Q+A Ben Crenshaw

The two-time Masters winner attended the inauguration of fellow Texan and longtime friend George W. Bush
January 31, 2005

SI: What was last week like?

Crenshaw: We arrived on Tuesday as part of the friends and family contingent, which numbered about 300. My daughter [Katherine] and I were on the Texas float in the parade. We attended lots of the balls and parties. I got by on one tuxedo and two suits. For Texans, there was the Black Tie and Boots Ball.

SI: Did you stay at the White House?

Crenshaw: Not this time, but I've stayed there many times.

SI: Have you ever given the President (below, at the 1999 Ryder Cup) a putting lesson in the Oval Office?

Crenshaw: We talk about golf, absolutely. I try to provide him a bit of solace. In December I was at the White House with friends, and as we were putting on the green on the White House lawn, he came out and watched for a bit before going back inside. He had to meet the president of Pakistan.

SI: Have you played much golf with the President?

Crenshaw: Only a few times, and never since he's been President. He only played a few times during his first term. He told me last Friday, "During my second term we're going to play." I've played with the President's father. And 41's father, Senator Prescott Bush, was a fine player. He was secretary of the USGA when Bobby Jones completed his Grand Slam in 1930. The current President's great-grandfather, George Herbert Walker, donated the Walker Cup, so golf has been a part of their family for generations.

SI: Does the President have a good game?

Crenshaw: He has a good swing but needs to work on his short game, as we all do. He and his dad play so quickly--the ball is in the air at all times. They play in 21/2 hours and do not tarry on the course. They're very competitive, and there's a bit of needling going on. --Tom Cunneff