Jack Nicklaus has nightmares about showing up late for a tee time
Golf Culture

Jack Nicklaus has nightmares about showing up late for a tee time

Jack Nicklaus is 75 years old and still having nightmares about something that almost happened to him when he was 13.

Nicklaus had qualified for the 1953 U.S. Junior Amateur at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla. He was first off in the morning at 7 a.m., playing against Stanley Ziobrowski. Nicklaus showed up to the tee box just 30 seconds before he was to be announced, knowing he was cutting it close, but in the clear. However, as soon as he got to the tee box, then USGA executive director Joe Dey was waiting for the then Golden Bear Cub.

"I walked up on the tee, and Mr. Dey said, Young man, 30 seconds later and you would be on the second tee, 1 down," Nicklaus explained Wednesday at the opening of the Jack Nicklaus Room at the USGA Museum in Far Hills, N.J. "I didn't know what to say or what to do. I was now in a USGA championship. You didn't show up more than 30 seconds before your starting time. I wasn't late, never had been late for a starting time."

It's an incident that still haunts him to this day -- in his dreams.

"You know, oddly enough, that's all I dream about today is being late for starting times. Truth," Nicklaus said. "I have that about twice a week."

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