A day on the course with Bob 

Published 9:27 am Monday, April 9, 2018

Former reporter looks back at 1974 

Bob Hope made a surprise visit to Bright Leaf Golf Course May 5, 1974, to play 18 holes of golf with this old friend, former governor A.B. “Happy” Chandler.

Photos contributed
Bob Hope, top left, and A.B. Chandler are happy to meet again. Dolores Hope is greeted by Roscoe Conkling “Torchy” Torrance.

Email newsletter signup

Hope along with his wife, Dolores, and friend Roscoe Conkling “Torchy” Torrance, former owner of the Seattle Marines baseball team, attended the Kentucky Derby in Louisville on Saturday and spent the afternoon at the golf course.

“When Bob called last night and said he wanted to play golf, we invited him here,” said Chandler. “I wanted to show him the beautiful country and let him meet these nice people.”

Several hundred people came to watch the players.

Chandler plays golf regularly at Bright Leaf. He said he and the Hope family had been friends for more than 40 years.

“Thirty-one years ago this year, I took Hope to England, his native country,” said Chandler. “I introduced Hope to Winston Churchill.” 

“Bob is a tremendous character and has done so much for charity and risking his life to visit with the soldiers serving overseas,” Chandler said.

Torrance, also a friend of Chandler, said he had been coming to the Kentucky Derby for 10 years and also to visit with the Chandlers.

The group ended their day with dinner at Beaumont Inn.

Dear readers, 

I had been working at The Advocate-Messenger about 10 years when Hope and friends came to Bright Leaf and did not know anything about writing sports articles.

However, I was the only one of the reporters available and reluctantly wanted to decline spending my afternoon at the golf course.

But that did not happen.

I gathered my camera and notebook and two young daughters and drove to Harrodsburg.

That was my first and last assignment to write about sports. — Brenda Edwards

Friends at Bright Leaf Golf Course presents a plaid sports coat to Bob Hope, fourth from left, during his visit to Kentucky. Others in the photo from left, are: Jerry Tyler, A.B. “Happy” Chandler, Donnie Mobley, Danny Buff and Connie Hendren, assistant pro at the golf course.