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Vintage San Diego: Fore! Play

Bob Hope at the San Diego Country Club in 1953


Photo courtesy of San Diego History Center

By the Numbers

1978 - Bob Hope putts against a two-year-old Tiger Woods on The Mike Douglas Show

53 - Weeks Hope’s golf book, Confessions of a Hooker, was on the New York Times Best Sellers list

-22 - Best score at the tournament, by George Burns in 1987 and Tiger Woods in 1999

7 - Record number of wins at the tournament by a single player, Tiger Woods

$28 million - Funds raised by The Century Club for the San Diego community

$25 million - The listing price for Hope’s “space age” estate in Palm Springs

Before Bob Hope was known as host of the Bob Hope Classic in the Coachella Valley (now the Humana Challenge), he was a fan of San Diego’s golf and philanthropy.

In this photo, Bob Hope and friends ham it up for the camera at the second annual San Diego Open, a charity event celebrating community and the love of golf. It was originally held at the San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista, home to the quaint golf course created by Willie Watson, a designer of multiple U.S. Open sites.

The San Diego Open still occurs today, but with a new title. In 1968, the tournament moved from its original Chula Vista venue to the oceanfront Torrey Pines Golf Course (to read more on Torrey Pines, turn to page 40). The Farmers Insurance Open is a part of the PGA Tour and has attracted world-renowned golfers such as Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Brandt Snedeker, and Tiger Woods.

The Open returns this month as defending champ Scott Stallings attempts for par. The event is sponsored by The Century Club, which raises funds to support San Diego’s youth, schools, and military families.

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