s father served as Honorary Chairman of the Presidents Cup in 1996; was the original Honorary Chairman of the First Tee beginning in 1997; named recipient of the PGA of America Distinguished Service Award in 2007; presented with the USGA’s Bob Jones Award in 2008; and inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

George H.W. Bush was also a recipient of the Ambassador of Golf Award in 1994. The two become the first father-son duo to be named Award honorees in its 39-year history.

“The Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship is excited to honor President George W. Bush with the 2021 Ambassador of Golf Award presented by FirstEnergy Foundation,” said Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Executive Director, Don Padgett III. “With his father receiving this same award in 1994, we will continue to honor the Bush family and all they have done for the game of golf.”

The former President joins an illustrious list of Ambassador of Golf Award winners: 1981 Chi Chi Rodriguez; 1982 Bing Crosby; 1983 Byron Nelson; 1984 Gene Sarazen; 1985 President Gerald Ford; 1986 Bob Hope; 1987 Dinah Shore; 1988 Joe Dey; 1989 Frank Chirkinian; 1990 Barbara Nicklaus; 1991 Arnold Palmer; 1992 Nancy Lopez; 1993 Roberto De Vicenzo; 1994 President George H.W. Bush; 1995 Michael Bonnallack; 1996 Deane Beman; 1997 Peter Thomson; 1998 Ken Venturi; 1999 Gary Player; 2000 Ben Hogan and Sam Snead; 2001 Del de Windt; 2002 Joanne Carner; 2003 Robert Dedman, Sr. and Jack Vickers; 2004 Lee Trevino; 2005 Pete Dye; 2006 Ken Schofield; 2007 Tony Jacklin; 2008 Charlie Sifford; 2009 Hale Irwin; 2010 Tom Watson; 2011 Nick Price; 2012 Nick Faldo; 2013 Jack Nicklaus; 2014 Johnny Miller; 2015 Judy Rankin; 2016 Davis Love III; 2017 Peter Jacobsen; 2018 Jim Nantz; and 2019 Fred Couples.

The Ambassador of Golf Award was not presented this year due to the impact on tournament functions and onsite attendance from COVID-19.

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