February 28, 2001
LEE PATTERSON: Jack, thank you so much for spending sometime with us this morning.
Maybe just a couple of thoughts about the special place here that you like to play. I know
you recently were named Presidents Cup Captain again; just what you have been doing as we
head into this week.
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, I have always enjoyed playing here. I played here virtually every
year except for the year that I think the year my father passed away only year I think I
haven't played here and the year I had my hip. But I didn't walk that year anyway. I
walked with Gary while he played. But I have always enjoyed the golf course. It is always
-- it is a place in South Florida where all our friends can come watch us play and the
office we give them a day off in the office, usually had an early/late starting time that
the Tour has always sort of accommodated us slightly . This year we are late/early because
we didn't have ask to be accommodated. Both of us got the wrong starting time for the
office. Now I have got to let them off on Thursday, which is all right. But anyway, I have
always -- that is one of the reasons, sort of close to home. I am delighted about
Presidents Cup, I am delighted to have been selected as Captain of the Presidents Cup. I
think that Tim and whoever else selects besides Tim, I don't know, who makes the
selection, I don't really know, do you?
LEE PATTERSON: Pretty much him, and a couple of other people.
JACK NICKLAUS: I really don't have any idea. I don't know. Doesn't make any difference.
Tim called me and asked me if I would do it again. I said sure I'd do it again. I enjoyed
it in Australia. We had a good time. The guys played hard. They just got beat. I enjoy
South Africa a lot. I go down there usually a couple of times a year, anyway. So it is
good for me to go and do it and I think I am sure that -- I guess there have been enough
comments about the guys may be skipping some of it and I think that maybe that might
influence some of them. I don't know. The way I feel about it is, if guys want to play
they will play. If they don't, that is their choice. It is certainly not -- nothing is
mandatory. I think what I have said about -- I must have said it 20 years ago, I said when
they start doing The Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup, pretty soon the guys will be -- get
tired of playing every year. I don't -- I won't really blame them one way or the other.
Certainly I hope that they all play but if they don't, we have got a lot of good players
on both sides to play. It will be a nice event. Either way I am looking forward to it. I
feel good. Kind of funny that I have been, I thought that -- thought I was fairly decent
last year after my hip, but I couldn't run and I had -- I still had the ability, didn't
have the ability to put weight in certain places and this fall, I don't know why all of a
sudden December I was able to start running. I mean, only way -- I talk about running, is
playing tennis because I am not going to go out and jog but I was able to start running
without hurting. When I started to do that I found myself to be able to get out of my way
a little easier when hitting the golf ball. Hopefully that is -- I looked at myself before
I finished -- I saw a replay and I said no, no, too heavy. I had enough of that. I decided
to get rid of some weight. I let about a pound a year creep on for about 10 years then all
of a sudden had the hip done, then I had about 7, 8 pounds put on from that. I said that
is too much. So I went back on a diet, lost some weight and I feel good. The thing I like
about it is, the kids come up to me and say you look so much more athletic through the
ball; you are looking like you are able to move more, so that is -- I don't know how well
I am playing. Who knows. I am not going to play great, but hopefully I will play better
than I did last year. I was very disappointed the way I played last year. It was a year
that I wanted to play all the Majors, maybe I put too much pressure on myself to play
well. I didn't. Just didn't play very well. Anyway, that was the way it goes. Besides, I
got rid of Shedloski.
Q. That should help?
JACK NICKLAUS: That should help. That is a lot of weight. Can you imagine getting up in
the morning, going to the golf course, and that what you see every morning.
Q. You had said --?
JACK NICKLAUS: Those of you don't know, David followed me around all last year, he
wrote a book, so that was fine. I am just kidding him.
Q. To take the heat away from Dave as soon as possible, you said in one of the
conference calls early in the year that your schedule might be comprised primarily of
SENIOR TOUR events. Are you here this week just to see where your game is?
