tv The David Rubenstein Show Peer to Peer Conversations Bloomberg September 8, 2019 2:30pm-3:00pm 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
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
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 canes
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: 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.
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 guy, pete dye, 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 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. no matter what, the hole would 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 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. he says papaw, i'm papaw, thinks i will make a hole in one. darn it if he doesn't knock it right in the hole. gary was jumping all over the place. tom watson was jumping all over the place. david: i'd like to talk about how you and your wife have decided to focus your philanthropy on children's hospitals. jack: to see what has happened to these kids, it's more important than a four foot putt. ♪
david: when players are playing golf in a tournament, you are paired with somebody. do you talk? jack: sure. david: i thought they didn't even talk to each other. jack: the guys are good friends. 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 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? i looked at barbara and said, do you want to go for it? she said, go for it. we started a foundation. we haven't done anything large. we raised over $100 million. david: pretty impressive. [applause] 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. thank you for everything you've done for the golf world and for philanthropy. thank you. jack: thank you. [applause] ♪
reporter: coming up on "bloomberg best," the stories that shaped the week in business around the world. >> parliament is on the brink of wrecking any deal. >> there is no sense. >> pandemonium in parliament. u.k. lawmakers vote to stop and stop the snap elections. is the he is offering poison of a no deal. >> gone from slightly sublime to utterly ridiculous. reporter: a new round of tariffs -- going into eff
IN COLLECTIONSBloomberg TV Television Archive Television Archive News Search Service
Uploaded by TV Archive on