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July 1, 1994

Jack Nicklaus


JACK NICKLAUS: I'm managing my game decently from very difficult places.

LES UNGER: At least two, after the first hole, it wasn't bad. What about that mud spot there?

JACK NICKLAUS: Let's go through that.


JACK NICKLAUS: First hole I hit a terrible tee shot left. Hit a terrible second shot in the bunker, hit a terrible bunker shot 20 feet and hit a terrible putt and made 5.

Q. Terrible 5.

JACK NICKLAUS: Actually, I almost made the putt. Wasn't that bad a bunker shot but wasn't a place to play. Anyway, second hole nice tee shot. 6-ironed that, ran through the green which I was really kind of surprised about. And I putted it from below about -- up about four feet and made it for a par which was a better putt for me because I didn't really -- obviously, bogeyed the first. You don't want to bogey two holes. Third hole I did the same thing; spun off the right side of the green, putted it not -- well, left it about seven, eight feet short and holed that one for my second putt. And so I got away with that. Then I turned around the next hole and hit it in about three and a half feet and missed it. Made a lot of sense, didn't it? And so I am still one over par. Fifth hole I hit a 6-iron in about four feet and I made that one for birdie to get back even par. Then I made a nice save at the next hole. Hit it in the bunker left, and hit it out about oh, about nine, ten feet, I guess; made it for par. Then I started playing a little bit well next hole. I played better -- hit about 20 feet and missed it. Next hole I hit a 6-iron out of the rough that just hit on the green and just went over the green, down the hill, back by the -- I putted it back up the hill about four feet; made par. Made 2 pars there two days in a row from places where you don't make par. Anyway, next hole I hit it in about twelve feet, missed it; turned even par. Then I hit a little sand wedge about ten feet behind the hole at 10 and missed it. And I hit a 7-iron about, oh, I guess 14, 15 feet at 11 and I made that one. I pulled a tee shot at the next hole -- no. Yeah, I did pull it there. Hit a 5-iron out of the rough about 20 feet and 2-putted that for par. Then the next hole I hit 3-wood, 8-iron about, oh, I suppose 18, 20 feet and missed that. Next hole I played a driver. Played a shot from the fairway which I hit a 7-iron about two feet from the hole and made par -- or birdie I mean. And next hole I hit a 5-iron about 20 feet and 2-putted it. Next hole I pulled my drive left and I was sort of on bare sand. I don't know whether that was a cart path or what was over there, but anyway, really kind of funny. I am standing there said, well, if I was smart, I will pitch it out, pitch it on the green, try to make four. Couple of people went, yeah, that is the thing to do. But I said, yeah, I am not very smart. I took a 1-iron, hit it underneath the trees and had to carry the bunker, ran up on the green about 30 feet, 2-putted it for birdie. So I got out of that one pretty good. And 17 I hit really nice shot about, I suppose, 12, 13 feet behind the hole with the 5-iron, missed that. 18 I hit a 6-iron 25 feet to the right of the hole and 2-putted that.

Q. How different, if at all, did the golf course play today from yesterday?

JACK NICKLAUS: Pretty much the same. Course played about the same. I don't see much difference.

Q. What is the best golf hole out here?

JACK NICKLAUS: The most difficult or the best?

Q. Just by design and by tenacity.

JACK NICKLAUS: What my opinion of what the best might be, might be different than what might be the toughest or something else. I don't know.

Q. Doesn't have to be tough. That is okay, think about it.

JACK NICKLAUS: I think there are an awful lot of holes that I like a lot. I think the second hole is an awfully good hole because it is awfully difficult. Such a difficult green for such a long shot.

Q. After you hit that number 12, but it bounced back, what kind lie did you have from outside of the fairway? You were behind some real long grass.

JACK NICKLAUS: I didn't know it hit anybody to start with until my wife told me. But it hit some young boy right in the ankle, and I had 211 yards to the hole out of the tallest rough, but I had a decent lie. I knew the ball was going to fly so I hit a 5-iron and came out just what I had hoped and got all the way back to the hole.

Q. Jack, given that you are driving the ball not as well as you'd like, are you giving yourself high marks for perseverance and just hanging in there?

JACK NICKLAUS: Actually, if you really want to know the truth, I am probably driving the ball better than I have been driving it. I have been driving it worse than this. So, I am really not that unhappy with it. I really haven't put the ball -- I put a couple of times in places I shouldn't; worse, than I should put it. But for the most part, I probably hit, let's see, ten -- I hit ten pretty good tee shots today; maybe four that weren't very good. So that is not that terrible.

Q. 13, 14 yesterday you had hit them off the cart path second shot?

JACK NICKLAUS: Yeah, off the left side.

Q. Did you have any shots like that today?

JACK NICKLAUS: I think the one at 16, I guess, It was probably a cart path -- I don't know whether it was cart path or ground, I don't know. Where is the cart path on 16?

Q. They just drive all over.

JACK NICKLAUS: Drive all over the whole course; the whole course is a cart path?

Q. Cart path is to the right.

JACK NICKLAUS: To the right on 16, then I was on the left, so I wasn't on the cart path. Evidently, it must have been -- I don't know. It wasn't sand needles only, it wasn't high grass.

Q. Jack, do you feel that you got as much out of this round as you could have gotten, and are you pleased with your position right now?

JACK NICKLAUS: I don't think that -- I think I probably shot about as high as I could shoot after I got going. After the 6th hole, I was even par. I don't think I could have shot much higher than I shot. That is not right. I got up and down at 8, outside of that, that was the only thing that I got up and down on. I had an awful lot of opportunities. I never really got much into the hole. I mean, if you look what my birdies were, I did make a 15 footer. That was it. I made a 4 footer, 2-putt and a 2-footer that was -- I made all day for birdies, then I made a couple of par puts. The par puts were all quite nice, but, it is, I think -- I think I probably got out of it about what I should have gotten out of it; let's just say that. I don't think I was all that much -- could have been, should have been that much lower, should have have been that much higher.

