KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Thousands of people have worked as teaching professionals in the sport of golf, but none can match what Ken Raynor has done. He has played more rounds of golf with presidents and former presidents than anyone in history.

Most of those rounds—hundreds of them, far too many to count—were with George H.W. Bush. In the late 1970s the two men stuck up a friendship at Cape Arundel Golf Club, a course near Bush’s summer home in Kennebunkport, where Raynor was the teaching pro and Bush a longtime member. When Bush ascended to the White House, Raynor picked up a nickname: Secretary of Swing.

A new book by Raynor , “I Call Him Mr. President—Stories of Golf, Fishing and Life With My Friend George H.W. Bush,” offers a wealth of anecdotes about the times the two men have shared. At first Raynor was reluctant to write the book, worrying that people might take it the wrong way or think he was trying to cash in on his relationship. In fact, Raynor is donating all his profits from the book to two charities in York County, Gary’s Place and the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust.

What emerges from the book is a sense that the friendship between these two men is deep and genuine. As president, Bush and his wife Barbara even traveled to Raynor’s home in Kennebunkport to have dinner with him and his young son. The visit became a tradition that lasted for years and the menu never varied from that first occasion:

--Portabella mushrooms
--cauliflower casserole
--oysters on the half shell
--cheese-stuffed twice-baked potatoes
--baked stuffed tomatoes
--marinated flank steak

The president said, “It’s my favorite meal of the year. Why would we ever change it?”

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