JACK NICKLAUS: Yeah. I felt like, if I am going to play Augusta, which is pretty
difficult, hard for me not to play, but if I am going to play Augusta I need to play a
tournament or one or two tournaments prior to that to feel like I have played some good
golf against these guys on a little tougher golf courses, and so forth. Not that I will do
well but that is what I feel like I need to do.
Q. To see where you are?
JACK NICKLAUS: Yeah, that is more or less.
Q. What else are you going to play before Augusta?
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, I can't make up my mind whether or not I am going to go out to the
West Coast and play at San Jose, or go to Bay Hill. I'll probably go to San Jose because I
probably should go play more on the SENIOR TOUR, and -- but that is the other option,
two-hour drive up the road or across country, you know, 6 hour plane trip. There is an
economic part of that, too. But more than likely I will still go across, I will probably
have enough golf courses that I can work across and come back. It is a golf course I did;
that would be the reason that I would go.
Q. This golf course went through a major Raymond Floyd renovation; then adjustment,
then another adjustment. Where is it at in comparison to what it originally was?
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, tee-to-green it is probably where it was originally, pretty close.
I think they have taken enough of the bunkers out and put bunkers back pretty much where
they were originally now. I think Raymond probably got the golf course a little bit more
difficult than probably even he'd probably wanted it. I think some of the greens still
are, you know, probably not where they used to be. They are far more severe such as 8 and
18 and you know, few others are totally different. But that is what we are playing. That
is what it is. But you asked me a question about what it used to be, and I think the golf
course is more difficult now than it used to be.
Q. On the subject--?
JACK NICKLAUS: Still more difficult.
Q. On the subject of design in general, it seems to be obvious that technology is going
to continue to progress not -- it is --- is it falling upon the course designer now to
protect the integrity of the scoring of the game?
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, you know, of course you know my thought on that, I think you have
been through that with me. That I think, I think a perfect example was Cayman golf course,
what is that, 15 years ago that I did. I had a developer come to me, this is obviously an
extreme example, but he came to me he said, Jack, I want to do a championship golf course.
He said, I want to put a hotel in. I want to have a development, marina. I said that is
very nice, that would be a nice project down in the Cayman Islands. I said, how much land
do you have. He said, 90 acres. Oh, well, the whole thing was, that we ended up, I said,
there is no way you can do that. He said, no? I said you just don't have enough land to do
that. I said I have an idea, something I have thought about for a while, taking a golf
ball and making it suit the land rather than have the land suit the golf ball. We did the
golf ball. It went half the distance and of course when it goes half the distance you got
the width and things, you cut your and by 4 if you are doing that. So instead of 160
acres, you need 40. We ended up using 37 and a half. Very nice. The whole golf course, par
35. We did put greens in the middle, put -- made a nice executive golf course, then used
-- designed a ball to go half the distance, ended up with a full-length 18 hole golf
course by the distance of that golf ball. He got his hotel, his marina, so he didn't have
to buy more land. Obviously the moral of that story is that, what did it cost to do the
golf ball -- that is not the moral -- but it cost us $5,000 to design the golf ball. Big
deal. What does it cost to change what we do on golf courses? Millions every time we
change golf courses. So -- and you run out of land. So what do you do? I mean, you got the
existing golf courses. The only logical thing to me is that you adjust the golf ball to
fit what we have got rather than going out continually building more tees, more bunkers,
more this, that, and just spending money, money, money. It is just -- doesn't cost
anything to adjust the golf ball. To take a golf ball back 5% is like, you know, nothing.
Cost nothing. I mean manufacturers probably won't like that because his ball doesn't go
further now, but if everybody does the same thing, keep all the same aerodynamics, all the
same of everything except it just goes, you know, same pattern, just goes 5% shorter; then
all of a sudden your golf courses that were 7,100 yards now they play like 6,750 and there
is a lot of 6,750 golf courses in this country that are really, really nice golf courses.
