GFC Search

 

Golf Talk Live - Jack Nicklaus Transcript Segment 2

RSS

(SINGING BY CADDY QUARTET - AIR AS IS)

PETER KESSLER
YOUR LIFELONG FRIEND AND TEACHER, JACK GROUT, BEFORE HE PASSED AWAY SENT YOU A BEAUTIFUL LETTER TALKING ABOUT NOT ONLY A CONVERSATION THAT YOU HAD JUST HAD ON THE TELEPHONE BUT REFERENCING YOU WERE BEING VOTED 'PLAYER OF THE CENTURY'.

AND HE MADE THE COMMENT INSIDE THE LETTER THAT HE THOUGHT IT WAS MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAT YOU BE A GREAT SPORTSMAN AS OPPOSED A GREAT PLAYER. WHAT DID THAT COMPLIMENT MEAN TO YOU WHEN, OF COURSE, HE WAS SAYING THAT HE THOUGHT YOU WERE EVERY BIT THE SPORTSMAN THAT YOU WERE A PLAYER?

JACK NICKLAUS
WELL, I THINK THAT JACK UH . JACK WAS A WONDERFUL GUY. I MEAN, HE WAS LIKE ANOTHER FATHER TO ME, PETER.

AND UH, JACK WAS ALWAYS UH . UH FELT AS THOUGH, UH, THE GAME OF GOLF WAS OBVIOUSLY A GIFT TO ME AND THAT HE WAS ENHANCING THAT GIFT.

YOU KNOW, I ALWAYS FELT LIKE THAT UH . UH, YOU KNOW, JACK GROUT ALWAYS SAID HE - THAT HE CAME ALONG AT THE RIGHT TIME TO HAVE A PUPIL LIKE JACK NICKLAUS. AND I SAID I ALWAYS CAME ALONG AT THE RIGHT TIME TO HAVE A TEACHER LIKE JACK GROUT.

BUT ANYWAY, OUR RELATIONSHIP WAS ONE THAT UH . WE'D GO TO THE PRACTICE TEE AND WE MAYBE TALKED ABOUT GOLF ONE OUT OF TEN TIMES ON THE PRACTICE TEE. WE JUST ENJOYED EACH OTHER'S COMPANY.

AND WE TALKED ABOUT SPORTS ALL THE TIME. AND WE TALKED ABOUT HOW TO HANDLE YOURSELF AND HOW TO .

HOW TO BEHAVE AND HOW TO, HOW TO DO THIS. SO I THINK JACK WAS REALLY SAYING THAT HE WAS, I THINK, MORE PROUD OF ME OF THE WAY I HANDLED MYSELF THAN NECESSARILY THE WAY I PLAYED GOLF.

HE TOOK MY GOLF FOR GRANTED. IT WAS THE OTHER PART THAT HE WAS REALLY PLEASED TO HAVE BEEN PART OF.

PETER KESSLER
WHEN BOBBY JONES MADE THE COMMENT ABOUT YOUR GAME AS OPPOSED TO YOUR SPORTSMANSHIP AFTER YOU SET THE RECORD IN '65 AND HE SAID WHAT'S NOW A FAMOUS LINE,

'JACK NICKLAUS PLAYS A GAME WITH WHICH I'M NOT FAMILIAR.' WELL MY REACTION'S ALWAYS BEEN, 'HE WAS EXACTLY FAMILIAR' .

THAT HE WAS, IN HIS TIME, THE LONGEST HITTER OF THE GOLF BALL, THE BEST IRON PLAYER, THE BEST THINKER, THE BEST PUTTER,

THE SAME THINGS THAT YOU WERE IN YOUR TIME. DID YOU BELIEVE THAT HE MEANT IT EXACTLY AS IT CAME OUT OR DID YOU THINK IT'S JUST ONE OF THOSE NICE THINGS THAT YOU SAY?

JACK NICKLAUS
WELL, THAT HE . I THINK THAT IT WAS A NICE THING THAT HE SAID. BUT I THINK THAT WHAT HE MEANT WAS THAT I HAD TAKEN AUGUSTA NATIONAL TO THE NEXT LEVEL.

IN OTHER WORDS, THE 64 THAT I SHOT IN THE 3RD ROUND, I HARDLY PLAYED MORE THAN A WEDGE ALL DAY LONG. I DON'T REMEMBER WHAT MY CLUBS WERE BUT .MAYBE I MIGHT HAVE PLAYED 4 AND 5-IRONS TO MAYBE THE PAR-5'S AND 9-IRONS TO WEDGES ON THE . ON THE REST OF THE HOLES.

AND THAT WAS A GAME ON THAT GOLF COURSE WHICH HE FELT HE WAS NOT FAMILIAR WITH.

