tv The David Rubenstein Show Peer to Peer Conversations Bloomberg September 8, 2019 10:00am-10:30am EDT
david: in your career, you won 118 majors, which is the most of anyone. many think beating your record is possible. jack: i don't know, tiger is pretty good. david: in those days, the composition was good, but not compared to today. jack: i was making as much money selling insurance as playing golf. david: what makes a great golfer? concentration? physical ability? jack: i think winning breeds winning. >> would you fix your tie,
please? david: i don't think people would recognize me if i fixed my tie, but ok. let's leave it this way. i don't consider myself a journalist. nobody else would consider myself a journalist. i began taking on the life of an interviewer, even though i have a day job of running a private equity firm. how do you define leadership? what is it that makes somebody tick? let me go back to the beginning of golf. i am not a golfer. i have to be honest with you. i took it up when i was nine, i quit when i was 10. jack: i'm not one anymore either. david: but you were pretty famous in golf. it was too frustrating and here is what i cannot understand. why is it some new people are addicted to something that is so humiliating and frustrating to so many people? it never goes where it supposed to go, why are people addicted
to it? jack: that is a pretty good question. it's a never-ending pursuit of an unattainable goal. david: right. jack: you could try all you want. nobody has ever mastered the game. most athletes love to play golf because it's difficult. it's challenging for them. it challenges them at whatever level they play. that's why i enjoyed it. no matter how good i got, i can always be better. david: you played many different sports. you were recruited to play football at ohio state? jack: basketball. david: you were a good football player as well? jack: decent, yep. david: golf was not your most important sport? or was it one of the three most important? jack: golf was another sport at the time. once i started into college, i won a national trophy. it got me on the walker cup team. all of a sudden, i was one of
the best 12 amateurs in the country. later that year i won the national and i was ranked number one. i thought, maybe i'm better at this than i thought i was. i almost won the u.s. open the next year. i did win it the next year. i said, maybe i need to play against the best. it was a process. david: your father got you into golf initially? was he a good golfer? jack: he was a decent golfer as a kid. then he quit for 15 years and was a pharmacist. he broke his ankle playing volleyball. he ended up having three operations and had it fused. the doctor said, if you don't want to end up in a wheelchair, start walking again. we went to the suburbs. he joined at a country club and took me along to carry the bag. he couldn't make a game because he couldn't walk very far. that year, jack grout came that
year. the pga championship came that year. i got all that in my first year of playing golf. it got me charged up to learn a sport. david: jack grout became your coach for most of your career. jack: he was my coach until 1989 when he passed. david: they were the people who mostly got you on the way involved? jack: my dad was my best friend and my idol. i loved my dad. he did everything with me. he gave up everything for me. david: in those days it wasn't clear that you can make a big career financially as a professional golfer. you were thinking of getting a degree as an accountant. or being a pharmacist? jack: i started college. most kids want to be what their dad was. my dad was a pharmacist. i went through pre-pharmacy. i hated afternoon labs. my dad talked me into doing something else. i started selling insurance. i loved selling life insurance. i sold to my fraternity brothers, they needed it.
i did that for a while. i did pretty well at it. i was making good money. i got married and had my first child. i really wanted to play golf. that's what i did. david: you got married to barbara. you've been married how many years? jack: 59 next month. david: ok. the result is five children and 22 grandchildren. jack: that's right. david: you never forget the name of a grandchild. jack: i know their name. i know 95% of their birthdays. david: that's pretty impressive. you were thinking of becoming professional. you weren't sure. you met with bob jones. david: yep. david: the most famous amateur offer of them all. how did you come to meet him? jack: he was a speaker at the banquet of my first u.s. amateur when i was 15 years old.
at that time, he got paralyzed. he was still walking with ca nes at that time. he saw me play. he says, i'm going to watch you play tomorrow. i am a 15-year-old kid, playing in my first amateur, and the greatest player who ever lived will watch me play. he came out and i bogey, bogey, double bogey. it was a great experience. he became a good friend. he was great counsel. he was a good man. david: you decided to turn professional in the year after you won the second amateur. you decided you would make a career out of it? jack: i didn't have any more goals to do in amateur golf. i wanted to be the best i could be at playing golf. the only way i can do that is to play against the best. the only way to do that is the play against the pros.