So -- be that as it may, that is I think the proper solution but that is not where we are
coming from right now. So what we do as designers, I have always looked at it --- what we
do now is we used to use at sea level, 800 feet as our turn point which turns 67 yards
(sic). What we have done recently is we have gone to 850 feet. And design exactly the same
bunkering as though it was 800 feet. We didn't change the tees for the average golfer. So
I have done a little design philosophy change, in that I think --let's just --I will just
take the Bear's Club as an example, one I did up in Palm Beach area. I did talk about this
last week? The Bear's Club is about 7,200 yards from the back tees. Now most people want
to go to the next set of tees up to play. Well, if the next set of tees for most people if
you are going 7,200 yards it is probably going to be around 6,900 which, for the average
golfer, is too long. I eliminated that. I didn't put those in. So I went 7,200 to 6,500,
which I think is a really nice golf course for the members to play. And then I just made a
little larger spread, instead of doing 5 tees I did 3 tees. I did a larger members tee, a
back tee, and a front tee, and this is largely new to technology; that is why I have done
this too and the ego of people too. So what happens is that the back tee up there has been
-- golf course is extremely difficult from 7,200 yards. From 6,500 yards the members
absolutely love it because I haven't made it too long for them; they could play it. The
ladies love it. And so the combination now, if you take the golfer who wants, let's say if
that 6,500 golf course is not long enough for him, the average golfer always has the
ability to move back so that golfer could take half a dozen of the back tees if they want
to on holes that are middle length up and make themselves a 6,700 or 800 yard golf course
but they are not penalizing everybody else, they are just going back and doing that. The
strategy is the same for, you know, the pro because the golf ball does go a little bit
further, giving him an extra 50 feet to fight against. Only person you are probably not
accommodating is the gorilla who is 12 handicap hits it 320 yards. The gorilla ought to
learn to hit the ball somewhat straight anyway. It seems, the tendency today for people is
to go out and hit the ball as far as they can and not learn how to play golf. When I was
growing up, and many of you probably are the same, the best players at your club, the guy
hit the ball 230 yards down the middle, hit his second shot around the green, chipped and
putt and played the golf course. Not the guy that hit it out, you know, 320 yards and
found his ball every third shot. That seems to be the tendency because people just enjoy
doing that because golf clubs allow you to do that, the ball allows you to do that.
Usually we've given them enough room to do it. They still got to find the golf ball. That
is sort of where we have come from. So the philosophy has changed a lot. And we used to do
the 5 tee routine and as the golf courses got longer to accommodate we felt like it --I
felt like it was too much for the average golfer to play that in between length. The
obvious solution is the golf ball again. But is that -- until they change that or until
they make that accommodation -- I don't think they are ever going to change equipment. I
mean, all the kids that are out here playing today grew up with that equipment. How could
you possibly go out and tell them that they are going to go back to steel shafts. That
would be like telling us we are going to go back to wood shafts. They are not going to do
that. Anyway, that is sort of my feeling.
Q. Getting back to Augusta, you are officially not --?
JACK NICKLAUS: I am entered.
Q. You are for sure playing?
JACK NICKLAUS: No, no, I haven't said I am not going to play for sure or not. I can't
imagine I am not going to play. But my feeling has always been I am not going to clutter
up the field if I can't play. Last year was going to be my last year of playing all the
majors, I said that I might come back to Augusta, but -- or some occasion I might go back
in 2005 and play St. Andrews if they go back there for the British Open that kind of a
thing. But it is not going to be a regular thing for me. If I feel like I can play halfway
decent and feel like I can be presentable, then I will go play Augusta, sure.
Q. Experience in Tampa, what did that do for you?
JACK NICKLAUS: It taught me I better go putt again. I played the Pro-Am shot 66 with 20
putts. I said -- didn't hit the ball very well. Then I started hitting it a little bit
better next day, hit 10 greens instead of 9. Had 24 putts and shot 66. And then I hit 12
greens the next day, played a little better, had 30 putts, shot 71. Last day I hit the
ball pretty well, hit 14 greens and drove the ball decently and hit 36 putts. I found out
that you need to putt. And I just -- really, I have been putting really well, I just
didn't putt well the last round at all. One of those rounds you miss a couple of 3-footers
then all of a sudden everything else becomes a struggle. I am sure all of you had those
kind of rounds.
