Legendary golf instructor Jim Flick, who has coached Jack Nicklaus, Tom Lehman and standout amateur Beau Hossler, among others, passed away Monday after a bout with pancreatic cancer. He was 82.
A member of the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame, Flick has written several golf instruction books and was named the PGA Teacher of the Year in 1989. He was the longtime director of instruction at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, Ariz., before moving to Carlsbad, Calif., in 2005.
Flick’s most well-known students were Lehman and Nicklaus, with whom he began working in 1989 and 1990, respectively. Most recently, Flick has been the swing coach to Hossler, the 17-year-old amateur who contended for three rounds at this year’s U.S. Open.
From a statement released by his family: “For all the work Flick did with accomplished players, he said often that the most rewarding of all his students were juniors. Though he lived to teach, Flick himself never stopped learning, and one of the things the game taught him, he said last week, was that golf is not about searching for the perfect swing or working at golf – it’s about playing golf.”
A native of Bedford, Ind., Flick began playing golf at age 10. He attended Wake Forest on a basketball scholarship and roomed six months of his sophomore year with Arnold Palmer, who was a junior. Flick turned pro after he graduated in 1952 and tried tournament golf until realizing his career was in teaching.
Lehman sought him out in 1990, when he was struggling in the minor leagues of golf. He thought about Flick through the final round at Desert Mountain, where he closed with a 65 for a six-shot win to become the first player to win the Schwab Cup in consecutive years.
''The last hole, I know that he was probably watching today,'' Lehman said Sunday. ''I felt quite certain that that was probably the last driver he was ever going to see me hit and I wanted to make it a good one. And the last 7-iron he will ever see me hit, and I wanted to make that a good one. And the last putt, and I wanted to make that putt. I didn't want to make it simply because I want to win by six. I wanted to make it for him.''
Funeral arrangements were pending. Flick is survived by his wife, Geri, and five children.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.