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19th hole cause for many three-putts

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PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Golf's so-called 19th hole can lead to a lot of three putts.

That’s sort of Jack Nicklaus’ theory.

Going through the week’s notebook during Sunday morning’s rain delay at the Honda Classic, here is an interesting leftover item from the scrum with Nicklaus after his news conference earlier this week.

In a conversation about putting, ranging from long putters to the stroke itself, Nicklaus said he believes you don’t see the yips as much among players today because they don’t drink as much alcohol after their rounds as tour pros did in generations past.

“Don’t take this the wrong way, please,” Nicklaus said. “In those days, most of those guys were club pros. Their usual thing was, after a round, to come in and have a drink and socialize. They did that when they played tournaments.

“I always felt drinking did not do well with nerves. The guys today don’t do that. I never did that. Did I have a drink? Sure, here and there, but never while I was playing in tournaments. I always thought that was terrible for your nerves, and terrible for your touch, because I think the most important thing is to be totally there. I don’t think guys did it because they were nervous, it was just their way of life. It was a social way of life, and golf was a social sport. Guys take the game today as more athletes, and I took it that way.

“I’m not saying these guys were drinkers, but it was part of their life. It’s not part of the culture today.'