Imagine being Jack Nicklaus for a minute. You’ve won 18 professional major titles. You’ve finished second in 19 majors and third another nine times. You’ve felt the most pressure that could possibly be felt in the sport.
Now imagine trying to play a friendly game with your buddies. Even a $20 Nassau sounds so…uninspiring. But that’s where the 75-year-old Golden Bear is these days.
“Golf was my vehicle to competition,” Nicklaus said Wednesday during a conference call to promote a USGA documentary, “Nicklaus: The Making of A Champion,” that airs this weekend on Fox.
“I dearly love the game of golf and I love playing the game of golf, but when you lose your vehicle to competition and the competition is what really excited you more than anything else, then it’s really—you lose your enthusiasm.”
Nicklaus made his afternoon tee time sound downright depressing.
“I’m actually playing golf this afternoon with a couple friends of mine that I play tennis with a lot, and we’re all about the same,” Nicklaus explained. “We have a good competition, but that’s certainly not U.S. Open or Masters or PGA Championship. It’s going out and I give them eight shots, and we get down to the end of the day and one guy hands the other one 20 bucks, and that’s not exactly what is my idea of a U.S. Open.”
Maybe hike the stakes a little bit, Jack? Are major titles transferable?