Q. Have you decided on a ball or testing--?
JACK NICKLAUS: Fiddled around with -- I used Nike for awhile. I am using Precept now
this week, and --.
Q. Regular precept?
JACK NICKLAUS: Regular. I use the same one Appleby and Price are playing. Larry Nelson
plays the ball, Tour premium, and I fiddled around with Titleist a little bit, and right
now I am playing that.
JACK NICKLAUS: Precept now.
Q. Have you ever hit that Lady Precept?
JACK NICKLAUS: Yeah.
Q. What did you think of it?
JACK NICKLAUS: I went out and tested with 5 golf balls, tested a Lady Precept, the
Titleist, the Nike, the regular Precept, Callaway. I fiddled with Callaway too. And
whenever -- on every occasion the Lady Precept was the shortest except for two and it was
the longest. Now I didn't understand that. But I hit two holes, all of a sudden it went by
everything and every other tee shot I hit was shortest. Which obviously it's not -- it is
a Laddy Precept now; isn't it? That is the new name I am getting on it. But it probably
what it is. It is an inexpensive ball probably; a ball that will explode occasionally, but
sometimes it won't. That is the way I would read it.
Q. What is the properties of Precept that appeal to you if there are any?
JACK NICKLAUS: I think all the Nike, the Precept and the new Titleist the Pro V1 are
all basically the same thing, all basically 3-piece golf balls. They have learned how to
make a 3-piece golf ball. They make golf balls that are superior I think.
Q. Any discernible difference in yardage off the tee?
JACK NICKLAUS: In the 3 of them?
Q. Yes, well, compared to.
JACK NICKLAUS: Titleist is probably a little bit longer than the other two. I think the
Precept and Nike are about the same. Obviously Bridgestone makes the Nike ball so they are
pretty much the same ball, very close to the same, little difference, but not much, play
the same. The Titleist I found so far which I have not used it enough, I found that it
explodes a little bit too much, a little bit like Callaway occasionally will explode. You
will hit some inconsistent distances with it. That is like anything, you know, any time
anybody makes a golf ball and they make a change they are going to get some
inconsistencies and they have got to work those inconsistencies to come back. I think
Titleist will work through that. They are too good a company and make too good a product
not too. Same way with Callaway, they have worked too hard and spent too much money not to
have the inconsistencies controlled?
Q. At Augusta this will be the 20th anniversary (inaudible) one of the three guys won
both on Bermuda and bent. Which way would you prefer it?
JACK NICKLAUS: Oh, I don't know. I think that if you had the same greens before, I
don't think -- I think bent would probably be too severe for them, but we adjusted --
let's see 6. 8 has been changed since then. 9 has been changed. 4 because of the bent, 14
has been changed because of that and 18 has been changed because of it. So I think the
greens are better with the bent. I think the golf course is better, but I think they do
too or they won't be with it. But it was good golf course the other way. I don't know.
Q. Do it affect the way you play the hole?
JACK NICKLAUS: No, not really. You had more variety of change with weather with the
bent. The bent will -- the greens will get harder with the bent, but get very soft and
spin a lot with the bent when it rains. The Bermuda greens always were fairly firm no
matter what, but never get quite as firm as the bent have gotten when it gets high and
Q. When you won The Masters and the U.S. Open in 1972 what was the pressure like when
you went over to the British having won two in a row --?
JACK NICKLAUS: I am sure there was pressure but I felt fairly confident going over
there and playing. I hurt my neck the Sunday before the tournament and I really wasn't
right 'til mid-week and then I was sort of kicking myself all week for not being able to
get it right and then I started playing -- I played pretty well on Saturday and Sunday.
Q. You didn't sense any outside pressure, the building up toward he has won two; got a
chance for a Grand Slam?
JACK NICKLAUS: Of course, that's part of the deal. I always liked that. I was only one
that could win.
