While Gerald Ford was labeled a klutz during his time in the Oval Office, he was actually one of the most athletic presidents in history.

Golf was Ford’s most popular and public hobby in his post-presidency days, and unfortunately for Ford, the clumsiness he showed in the White House spread to the greens as well. Ford was well-known for hitting spectators while playing golf.

“I’ll know I’m getting better at golf because I’m hitting fewer spectators,” Ford once said.

His best remembered golf moments come from his appearances at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. Hope and Ford were good friends and were always paired together. This is where Ford’s inability to keep the ball away from spectators became a nationally renowned joke.

Ford would usually crack jokes at himself about his errant shots. He once said, “I would like to deny all allegations by Bob Hope that during my last game of golf, I hit an eagle, a birdie, an elk and a moose.”

Although Ford sometimes had difficulty keeping the ball in the fairway, he was believed to have a handicap in the mid-teens – a significant achievement for any amateur golfer, let alone an 80-year-old former president. He also received guidance from golf greats Jack Nicklaus and Hale Irwin.

Ford used his past-presidency to do more than play golf as a hobby. He set up the Jerry Ford Invitational, which raised money for charities near his home in Vail, Colo. Ford was also the first president to become a member of the United States Golf Association members program, and served as the honorary chairman of the first President’s Cup in 1994.

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