LA QUINTA, Calif. -

Before the pros began the first round of play at the Humana Challenge, former president Bill Clinton arrived at PGA West to help kick things off.  He joined legendary golfer Gary Player and tournament officials for the ceremonial first tee shot.  This marks Clinton's third year being involved in the event and he feels good about the direction its going.  "Bob Hope was a friend of mine," said Clinton.  "I was thrilled and intrigued by the chance to try and save something that he had started." 

The former president made sure to stop and speak to the crowds that came to catch a glimpse of his visit to PGA West.  Some even wishing he took a swing with the pros.  "It was kind of neat," said Bob Heath.  "He was a good president, it was good to see him out on the course.  He should have hit the ball." 

While he didn't hit the ball, Mr. Clinton did spend time on the driving range, shaking hands and sharing a laugh with many of the pros.  A unique chance for players to interact with the former commander-in-chief and for the tour to help spread his message of health and wellness. "This is a long term effort and along the way our players get the opportunity to be involved," said PGA commissioner Tim Finchem.  "I can tell you from watching them with President Clinton all morning, they're excited about this relationship." 

President Clinton's excited about the work being done in the Coachella Valley.  He spoke highly of the commitment the community's made to his foundation and its initiatives and wants others to take notice.  "This valley has done something over the last three years, but our whole country and increasingly people across the world will have to replicate."