Q. Was that the most hype that you experienced in a major going in because of the first
JACK NICKLAUS: I suppose, yeah. I never forget the people at Oakland Hills talked to me
after I ended up losing, he says, we had a plan to put in 12-foot fences, we were going to
put around the whole golf course if you had won that tournament so even back then they
still looking at the hype of what that would have meant.
Q. What do you suppose the hype will be at Augusta with Tiger going for four in a row?
JACK NICKLAUS: I suppose it is a new year, but, you know, to win all 4 of them at the
same time would be something pretty special -- I am sure that -- I am betting that part of
his problem that he is having right now is he is working to find out what he wants to do
for Augusta already. And if you can call it a problem that he is having, he shoots 67 or 8
everyday at every place.
Q. Did you prepare or did you think about -- I know you built around majors, but when
did you really start thinking about Augusta?
JACK NICKLAUS: Start of the year. Yeah, I started to work on my golf game. I would
prepare my schedule for what the competition I wanted and rest and time to work and the
courses I picked largely because of Augusta for the start of year. Sometimes I played -- I
didn't play as much in Florida as I might have liked to have played in Florida. Sometimes
I did, but sometimes I didn't because I wanted -- when you get to Florida you are going to
knock the ball down more and play it into the wind. Augusta you want to throw it up. I
sort of wanted to work on courses that I had to throw the ball up a little bit more. I
still played here but I didn't play as much at some of the other courses. I usually
avoided going in the northern Florida because that was usually cold and very windy and
usually got my game screwed up. That was one of the reasons I never went to Greensboro,
always had bad weather at Greensboro, always cold and windy felt like it was not what I
wanted to be at to prepare. The West Coast I think it was a matter of getting my golf game
back into shape before I got to Florida then working towards Augusta from there. That is
what I always tried to do.
Q. Are there certain shots that you plan on Augusta that you work on throughout the
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, I would be pretty much a left-to-right player. When I get to
Augusta I wanted to be able to hit the ball right-to-left if I needed to and wanted to.
That has always been a problem for me to be able to do that. And I think that -- I think
it is important that there is a few shots there that you need to do that on. Although when
I set the record in 1965, I bet I didn't hit 10 or five shots maybe the whole tournament
Q. If Tiger were to win and have all four at the same time would you consider that a
Grand Slam or do you feel--?
JACK NICKLAUS: I don't think I am the guy to determine that. Don't ask me that
question. I mean, it is a Grand Slam. You know, Grand Slam is winning all four of them in
one year. What is your year, calendar or fiscal? I suppose. I don't know. It would be
pretty special whatever it is. Sure.
Q. Did you ever start out in any year thinking about winning all four or did you not
JACK NICKLAUS: That is what I thought about every year, that was my whole goal. My
whole goal was you know --- I hurt myself several times if I didn't win Augusta my year
was shot. I just didn't even want to play the rest of the year. I finally started kicking
myself in the rearend I said, that is sort of stupid. I went through the early '70s when I
was -- felt like when I went to Augusta I should win the tournament. If I didn't walk out
a winner, then I said, you know, actually probably that was probably late 60s because I
won in 1965, 1963, 1966; then next couple of years didn't win. I just -- I didn't play
very well the rest of the year. I think I was probably -- when I found what -- I was I
geared so high for Augusta that when I didn't win it was such a disappointment that I just
you know, didn't want to play. And I played like it too. Stopped working and so forth and
Q. When you are out on the range now and you look up and you see the guys out there,
how many more athletes are there versus, say, 25 years ago, you know, guys who look like
they left weights, watch what they eat?
JACK NICKLAUS: That never happened in my day. I came off of -- I came just behind -- I
just came just behind the-finish-the-round to a scotch and soda, you know, that was the
generation ahead of me. I think they all finished with that. That is the first place they
headed, all congregated;
they never dreamed going to the practice tee after they played. Then we started
practicing after we played. They didn't give us time for the scotch and soda. I haven't
had a scotch and soda in 30 years either. But then I think that you start -- I started
working out probably around 40 when I felt like I needed, maybe late 30s started working
more with my legs and so forth, and then I have done more working out in the last five
years that I have ever done in my life, last ten years, I suppose. But it is just all of a
sudden your life changes. I see these kids down here they are all in good shape. I just
look at my son Gary, he got sick of himself in the last year and he dropped 20 pounds and,
you know, he is trying to work his body fat to where he wants to get it. I haven't even
heard of body fat. All I have heard of was fat. (Laughter).
