Jack discusses his distant relationship with Tiger

By Doug FergusonApril 11, 2013, 4:25 pm

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Jack Nicklaus has shared his secrets and strategy about Augusta National with anyone who wanted to learn from a six-time Masters champion, a list that includes Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Nicolas Colsaerts. But not Tiger Woods.

Nicklaus said he's never had a sit-down with the man who is trying to break his records.

In fact, he said they hardly talk at all.

'I never really had a conversation with Tiger that lasted more than a minute or two – ever,' Nicklaus said on Thursday morning after hitting the ceremonial first tee shot. 'He stayed away from me from a conversation standpoint. Never had a conversation on the Masters in general. I've said, 'Hello, how are you doing? Nice playing this year. You've played very well.' End of conversation. People ask me, 'Has Tiger ever talked to you about his record?' Never one word.'


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Nicklaus said he was surprised Woods hasn't talked to him about the Masters, though he's not the least bit offended. Woods, after all, figured out the course quickly. He won the Masters three times in his first six years as a pro.

'He's got his own focus and what he does, and I respect that,' Nicklaus said. 'I respect when somebody is involved in their deal. They concentrate on what they do and not what you did. That's OK. It's not my position to go talk to him about it. I respect that. I wouldn't intrude on that.'

Even so, it offered some rare insight into the relationship between Woods and Nicklaus, with whom he has been linked ever since Woods was a youngster and kept a timeline of the milestones Nicklaus achieved in his career.

They spent time together at the Presidents Cup during the four times Nicklaus was captain, and Nicklaus has sat at his side during the champion's interview the five times that Woods won the Memorial. Nicklaus even shared one story from the Presidents Cup when he noticed Woods and Mickelson spending time together. Nicklaus had ready plenty of stories about the tension between them.

'I said, 'You guys seem to get along.' And he said, 'Yeah, we get along fine.' I said, 'What’s all this about that other stuff?' He says, 'I don't know. Just press stuff.' So I said, 'You guys want to play together?' And he said, 'I'd rather not.'

'The point being, he's got a little bit of his number,' Nicklaus said. 'And he doesn't want anyone to get really close to him because he feels like he's got a little dominance over them. I understand that. You've got to respect that.'

Nicklaus and Woods played together only once in the majors, the opening two rounds of the 2000 PGA Championship at Valhalla. They also were teammates in the old 'Battle at Bighorn.' Woods once told a story of asking Nicklaus about all the rivalries he faced during three decades and how Nicklaus told him, 'Just make sure you're always part of the conversation.' Nicklaus said even that chat in South Africa didn't last very long.

'I get along fine with Tiger. I like Tiger. I don't have an issue with Tiger. There's always pleasantries and so forth,' he said.

Woods moved from Orlando, Fla., to the West Palm Beach area last year after building a home along the ocean with his own miniature range. The speculation was which golf club Woods might join, and he settled on The Medalist. Several other pros are members at The Bear's Club, which Nicklaus built as his home course in Florida.

'I asked him when he came to Florida if we wanted to come to The Bear's Club,' Nicklaus said. 'He stayed away from it. He didn't want to intrude where I was. He never told me why, but other people told me, 'He says he didn't feel comfortable being there where I was because that was a record he was trying to break.' I said, 'I don't care about that. We'd like to have you if you want to play and be part of it.' He comes out and plays quite often. I'd include him in everything.

'But everybody has their own personality. That's not a fault. It's not a criticism. It just is what it is.'

So what kind of golf talk is Woods missing out on?

Nicklaus spoke mainly about taking risks only when the percentages and the situation called for it and realize that a shot into the middle of just about any green at Augusta National will leave a reasonable chance at birdie.

He still thinks about the 3-wood he hit into the water on the 15th hole that cost him in the final round of the 1971 Masters.

'One shot shouldn't be a shot that puts you out of the tournament,' Nicklaus said. 'I needed to make 4. I didn't need to make 3. I should have laid the ball up. Why put yourself out of the tournament on one shot? That's the thing I stress.

'I wouldn't take risks unless it was necessary to take risks,' he said. 'These guys that come to me and ask me about the tournament, basically what I tell them is there's a half-dozen shots on this golf course (where) you can put yourself out of the tournament.'

He mentioned the tee shot on the par-5 second hole; the second shot into No. 11; the tee shot on the par-3 12th. The tee shot and the second shot on the par-3 13th; and the second shot on the par-5 15th.

'Think about what you're doing on them,' Nicklaus said. 'If you've got a 50-50 chance of doing it, certainly I wouldn't be doing it. If you've got a 90-10 chance, think real hard about it, and try to make sure you eliminate the 10. It's a golf course that when you make a mistake, it's really difficult to make up for it.'

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’


Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open


Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

“Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

“When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

“Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

“Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

“The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

“Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to GolfChannel.com.

Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

Christina Kim:

LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

LPGA pro Jennie Lee: