The course, quite appropriately, the tournament will be played on is the Nicklaus Club at LionsGate, Overland Park. Nicklaus has said he almost certainly will end his tournament play at the British Open this year at St. Andrews. He left open the possibility of playing his Memorial Tournament, as well as the Father/Son and various skins games and other made-for-TV competitions. But for all practical purposes, this week will probably conclude his Champions Tour involvement.
The game has passed me by, Nicklaus said last week at the Memorial, and that's fine, and it's passed me by a long time ago. I've been part of the game, I enjoy being part of the game, but I don't enjoy being part of the game when I can't compete.
I think I realized it was passing me by about 20 years ago.
Nicklaus is 65 years of age. Twenty years ago he was 45, and he won a major ' the Masters - when he was 46. He thought for a moment, then revised his answer.
Yeah, 15 years ago, I suppose. Yeah, 15 years ago - maybe not quite, he said upon reflection.
Sometime in my early 50s, I felt like the game was passing me by or I was 'dropping back' would be probably the right way to put it. It didn't pass me by, I fell back myself. I would say a good dozen years ago I realized that and I've sort of backed off a lot since then.
Nicklaus thought another moment, then added, I've always gone as a competitor. How competitive can I be? I haven't been competitive for 10 years. I'm not going to wake up tomorrow and play competitive golf.
Nicklaus had other clues to tell him when to retire from tournament competition. The first, of course, is that tournament golf no longer holds the same allure for him as it did in the younger years.
I enjoy doing my other things, Nicklaus said. I've always been obviously involved in my golf course work and designing work. I've really enjoyed that more since I've really stopped playing than the other because I really have a lot of fun. I spend more time at it, and I think we've got some great places we're doing golf courses, and we're doing some really nice facilities. I'm enjoying that all over the world.
When I'm at home, I'm spending more time doing something else other than playing golf.
But always, Nicklaus has been concerned about the people who clamor to see Jack. That will never grow old, he says.
I think that's very nice, said Nicklaus. I'd like to have them see me, the real Jack Nicklaus. I will put as much effort through as I can to do that. That's what I've always done all my life.
I just know that there's a certain point in time, and I'm sure that time is there, that I can't do that, to give them what I think they really paid to see.