david: in those days, the compensation was good but not compared to today. jack: i was making as much money selling insurance as playing golf. david: but you did -- jack: i surpassed it. david: as you went on, you had a rivalry with arnold palmer. he was the leading golfer when you came into the pros. you surpassed him in many ways. what was it like in the early days when you were rising and he was at the top? jack: i wasn't real popular. because i started beating arnold. i wasn't popular myself because i was an arnold palmer fan. arnold was a good guy. we got to be close friends. our wives got to be close friends. he never really seemed to mind that i beat him more than he beat me. i'm sure he did inside. he never let me know it. he took me under his wing. he's 10 years older than i was. he was great to me. i have nothing but love for
arnold palmer. david: in your career, you won 18 majors. the most of anybody. tiger woods has won 15. many people think trying to beat your record is impossible. jack: i don't know. tiger is pretty good. [laughter] david: you won the masters six times. is that your favorite tournament? the masters? jack: probably so. david: in the course of your career, you won more than 100 tournaments. the 18 majors, and you were the leading money winner 17 times. the leading lowest shot for a tournament for a year seven times. there's no record and golf you haven't achieved. was there anything left for you? jack: i don't know. my record is good. you can always be better. that is the neat thing about the game of golf. no matter how good you get, you can be better. david: in terms of being better,
it's hard to know how you can do better than you have done. what is the key to make somebody a great golfer? is it concentration? is it physical ability? is it a combination of those things? jack: your mind is a big part about it. you have to believe in what you can do. you have to learn to play within yourself. anybody, in all walks of life, i don't care what business you are in, you need to work within yourself. you need to do what you can do, not what somebody else can do. start believing in that. i think winning breeds winning. i was lucky, my first year i won the u.s. open. i won the biggest tournament in golf my first year out. i believed that i could play. all of a sudden, they said it coming in a easier for me. david: the first year that you won the u.s. open, was that in a playoff with arnold palmer? jack: i had to fight his gallery a lot. i never had to fight him.
he always treated me with respect. he treated me like a fellow competitor. i didn't have those issues. david: one of the most enjoyable tournaments people say to ever have watched was the 1986 masters. you were an old, old man of 46. jack: a really old man. it's very young today. david: people -- no one had ever won a major over the age of 42. tiger won the masters now at 43. 46 was considered ready for a orf cart or wheelchair, something. you were not leading the tournament until near the end. you were four shots behind with the final nine holes to go. jack: the first time i led the tournament was after 71 holes. david: you were four shots
behind at the final nine, did you think you could win? jack: i birdied 9, 10, 11. i messed up 12 little bit. i birdied 13. i eagle 15, birdied 16 and 17, yeah, i thought i could win. david: was that the most emotional win you have ever had? jack: it's funny. i had finished playing golf by then. i won two majors when i was 40 years old. i really just enjoyed playing golf. i wanted to be part of the game. i struck lightning in a bottle that week. all of a sudden, i got around to the last nine or 10 holes and i remembered how to play. you get yourself in contention , and all of a sudden, much like what happened to tiger at the masters this year, when i saw the fellows filling up the creek
at the 12th hole, he took a pretty shot out. i said, tournament is over. he will remember how to play. i remembered how to play. i remembered how to finish. it was really fun being able to do that. david: you have played with a lot of presidents of the united states. jack: i have played with a few. david: which one is the best golf? jack: trump, probably. trump plays pretty well. he plays a little bit like i do.
david: you early in your career decided that you wanted to be involved in golf course design. you have personally designed about 310 courses. your company has designed over 400 or so. about 1000 tournaments have been held on these courses. they are in 46 different countries and 40 different states. it's pretty impressive. jack: i got into it by following pete dye. pete dye was the premier golf course designer over the last 30 years or so. pete one day called me. this was mid 60's. jack, i would like to have you come out and review a course. i want you to see what it is. he says, i want you to critique it for me.
i said i don't know anything about design. he says you know more than you think you know. i looked through the golf course, he asked me a couple things. i said i don't anything about that. he says, yeah you do. tell me what you would like to see. he did it. it peaked my interest. i got a call from the pines plantation from arbor town. hilton head island. they said, i would like to have you do our golf course design. i said i don't know anything about that, but i have a young , that i would like to work with. i did that. i did that with pete. six months before the tournament, the heritage golf classic was there, arnold won the first sentiment. -- the first tournament. i loved it. i had a ball. it was tremendous. david: talking about golf, your favorite course to play of any, other than the ones you
designed, i assume you like those the most -- jack: it is like which is your favorite child. david: which ones would you say were your favorites to play? jack: if i had one round, probably pebble beach. i love pebble beach. the scene out there, i love the atmosphere. i won three crosby's out there. i just love the place. my two favorite places in the game are augustine national and st. andrews. david: you finished your professional career in 2005. your last tournament was the british open. was that emotional? jack: yeah. david: you had your family there. jack: i had my family there. they were all there. my son, steve, caddied for me. we stopped on the bridge across the 18th fairway. we didn't get a decent picture because steve was crying too much for a decent picture. tom watson was crying.
