Know Jack: The not-so-handy man

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Jack Nicklaus is a man of many talents. He plays tennis, hunts, fishes. And, of course, he’s the greatest major champion in golf history.

But how is he at fixing things around the house?

“We do call him Handy Jack,” his wife Barbara says. “But the word 'handy' probably takes on a different connotation in our family.”

Barbara explains the ironic nickname with this story:

“I asked him to put a cup rack up for me in the kitchen cabinet. Three screws. And, mind you, my dad could do anything, so I just thought all men could do anything. So, 45 minutes later, every cuss word in the book, one screw in sideways, and he said, ‘I give up. If I can’t fix it we’ll call a repair man.”


Jack: A collection of Nicklaus stories


Yes, Jack Nicklaus is human. He does get angry.

Nicklaus said that when he was a kid, his father threatened to pull him off the course if he didn’t control his temper. And control it he did.

For the most part.

“He’ll probably get angry for me telling this story, but we were practicing one day at Loxahatchee and Jack Grout was still there,” son Gary says.

“We get to the 16th hole, which is a par 5, and my dad tries to hit the second shot, which is to an island green, with a 3-wood. And he hit one in the water. And then he dropped and hit another one in the water. You could see him kind of gritting his teeth. And he dropped another one and hit another one in the water.

“Mr. Grout is there, ‘C’mon, Jackie boy. C’mon, Jackie boy. You can do this.’ He probably hit four or five balls in the water … and finally he just took his 3-wood and he threw it at the cart and it flew up into two pieces.

“My brother and I just kind of went and walked down the fairway like, ‘Oh, boy. You know what just happened? So he is human.’ … It was very funny to us at the time to see him lose his temper.”