RUSH: Folks, I have you tell you: I had a great time yesterday. It was the annual Ernie Els charitable outing at PGA National right up the road here. This is the fourth or fifth year for this. Ernie Els has an autistic child, and he began a charity called Els for Autism and that’s what this tournament does is raise money for it. His co-conspirator in this is a good friend of mine, Marvin Shanken, who is the publisher of Cigar Aficionado. As I mentioned before, it is one of the best and finest male lifestyle magazines that you will ever run across.
It started out as devoted to cigars and the finer things in life that you can do with cigars (Lewinskys excluded). We would never… When I say “Marvin,” I say “we” because I’ve been a devotee of Cigar Aficionado since its founding. I was the first human cover on Cigar Aficionado, not a caricature or a drawing. Marvin’s a good friend. Of course there was a cigar fad because of Cigar Aficionado, and like all fads, it leveled off, and Marvin adapted the magazine to include even more men’s and male lifestyle aspects to it.
He did that while maintaining all the in-depth, best coverage of cigars there is anywhere in the world. He has maintained it, and it’s a tough thing to do. I mean, who would have ever started a magazine about cigars in the first place? It’s a beautiful, big four color magazine. This not some chintzy little newsletter-type thing, you know, with two or three pages on typewriter paper. This is a full-fledged, four color, fully advertised and supported magazine on cigars.
Who would have ever thought it possible? It was his passion, along with wine. He also publishes The Wine Spectator. So I got to know Marvin 20 years ago now or whenever I got into the cigars. It was that long ago. I’ve been a lot of places, done a lot of things and always played with Marvin in the Els for Autism tournament. He’s a fun guy. His nickname is “The Shot Maker.” Rudy Giuliani was in our group. Our fourth yesterday was Rory McIlroy, number one in the world at 23 years old.
He lives in Palm Beach Gardens and Monaco.
I have to tell you, he was just great. He’s 23 years old. I took him aside, and I told him. He was entirely humble. He was not distant, did not act like he didn’t want to be there like some people in his situation do. I’ve done that. There are plenty of places I don’t want to be (chuckling) and I let people know when I’m there. (interruption) What are you laughing at, Snerdley? (interruption) What do you mean, “No”? (interruption) Snerdley says, “It’s not the kind of thing you should admit.”
Well, it doesn’t happen much because I’ve reached a point in my life where I don’t have to do what I don’t want to do. Boy, folks, you do not know… Speaking of freedom, you do not know what kind of freedom that is to not have to do things you don’t want to do. That’s worth taking time to appreciate each and every day. But even at that, even at that, there are things I don’t want to do that I have to do. Sometimes. Rarely. And I’m just joking. I don’t act like a bad guy, but a lot of people do.
A lot of people, when they don’t want to be someplace, act like it. They’re off putting. They put out a vibe, “Don’t approach me. I’m here because I didn’t have to be.” But Rory was a great. I took him aside and I said, “You’re 23. I wish that I had had the worldliness and the level of maturity and knowledge how to deal with performance pressure and all that at age 23 that you do.” Now, he had a meltdown a couple of weeks ago on that course during the Honda Classic.
He just got fed up with the way he was playing and walked off and had to do a press conference the next week down at Doral to explain, and he chalked it up to youth and all that. But it was entirely pleasurable. He hit… Folks, for you golfers out there, I think it was the 16th hole. It’s a dogleg right second shot, for those of us long enough to make the second shot. I say “those of us.” Not everybody. He was in a trap. He was in a bunker probably 185 yards out.
He took a club out (I didn’t see what it was), puts it to within five feet, and got back in the car. I said, “What did you swing?” He said, “An 8-iron.” An 8-iron! Folks, your husband, when he goes out play, an 8-iron goes maybe 130 yards — and this guy who’s five nine and 80 pounds, I’ve got a picture of us standing together. You could see how we measure up. You know, I’m big guy, but I’m not tall. I’m not massive big. I’m an average-size guy. But for these guys, size doesn’t matter.
It’s like Lauren Silberman said after her failed NFL kick tryout: “It’s not the length that matters. It’s the technique.” But he was a great guy. It was fun to be with him. Most of the golf pros are. Most of the PGA Tour pros are. He was accommodating to everybody. We even had our own little mini-gallery following us around. The public was admitted but nobody showed up because nobody knew it was happening. It’s a private event. But it’s always a good time. It’s always a fun time.
You’ve got comfort stations every three or four holes. You’ve got the fine adult beverage manufacturers. You have the fine cigars every three or four holes, whatever you want. These guys are there exhibiting their products. They had Grey Goose Orange in giant, giant bottles that you can’t buy, of course. They’re not for sale. But it’s always a great time, a great cause, Ernie Els and his autism charity. So that’s where I was. That’s what I was doing. Oh, folks, one other thing.
I’m gonna make an observation; I hope you understand.
To me, this was uplifting. I’ve been out to this course, I’ve been out to this tournament, I don’t know how long, however many years it’s been going on. It seems like five years, and it may be longer because time flies. I had more people come up to me yesterday than ever before thanking me for what I’m doing, which tells me that there are… By the way, we’ve got polling data to back this up. There are more and more people out there who are becoming high-information voters who are starting to figure something out, and they’re not happy with what’s going on.
I don’t want to take a singular event like yesterday with more people than ever coming up to me, but I’m just telling you: I think what it means is that there is a golden opportunity for somebody on the Republican side to pick up and score big with just a little leadership. People are hungering for it on our side. They are thirsting for it. (interruption) No, I’m not gonna post the picture of me with McIlroy. I didn’t get his permission to do that, and who knows what kind of hell would descend on him if that happened.
No, these guys can’t go political. In fact, he was leaving to do a Nike commercial after the tournament. He was speeding out of there to go do that. So, no. That picture will remain something in my private collection