Jack Nicklaus shot six strokes better than his age this week
With all of the stories and tributes surrounding Arnold Palmer this week, you may have forgotten about another golf legend who’s still alive and kicking.
Jack Nicklaus played in Ernie Els’ Autism Pro-Am at Old Palm Golf Club this week, the tournament in which Rickie Fowler shot a $1 million dollar hole-in-one, and shot six strokes below his age. Nicklaus is 77-years-old, meaning he shot a 71 and ended up winning second-place at the tournament.
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While this feat of hitting a 71 at 77 is remarkable, the Golden Bear still has ways to go before he beats the all-time mark for most strokes below a golfer’s age. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the official record belongs to an 89-year-old who turned in multiple rounds of 72. That guy probably hasn’t won 18 majors though.
Nicklaus remarked on the win, saying that this was the biggest trophy he’d ever received for second place.
“Just when I was getting my handicap up there, I had to go and not only shoot just my second round under 80 since November, but better my age by six shots with a 71. But seriously, it was a great day for golf and for raising needed money for the incredible work that my friends Ernie and Liezl Els do to bring attention and support for the estimated 1 in 68 children in the U.S. with autism.
I’m delighted I could join the big-hearted amateurs and pros in the 9th annual Els for Autism Pro-Am. I just don’t recall getting a trophy this big for any second-place finishes in my career!”
Nicklaus, just like Palmer, is a testament to how professional golfers can be true gentleman of the game by giving back whenever possible. Like any athlete, golfers have a much larger platform than the average person, and it’s when those players use their “fame” to do good for the world that they are upholding the values golf preaches.
It’s becoming apparent that golfers these days put points and money before most, for example the first Arnold Palmer Invitational without Arnie. Many top pros are missing it because of scheduling conflicts and preparation for the Masters, but what about honoring those that built the game for you. We understand the need to spend time with family, so we’re blaming the PGA Tour for this one. Either way, the King and the Golden Bear would and will always be the example, and should remind the players of what’s respectable.
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Arnie and Jack were the best of the best in their hay-day, and even after that. The two of them exceeded expectations for what a stand up athlete should be, both with pure talent and good hearts. Along with being great friends, these golfers set the standard for professional golfers and are still known for being legendary.
It’s sad to think of one without the other, but with all of the reminiscing this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, you can only hope the King is smiling down on his friends and family. Especially knowing how well Jack Nicklaus still is at the game they both loved dearly.
If there is one thing I have learned during my years as a professional, it is that the only thing constant about golf is its inconstancy. (Image source/Jack Nicklaus, Twitter)
Everybody has bad periods. The only thing is that I haven't had one since I was 17. (Image source/Jack Nicklaus, Twitter)
Most putting troubles stem from being scared or indecisive, or both (Image source/Jack Nicklaus, Twitter)
Golf is probably the easiest game in the world to quit at, but it's also the greatest game not to quit at. (Image source/Jack Nicklaus, Twitter)
I'm a firm believer that in the theory that people only do their best at things they truly enjoy. It is difficult to excel at something you don't enjoy. (Photo source/Jack Nicklaus, Twitter)
I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp, in-focus picture of it in my head. (Image source/Jack Nicklaus, Twitter)
Pursue what you love, what you are passionate about. Don't let somebody else dictate your life's path (Image source/Jack Nicklaus, Twitter)
Being in the money doesn't mean anything unless you're starving to death. (Image source/Jack Nicklaus, Twitter)
Fatigue affects a player's game in a funny way. Very often it will not show up at all in his full shots. Unless he is very, very tired he will be able to hit these just as solidly as ever. What it strikes first are the delicate shots on and around the green that require so much concentration. A tired player cannot concentrate, he completely loses his sense of "feel." (Image source/Jack Nicklaus, Twitter)
My swing isn't pretty like Snead's or functional like Hogan's. But the most important thing about it, to me, is understanding it -- being able to take it apart and put it back together again. A lot of players on the tour don't know what to do about it when something goes wrong with their swing. Arnold knows; I think I know pretty well, too. (Image source/Jack Nicklaus, Twitter)
The biggest tension-reliever of all in golf is confidence... The second-biggest is within anyone's capacity. It is concentration. (Image source/Jack Nicklaus, Twitter)
A kid grows up a lot faster on the golf course. Golf teaches you how to behave. (Image source/Jack Nicklaus, Twitter)
Well, the biggest rival I had in my career was me. (Image source/Jack Nicklaus, Twitter)
The best way to cope with trouble is to stay out of it as much as possible.(Image source/Jack Nicklaus, Twitter)
Professional golf is the only sport where, if you win 20% of the time, you're the best. (Image source/Jack Nicklaus, Twitter)
See, as much as I love the game, golf was my vehicle to competition. And I love to compete. (Image source/Jack Nicklaus, Twitter)
The worse you're performing, the more you must work mentally and emotionally. The greatest and toughest art in golf is "playing badly well." All the true greats have been masters at it. (Image source/Jack Nicklaus, Twitter)
This is a game. That's all it is. It's not a war (Image source/Jack Nicklaus, Twitter)
Learn the fundamentals of the game and stick to them. Band-Aid remedies never last (Image source/Jack Nicklaus, Twitter)
If I have a weakness, it's probably ice cream. That's where I get lax, sloppy. I'll sneak into the refrigerator at night and take two or three bites and put it back. Butter pecan. Only two or three bites, but it shows. (Image source/Jack Nicklaus, Twitter)
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