16th June,2014

“The Golden Bear”

~~“I usually don't post on Facebook what happens on the PGA Tour. However, I had a lunch conversation with Mr Nicklaus. He talked about his swing and his thoughts about practice. What amazing insights. He is a living legend.”A friend of mine had lunch with a Legend of golf”The Golden Bear” Jack Nicklaus who has won 18 Major Golf Tournaments. Grant Waite is not giving out anymore. He says he will keep the rest for his book. But here it is what he did give me; “Jack Nicklaus he basically talked about free release in his swing. He always wanted shallower feels in his swing. Liked to have minimal divot. Didn't worry too much about positions but liked motion type feels.
Liked the feel of the right hand under left through impact that helped keep his body angles better. Just stuff like that”.
Here is what some of the professionals have to say about their first time meeting with “The Golden Bear”
Nick Price: "It was probably the most nervous I ever was in my life. I think I probably could've met the Queen of England or the President of the United States and been less nervous. Because as a youngster I idolized him Gary Player and Arnold Palmer so much. One of the things that was great about Jack right from the get-go was he treated me as an equal. That meant a tremendous amount to me, the way he treated me on the golf course when I was a 23-year-old rookie. Amazing, amazing man."
Bubba Watson: "I think the first time, I did the clinic with him, he did the junior clinic on the range, so the first time I met him, I had to hit my driver in front of him, and everybody always saw me as a long hitter. I think it was my rookie season, so he's talking to them, and he's telling me to hit the ball in front of them, and I was so scared to hit it. But I had to hit it good. I had to show off for Jack. How are you going to impress Jack?
"I just kept hitting it hard, and I was hoping it would go out so fast that he couldn't see it, so I could go, yeah, it went a long way. He had some age, so hopefully his eyes weren't that good so he couldn't see if it was going right-to-left or left-to-right, he would just see it go real ”fast”.
Keegan Bradley: "First time I ever met Jack, it was last year. I had won the Byron Nelson the week before, and I came in and he said, 'Great win last week, Keegan.' It was pretty cool to know Jack even knew who I was."

Trevor Immelman: "I was 13 years old, and he came to South Africa because he was designing a golf course. The guy who brought him out to design the golf course was a friend of my dad's. And, obviously, he knew how much I was in love with the game of golf, and how serious I was about it. So he invited my dad and I over to have lunch with him and Jack. And it was unbelievable. Sat next to him for a couple of hours. There I was, just a young kid. Jack and I still talk about it, actually. I learned a lot from him that day, and then was fortunate enough to stay in contact. Spent some time with him down in West Palm once I was a professional, trying to suck up some more knowledge from him, and then obviously I've been coming here for many years. And the most exciting thing is the last few years I've had a chance to spend some time with him at the champion’s dinner at Augusta. I've been very lucky to have lots of time with him, and he's been very open and forthright with his information for me. It's something I'm very thankful for."
Jim Furyk: Jim and I we played together on the Golden State Tour in early nineties. Good to see Jim do well on the US PGA. Many graduates from the Golden State Tour did well Fred Couples, Chris Di Marco, Jason Gore, Dudley Hart, Joe Acosta and many others. Here is what Jim’s experience with The Golden Bear was;"I played nine holes with him at Doral, with Gary Player and Ernie Els. He and I were partners playing against Gary and Ernie. I got the biggest kick out of the trash talking. He just kept yapping the whole time, giving Gary and Ernie a hard time. I didn't expect it, but I got the biggest kick out of it. It was extremely fun, especially since I wasn't on the taking side."
Geoff Ogilvy: I had a few beers with Geoff and Bo Van Pelt when Volvo World Match Play was at Thracian Cliffs in 2013 here is their experiences with The Golden Bear; Geoff said;"I can't exactly remember the specific occasion. It was definitely at his own golf tournament the Memorial. I was just blown away at first. Jack was actually sitting at my table. He always comes through and has lunch with guys, has breakfast with guys, and has quite a presence in the clubhouse the whole week.I was just listening to everything he said”.
Bo Van Pelt: “I played with Gary Nicklaus his son at the second stage of US PGA Q-school. I was right out of college, and we were playing the last round to get to finals. I finished eagle-birdie to get into a playoff. He came up to me and congratulated me on my finish, and wished me good luck in the playoff. The fact that he took the time to do that just told me he was the kind of person that I’d always read about. He and his wife Barbara were there that day, and they exceeded all expectations. They set a pretty awesome standard for me on how you’re supposed to act.”
To me „The Golden Bear” is one of the greatest and most successful golf players of all time, Jack Nicklaus is the only player to complete his career 'Grand Slam' on both regular and senior tours. With a total of 118 professional tournament victories to his credit, he also has a record of 18 major championship titles.