Q. Are you pleased with your position?

JACK NICKLAUS: Yeah, I am very pleased with it. Absolutely.

Q. When was your last round of competitive golf in North Carolina, was that in 1977? There was some reports that you played Hall of Fame --

JACK NICKLAUS: Go look in the record book. I can't tell you. You have got a better chance of finding it than I do.

Q. Has there been anything specific that has kept you away from the scheduling conflicts?

JACK NICKLAUS: I don't really know. I haven't a clue. North Carolina? Have I not played in North Carolina? What, have I played in North Carolina? What do we have in North Carolina?

Q. Since you have been on the Senior Tour, the Advantage, Paine Weber?

JACK NICKLAUS: No, I haven't really played -- how many senior tournaments have I played? I have only played five, six senior tournaments if your a year, and we really haven't had a tournament at Pinehurst, if we have had been playing at Pinehurst sometimely, probably I would have come. They wouldn't let me in the one before this a couple of years ago. I didn't play well enough. I just haven't played that much golf in recent years that I am looking to why I haven't played someplace. I love to play North Carolina. I spend a lot of time here in North Carolina. Jackie went to school up here, and you know, through the '80s, mid '80s I spent a lot of time.

Q. Did the heat bother you much today?

JACK NICKLAUS: Not that -- if you were at Oakmont you would not think the heat bothered you that much today. It was a nice cool walk in the shade today compared to Oakmont.

Q. I heard that you gave a seminar on driver faces on TV yesterday.

JACK NICKLAUS: You missed it here at the press room.

Q. No, I took a nap.

JACK NICKLAUS: That is normal.

Q. Well, I'd like to -- can you briefly tell us what you said?

JACK NICKLAUS: I was talking about face progression on the driver.

Q. Yeah.

JACK NICKLAUS: All I was really talking about was to bore those of you who were here for Mr. Taylor's benefit, we talked about.

Q. We will talk later, I don't care.

JACK NICKLAUS: I talked about the golfers today are-- golf clubs today are designed by basically engineers and computers and the design for the average golfer, and when we went to metal woods we eliminated face progression in the woods, same way they have put big offset in the irons make it easier for the average golfer to hook the golf ball. I have not done that with my woods but -- with my irons, but with the woods I went with a normal metal wood, and I think that is -- I have adjusted my swing to try to fit that and I haven't done a very good job of it. So what we are doing is I am work -- I have got a prototype driver. I have got -- we took the driver and I put some face progression on that driver to try to get a driver that would be more like what I used to play with; all the benefits of wood from the shaping and the face progression but all the benefits of metal from the perimter weighting and distance.

Q. Talk about bulge and roll and jazz like that?

JACK NICKLAUS: No, little bit. Mostly about face progression. Do you understand what I am talking about face progression?

Q. Of course I know --

JACK NICKLAUS: Of course you don't know.

Q. Of course I know. . Do not know.

JACK NICKLAUS: Face progression, when the shaft goes in the club, now if you look down most of your golf clubs today, the woods are almost even with the shaft face. Well, the old woods used to be in front. That is face progression. All your irons are set behind the shaft. All the ones that look like big waffle irons, big curly-cues on them. And they offset. And that is designed for the average golfer to be able to hook the ball. Now, all the companies used to make golf clubs and design by the good players; an average golfer adjusted to them, or found what he could use. It is now the other way around. Manufactures make clubs for the average golfer and they ask the good players to play them and they want them to play them because that is what they are selling.

Q. Okay. Good.

JACK NICKLAUS: Commerce. Let us get back to golf.

Q. Talk about-- your year on the whole started off on a real high note and just have you, in your mind, thought about what you know, what has not gone right?

JACK NICKLAUS: My year, obviously I didn't start off very well. And sort of unexpectedly because I really hadn't played that much golf before I went out to Mercedes, but I played very well at Mercedes and since then I have played just awful and just the last three weeks I have started to play a little bit better. And I-- just before the Member-- just before the U.S. Open I was at Muirfield and I found-- actually I was at home and went to Muirfield; I found a little something in my swing that I thought would help me. It was more or less helping my backswing. I have use that for three weeks now and modified it a little bit as I have gone-- and my golf swing has gotten better. It is not where I want it yet but it has gotten a lot better.

Q. Who are you working with now?

JACK NICKLAUS: I working with myself, yeah. I see Rick occasionally and Jim, I see them both.

Q. When you work on your own golf swing like that, do you use video or do you just go by feel?

JACK NICKLAUS: I go by where the golf ball goes, basically feel, as you are saying, but I mean, if I know what the swing does; what the ball does and the pattern that I want, my memory, my muscle memory will come from that. I am much better off by myself. That is basically Jack Grout, when he taught me how to play, he taught me how to teach myself and frankly, I probably had too many teachers lately. Murphy called it, what, "prowess by analysis," you get into that syndrome where you got somebody around all the time and you drive -- it almost drives you crazy because you never get anything done. And you know, as much as every once in a while Rick will point out something to me that has helped me; Jim points out something that will help me, I am really much better off myself working on it myself and just occasionally ask somebody a question about something that they see. That is basically what I have tried to do; tried to get rid of everything that -- I have got more gurus as it relates to swing, health physical fitness, you know, I get home at night and got 12 phone calls to people that I am working with on different things at night to talk to them with. I finally said, no, stop that stuff; get back to do what I used to do; just do it myself. And all those people mean well. And I have nothing against that.

End of FastScripts...

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