they are all emotional. i'm trying to figure out how to finish the golf tournament. they are out there crying on me. we had a great time. it was fun. i loved it. i did not want to finish on friday, but i did finish on friday. david: your last shot was a birdie? jack: it's funny. i wanted to make the cup that day. i got to the 18th hole. the ball had not gotten anywhere near the hole all day. i knew that that putt, the tournament was over. wouldter what, the hole move in front of it. i started my career in a major championship and 1957 with a birdie on the first leg played. i finished it on st. andrews with a birdie. david: you didn't think, maybe i should stay longer? jack: i stayed long enough. david: you played with many prominent individuals over the
years and prominent golfers. if you could pick any to be your partner, who would you want to have? jack: tiger today. through the years, i never got to play with bobby jones. i knew him and really loved the man. i would love to play with jones. i would have loved -- i played quite a bit of golf with hogan. hogan was fantastic. david: you played with a lot of presidents of the united states. jack: i've played with a few. david: which one is the best? jack: the ones i have played with, trump is probably the best player. he plays pretty well. he plays a little bit like i do. he doesn't really ever finish many holes. he can hit the ball. he goes out and plays and enjoys it. he has won several club championships. he can play. gerald ford, i played 50 rounds with ford. i used to play with him at the at&t every year. he was a 13 handicap.
he played two a -- you play ed to a 13 handicap. clinton, i never knew what he might do. he might play to a 10 or a 30. he had a nice swing. all these guys enjoy playing golf. i don't think any one of them were serious about the game. they all enjoyed playing it. it's good for the game of golf to have a president of the united states, this is my game. david: when you are playing in those kinds of matches, and the ball is 10 feet away from the hole, why do people not say, put it out as opposed to you can have it? jack: that's a little bit of politics. you give me mine and i'll give you yours. that kind of routine, which is not golf. david: you have a grandson who recently at a masters par 3 tournament got a hole in one. is that an emotional thing to
see your grandson get a hole in one? jack: it's pretty good. it was a funny story. his name is gt. gary thomas after his father. we went out to play nine holes. i always ask the kids if they would caddy for me every year. i said, do you want to hit a ball? he says none of my cousins have gotten it on the green. i said, you might as well hit a hole in one. pepaw thanks i will make thinks i will make a hole in one. darn it if he doesn't knock it right in the hole.
arnold and i had a fierce rivalry. we blew more tournaments by playing against each other instead of worrying about the field. we would get off the golf course and say we did it again. we both shot 75 while everybody else shot 65. we were trying to beat each other. we would shake hands and ask where we were going to dinner. i love the golf kids today. i love watching when gary woodland finished. you don't see it on television, but you see four or five of the other players congratulated him after. when justice thomas won the pga two years ago. ricky fowler and jordan spieth and those guys waiting for him. the guys really support each other. they've got enough money. they are not worried about the money. they know it's a game. these guys are their friends. david: in recent years, tiger woods has struggled. he went 10 years between winning a major tournament. do you think today that your
record of 18 majors can be broken by tiger? or by anybody? jack: i think so. the last one that tiger won was san diego -- was torrey pines in san diego. he hit all over the place. and he won the tournament. yet that he had not had a back fusion. his swing is much better now than it was then. he has learned not to hit it hard. he doesn't want to hurt himself. tiger's short game is fantastic. tiger is going to win a lot more tournaments. whether he will win three or four more majors, i don't know. 43 in golf today is not really old. david: let's talk about philanthropy. i'd like to talk about how how you and your wife focused your philanthropy on children's hospitals. jack: we started back in 1966. our daughter was 11 months old.
she started choking. we couldn't understand why. we got her to the doctor and she would be fine. the doctor says, we need to get her down to the children's hospital. now nationwide children's hospital. they found a crayon in her windpipe. they did not have a pediatric broncoscope. they broke the crayon, dropped it into her lungs. she got pneumonia. for six days she was touch and go. as we were sitting, waiting, we said, if we ever are in a position to help out, we want it to be children. the honda tournament moved to the palm beach area. fred millsaps came to me and said what do you think of children's charities?
barbara and said, do you want to go for it? , go for it. we started a foundation. we haven't done anything large. we raised over $100 million. david: pretty impressive. [applause] david: the miami city children's hospital has been renamed in your honor. jack: miami was miami children's, we made an association with them. after a couple years, they said, we would like to be a global hospital. we would like to use the niclaus name. it's fantastic. to see what has happened with these kids, i want to tell you one thing, it is more important than a four foot putt. i enjoy it a lot more. david: the satisfaction of winning the masters. jack: it's fantastic. david: but saving a child's life. jack: it's unbelievable. david: it's been a great life and a great inspiration for so many americans.
alix: mexico, venezuela -- these were the powerhouses of latin american oil production. a source of wealth, prosperity, and competition. now, venezuela is in crisis. >> it is a failed state, as you can see from the oil production numbers. alix: and mexico is too hard to invest in. >> you started to see a lot of these steep declines starting to take form in mexico. alix: now it is up to the next generation of oil countries -- colombia, guyana, brazil, and , colombia, guyana, brazil, and argentina, to trans