Scott, Golden Bear talk economic development…and tweetsby Dara Kam | January 20th, 2011
Golf legend Jack Nicklaus met with Gov. Rick Scott to discuss how the Golden Bear can help the new governor turn the state’s economy around.
Nicklaus, the golfer-turned-businessman and philanthropist who lives in North Palm Beach, and Scott stepped outside the governor’s office to answer a few questions from The Palm Beach Post but remained tight-lipped about any potential economic development plan, other than it would involve…golf.
The links superstar is the head of an exclusive golf course design company that’s launched more than 350 courses throughout the U.S. and in nearly three dozen other countries.
Scott and Nicklaus, whose flight arrival was delayed more than an hour because of fog, met for about 30 minutes before stepping into the governor’s waiting room to answer a few questions from a reporter.
“I invited Mr. Nicklaus , the greatest golfer ever, to come and give me his ideas on economic development in the state. He’s lived here since 1962 and clearly cares about the state,” Scott told The Palm Beach Post.
Nicklaus said they had “basically a general conversation about how we can help and how golf can be involved.”
Scott said the talks were preliminary.
“We’re the number one golf state, the number one tourist destination in the world. So we started the conversation to see if there’s any ideas,” he said.
“It’s obvious golf can help the economic growth of the state,” Nicklaus added. He said he and Scott discussed how “somebody with my age and experience…with all the years of playing golf, how that can apply to what’s going on here.”
Scott’s staffers, clearly impressed by Nicklaus, took turns posing for photos with “The Golden Bear” inside the governor’s office before Nicklaus and his entourage left the Capitol.
Scott said he plays golf but “not well,” prompting Nicklaus to downplay his current prowess on the greens.
“Everybody’s wanted to play golf like I did. Now they can,” he joked, pausing before helping out a reporter clearly baffled by his meaning. “I’m 71 years old. I don’t play like I did when I was 45.”
After the meeting, Scott flew to Pensacola for the 100th anniversary celebration of the Navy air station there.
Tonight, Scott is hosting a Twitter town hall where he’ll take questions and give answers, all within the 140-character social media site’s limit.
“I’m going to Twitter a town hall meeting,” Scott explained to Nicklaus. “So you can get online and ask questions with Twitter and I’ll respond.”
Nicklaus appeared blase about Scott’s social media event.
“Do you Tweet, sir?” he was asked.
“No. I make sure I remain totally illiterate in that state,” Nicklaus said.