John Feinstein - May 31, 2012


Jack Nicklaus has spoken out about slow play recently and in an article on, Feinstein wrote that Tim Finchem once told PGA TOUR players that they should emulate Jack Nicklaus when it comes to pace of play. Feinstein countered that Nicklaus was in fact one of the first slow players in the age of television. Nicklaus has a very deliberate practice routine and both amateur and pro golfers saw what Nicklaus was doing and then went out and emulated that slow routine which has helped to create the problem that exists today.

When it comes to Nicklaus and Watson’s relationships with the media, there is a lot to learn because both of them are generous with their time when it comes to interviews. Nicklaus is a hard interview to get but once you are able to sit with him, he will give a great deal of thought to his answers which will lead to a long interview. Watson is someone who will also give an interviewer very honest and very thoughtful answers to questions and Feinstein thinks that those traits have something to do with the upbringing of both Nicklaus and Watson in the heart of the United States.

If every player produced the way that Jack Nicklaus on the course, Feinstein said that amateurs and pros alike can spend as much time as they want preparing for a shot. But the level of production is not the same and players who are not as capable or productive should not be spending as much time preparing for shots.

Looking at the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier field, he feels that the best story heading into the greatest day in golf is Lee Janzen who is one of two former U.S. Open Champions who are attempting to qualify. Janzen is a two-time U.S. Open Champion including the last time that the U.S. Open was played at Olympic Club in 1998. Feinstein said that he would love more time to answer that question because there are so many great stories of players trying to earn their place in the U.S. Open field.