Q. You got rid of it?
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, I still got some. I will always have that, I suppose. But I never
heard of any of that stuff. But these kids today are pretty conscious of what they are
doing. But the information is there to do it. No different than -- when we did a golf ball
30 years ago or 35 years ago, I mean every dimple pattern was the same. Every manufacturer
made it the same way. Some guys were good and some weren't. Some years they ended up with
balls that didn't work. I mean, you know, now all of a sudden -- they have got technology
for everything. They got technology. The information is there. The information is there
for them to learn how to work and get them in shape. Look at baseball players for crying
outloud. You look at them today, I mean they are all mooses, they are big guys. I don't
know what they are taking, but they are doing something different than they used to.
Q. Muscle bound theory was back in the day for your sport and baseball is don't lift
weights you can't take the club back?
JACK NICKLAUS: Yeah, baseball was one sport where a guy was 5 foot 7, 150 pounds could
make it because he was quick and agile and could play; wasn't a home run hitter but that
is how he played. Today they are huge. And golfers on the Tour, used to be, oh, heck, if
you are over 5, 10 you can't play this game. 90% of the guys out on that Tour, right now
are 6'2", 6'3", pretty big guys. Tiger is a little guy. He has got a lot up
above, gotten himself pretty big but he is not a big guy in comparison so some of the guys
out here. I suppose that's happened in all sports.
Q. Back to the ball, didn't somebody point out to you like 30 years ago you were
playing a ball like incredibly erratic--?
JACK NICKLAUS: They didn't point it out 30 years ago; didn't want to. They pointed it
out to me recently that 30 years ago I played that ball that I shouldn't have won very
much with. (Laughs).
Q. How have balls the changed--?
JACK NICKLAUS: USGA told me, Frank Thomas told me he said, Jack, you know, we are doing
random testing of golf balls. Back then your golf ball, he said, we'd go out and we think
it on the Iron Byron, one would go out 20 yards left and next one 20 yards right on its
own. And he says if you had you a decent golf ball no telling how many majors you would
have won. I didn't necessarily agree with him because I felt like my golf ball -- I
thought my golf ball for me was just fine because I tested other golf balls at that time.
What we did at MacGregor, when Titleist went off of their K2A, whatever it was, the ball
that they had the old standard golf ball, we bought all those mold at MacGregor because
they started using a different mold. We bought those and so we were making essentially the
same golf ball that Titleist made for a long time. Maybe our quality wasn't as good as
theirs but certainly -- I am sure that what I got and what the public got was a different
golf ball. We didn't sell much to the public, didn'tmake much difference anyway - we sold
3 dozen a year to them and I used the rest of them. You never bought any, did you?
Q. We still have them.
JACK NICKLAUS: Whatever ones you bought you still have. You knew they wouldn't go
Q. Did you have a Golden Bear?
JACK NICKLAUS: Yeah, we sold those in Firestone stores. I think they were 3 for 39
cents or something.
Q. There is a number of players - Norman hasn't won in a while and Curtis has gone
through that stretch where he is on the back end of his career. I am curious when you hit
44, 45, when you did ---?
JACK NICKLAUS: I can't even remember back then.
Q. What keeps you from winning or getting back or staying at that level? Anything to do
with your physical body or is it more the fact that you have been out here playing this
Tour for an awfully long time; it is just a grind...
JACK NICKLAUS: I started winning -- last time I won on the regular Tour was Masters
when I was 46. Prior to that I won Muirfield, The Memorial tournament in 1984; won
Colonial in 1982. Then of course I won several times in '80, but once I turned 40 I won,
outside (inaudible) I only won three more times on the Tour. I think that part of it was
-- that is when I started cutting down my schedule. There wasn't a SENIOR TOUR in that
time. Or if it has, it was just getting started. I was really looking to wind down my
career. I think that a lot of times in your 40s that is sort of what you are looking at.