AND, IT'S THE SAME THING THAT UH . I'M SURE THAT WHAT TIGER DID TO THAT GOLF COURSE 2 YEARS AGO WAS AGAIN A GAME THAT BOTH OF US WERE NOT FAMILIAR WITH.

SO AS TIMES AND ERAS CHANGE, YES, WE BOTH UNDERSTAND WHAT WE DID IN OUR TIME. BUT TIMES CHANGE AND PEOPLE GET BETTER. AND CERTAINLY, WHAT TIGER DID WAS NOT THE SAME GOLF COURSE THAT I PLAYED.

NOR IT'S NOT THE -- UH, GOLF COURSE I PLAYED, IT'S NOT THE SAME GOLF COURSE JONES PLAYED. BUT HE TORE APART A GOLF COURSE THAT WAS, UH, FAR MORE DIFFICULT THAN THE ONE I SET MY RECORD ON.

PETER KESSLER
WHEN PEOPLE COMPARE YOU AND JONES, IT'S DIFFICULT TO DO FOR A LOT OF OBVIOUS REASONS. HE RETIRED AT THE AGE OF 28. THE MAJORS WERE DIFFERENT FOR HIM. THE COMPETITION WASN'T AS DEEP.

HE DIDN'T HAVE AS QUITE A GLARE OF SPOTLIGHT ON HIM EVEN THOUGH IT WAS FAIRLY INTENSE FOR JONES AT THE TIME. WOULD YOU AGREE IN SUMMARY THAT JONES DID THE MOST OVER THE BRIEFEST PERIOD OF TIME AND THAT YOU DID THE MOST OVER THE GREATEST PERIOD OF TIME?

JACK NICKLAUS
WELL I THINK IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO PROBABLY COMPARE ANY GOLFERS OR MANY ATHLETES PARTICULARLY OF DIFFERENT ERAS.

IN JONES' TIME, THAT WAS WHAT YOU DID. NOW BOBBY JONES, UH, AT THAT . IN THOSE DAYS, UH, I MEAN, WHAT, I THINK HE WHAT PLAYED 5 TOURNAMENTS IN 1930? THAT'S ALL HE PLAYED. I GUESS HE WON THE OTHER ONE TOO.

UH . BUT UH . UH .

HE REALLY DIDN'T HAVE A LOT ELSE TO PLAY IN OR TO PROVE HIMSELF. UH, AND I THINK THAT UH . UH .

HE PROBABLY . BECAUSE HE DIDN'T HAVE THAT MUCH MORE, THE PRESSURE ON EACH OF THOSE EVENTS WAS SO MAGNIFIED BEYOND WHAT WE HAVE TODAY TO WHERE UH .

YOU KNOW, HIS WAS ALL CONCENTRATED INTO ONE YEAR. I MEAN, OBVIOUSLY HE WON A LOT OF TOURNAMENTS OVER A PERIOD OF TIME. BUT MINE WAS CONCENTRATED, AS YOU SAY, OVER A LOT OF YEARS.

AND, YOU KNOW, I NEVER REALLY GOT TO THE POSITION OF FINDING OUT IF I HAPPENED TO HAVE WON THAT 3RD EVENT, WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED AT THE 4TH ?

AND SO, I NEVER REALLY HAD ALL THAT BIG OF A PROBLEM AS I WENT THROUGH IT. YES, MINE WAS OVER A MUCH GREATER PACKED PERIOD OF TIME.

I THINK THAT JONES WAS PROBABLY A GREATER GOLFER OVER A SHORTER PERIOD OF TIME AND FAR MORE DOMINATING THAN I WAS.

BUT I WAS OBVIOUSLY DOMINATING FOR A LONGER PERIOD OF TIME OVER FAR MORE GOLFERS.

AND, YOU KNOW, AND . BUT HOW DO YOU COMPARE THEM? I MEAN, I CAN'T . I MEAN, HOGAN WAS DOMINATING FOR A VERY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME AGAIN OVER SOME . OVER . MORE GOLFERS THAN JONES BUT LESS GOLFERS THAN I PLAYED AGAINST.

SO, I MEAN, AND IT - HOW DO YOU COMPARE THEM? I MEAN, UH . JONES WOULD HAVE BEEN A CHAMPION WHEN I PLAYED. AND I THINK I PROBABLY WOULD HAVE BEEN A CHAMPION WHEN JONES PLAYED.

WOULD WE HAVE BEATEN EACH OTHER? YOU KNOW, WHO KNOWS. WHAT A NICE PROBLEM TO NEVER BE ABLE TO SOLVE.

