Ever since it began, the Classic was known for attracting major celebrities, such as Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Phil Harris, Desi Arnaz, Ray Bolger, Hoagy Carmichael, Frank Sinatra, Jack Benny, Andy Williams, Lawrence Welk, Sammy Davis, Jr., Jackie Gleason, Dean Martin, Barbara Eden, Gloria Loring, Linda Carter, Lexie Brockway and Terry Ann Browning just to name a few.
The tradition of including non-golf sports stars began with the early greats such as Willie Mays, Joe Louis, Johnny Bench, Merlin Olsen, John McKay, Maury Wills and Bear Bryant. Over the years major sports figures from Basketball, Football and Baseball continue to participate each year. The Classic has featured several US Presidents including Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald R. Ford, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton & George W Bush. So as you can imagine, this is one major golf tournament in our area. Comedian Bob Hope was a fixture in Palm Springs as far back as the 1960's. His mountain side mid-century modern "mushroom shaped" home is still a popular attraction. He loaned his name to the tournament and worked tirelessly for many years to attract big names to make the event a success each year. To this day, the Classic retains his name in honor of Bob Hope. I thought I'd include a series of photos from the event. All photos are from our newspaper, The Desert Sun:
above: pristine yet challenging pro golf courses
above: the majesty of the mountains and palm trees make this a highly desirable destination for golfers worldwide.
above: The Bob Hope Classic Girls are always a hit....
above: comedian Kevin Nealon and actor Kurt Russell