If you start winding down your career obviously you don't work as hard and do the things
that are necessary to win. I am not saying that -- I am not putting any names on anybody
because I know some guys in their 40s that are still playing very well. The mental
approach to it is you have done it so long, you going to get tired of it. But now with the
SENIOR TOUR coming on and there is a lot of guys that are in their 40s that really are
working to get themselves to age 50. I have no idea -- as you mentioned Curtis and Greg, I
have no idea what their thought pattern is.
Q. Curtis says that what will probably help him is he will probably lose his exemption
at 48; have a very limited schedule 48,49 and at 50 maybe be recharged. He is thinking
ahead of playing 30 weeks ahead on the SENIOR TOUR, that thought process is hard when you
have been doing it for a quarter of a century?
JACK NICKLAUS: I never did it. I couldn't go back to playing 30 years on the SENIOR
Q. Is it hard working hard?
JACK NICKLAUS: I never minded working hard. As a matter of face, I enjoy it. I don't
work as much with a purpose as I used to work or I think I have stopped working with a
purpose. Or sometimes I get out and forget what I am working on. (Laughs).
Q. It is mental more than physical you think, the first thing that starts to
JACK NICKLAUS: Yeah, I don't think that -- I think -- you look at Greg Norman. He is in
as good a shape as any kid out there. He works harder than anybody and he is in great
shape. But I don't know whether -- what Greg's -- I still believe Greg has all the ability
in the world to win whatever he wants to win at his age. I don't think there is any -- I
don't think he has any limitation on what his ability is to play.
JACK NICKLAUS: Yeah, and I don't really know what Greg is thinking about. That is none
of my business. But physically I know how hard he works. And I know that he practices a
lot and but you know, whether his desire is there that -- he'd have to answer that
question. I couldn't answer that.
Q. I remember in 1999 when they made all the changes at Augusta with the rough, all
those things all at once. There were new sight lines, things you hadn't even experienced
yourself. Does it affect you at all when you go to Augusta now that that whole collection
of things that you have a lot of in your memory banks that are changed a lot now that you
don't have some of the advantage that you would have had when you go there, a lot of
relearning does that affect your ---?
JACK NICKLAUS: Well, I don't have an advantage anymore, but mentally from what I used
JACK NICKLAUS: Not really. The way I look at Augusta and I think Augusta always been a
long hitter's golf course. There has been guys that haven't hit the ball extremely long
but have won there, Jackie Burke or Sarazen; I am sure-half dozen other guys but they
stand out. Player has done very well at Augusta without being a long hitter.
JACK NICKLAUS: Faldo is long enough. But I have always felt that Augusta is one golf
course where it's always given a great advantage to a big hitter, so I mean a player like
Tiger has a much greater advantage at Augusta than he does at any of the other majors. And
that the changes they have made on the golf course I don't think really make -- I mean if
he hits it in the rough, all of a sudden I am back there hitting an iron out of that rough
and he is hitting wedge out of that rough. The ball is sitting up anyway, he is going to
stop a wedge no matter what he does. So he has got even greater advantage, I think
LEE PATTERSON: Thank you, sir. We appreciate it.
Q. Was it easier for 46 year old Jack Nicklaus with 5 Masters titles to win in 1986
than it would be for 46 year old Greg Norman with no totals too do it?
JACK NICKLAUS: Yes.
Q. Why would it be?
JACK NICKLAUS: You answered your own question. Because I had 5, that is why it is
easier. Sure. Any time you win the first time of anything it is more difficult.
Particularly as many times as he finished second it is more difficult. Sure it is. But I
mean, but that is part of life. Winning breeds winning, and you know, if you are out there
you are used to winning that golf course, you think you should win on and use today win
on, you are -- it makes it easier for you.
End of FastScripts