PETER KESSLER
THAT 5TH TOURNAMENT THAT HE WON THAT YEAR WAS AT AUGUSTA COUNTRY CLUB, WHICH FOR PEOPLE WHO DON'T KNOW, OF COURSE, BORDERS AUGUSTA NATIONAL, HE HAD A 15 - HE HAD A 18 SHOT LEAD WITH 3 HOLES TO PLAY.

AND THERE'S A DELAY ON THE 16TH TEE AND HE SITS DOWN WITH TY COBB AND HAS A CHAT. HE GETS BACK UP AFTER A LONG DELAY AND GOES DOUBLE - DOUBLE - SINGLE AND WINS BY 13 SHOTS.

AND TY COBB NEVER STOPPED SCREAMING AT HIM FOR NOT CONCENTRATING THE LAST 3 HOLES.

HE HELPED??? -- HE WON . (LAUGH)

JACK NICKLAUS
I DIDN'T KNOW, I DIDN'T KNOW THAT.

PETER KESSLER
BY 13 SHOTS. AND JONES LATER SAID, 'THE BEST GOLF I PLAYED IN 1930 WAS RIGHT OVER THERE, AUGUSTA COUNTY CLUB.

JACK NICKLAUS
IS THAT RIGHT?

PETER KESSLER
WE'LL E RIGHT BACK. DON'T GO AW - WAIT, BEFORE WE GO WE'VE GOT SOME SHOTS FROM THE '63 MASTERS. JUST TOOK SOME QUICK HITS AND MISSES. LET ME GET YOUR THOUGHTS AS WE TAKE A LOOK.

HOW WAS THIS SWING, JACK?

JACK NICKLAUS
WELL THAT WAS LITTLE QUICKER AND UH A LITTLE BIT MORE POWERFUL THAN THE ONE I'M USED TO RIGHT NOW.

PETER KESSLER
HOW MUCH SLOWER WERE THE GREENS THEN, JACK?

THAN THEY ARE TODAY?

JACK NICKLAUS
UH .

NOT EVEN . NOT EVEN A COMPARISON. I MEAN, THE GREENS THEN WERE UH . I SUPPOSE IF YOU HAD A STEP-METER THEY WERE -- PROBABLY WOULD HAVE BEEN UH .

8, 9, I SUPPOSE, ON THE STEP-METER, AT THE MOST.

PETER KESSLER
HERE'S YOUR 1ST TEE SHOT LAST ROUND.

JACK NICKLAUS
HAD TO BE A HOOK.

PETER KESSLER
(LAUGH)

JACK NICKLAUS
I ALWAYS HIT . I ALWAYS HIT IT LEFT THERE WHEN I DIDN'T -- WHEN I NEEDED - COULD -- BUT

THAT WAS BEFORE THEY HAD TREES.

PETER KESSLER
DID YOU NOT COMPLETE YOUR BACKSWING ON THAT ONE?

JACK NICKLAUS
OH, I DON'T KNOW WHAT I DID, PROBABLY NOT.

LET'S SEE . I WORKED THAT HOLE THERE.

PETER KESSLER
THAT WAS A GREAT BOGEY PUTT ON 12 IN THE FINAL ROUND.

JACK NICKLAUS
WELL OBVIOUSLY I WASN'T VERY HAPPY WITH IT.

PETER KESSLER
(LAUGH)

IT WAS FROM 10 FEET. IT WAS A GOOD 4.

JACK NICKLAUS
NOW THAT ONE I WAS HAPPY WITH IT. I'VE HOLED SOME PUTTS ON 16 THAT UH . UH, WHY THEY HAPPEN ON THAT HOLE, I DON'T KNOW. BUT IT - I'VE CERTAINLY HOLED A FEW PUTTS THERE.

PETER KESSLER
NOW HERE'S THE ONE TO WIN. IT'S JUST A LITTLE SHORTER THAN THE LENGTH THAT YOU WOULD AS A KID DREAM THIS ONE'S FOR THE MASTERS WHEN YOU'RE PRACTICING?

JACK NICKLAUS
WELL AND LOOK AT, LOOK AT THE . THE THROWING OF THE HAT. I THINK I WAS CONTEMPLATING WHAT . WHAT WAS I GOING TO THROW WHEN I DID IT? IT WAS ABSOLUTELY, TOTALLY .

NON . YOU KNOW, IT WAS . IT JUST HAPPENED. BUT JUST -- IT WASN'T SOMETHING THAT UH . I WAS TRYING TO FIX. GEE, I GOTTA DO SOMETHING. (LAUGH)

PETER KESSLER
WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK BEFORE HE HITS DOUG SANDERS WITH HIS PUTTER. DON'T GO AWAY. (LAUGH)

JACK NICKLAUS
(LAUGH)

OKAY.

(BREAK)

NEXT SEGMENT