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December 13, 2013

Gary Nicklaus

Jack Nicklaus


THE MODERATOR:  We're joined by Jack and Gary Nicklaus, winners of this event in 1999.  Just a few thoughts about coming back to the 16th year of this event.
JACK NICKLAUS:  Gary probably has a different thought than I do because it wasn't his year.  It's Jackie's year this year.  Jackie wasn't feeling well, so he called Gary and said, I need a substitute.
You know, obviously I would have loved to have Jackie play, but I'm delighted to have Gary playing.  We played pretty well last year.  We had a stretch in the middle of the second day where we played nine holes 1‑under, was it?
JACK NICKLAUS:  It just killed us.  That was about it.  We had a good shot at winning.
We're looking forward to playing well.  I've got a good horse.  I got to ride him.
THE MODERATOR:  Gary, how about you?
GARY NICKLAUS:  Always happy to be here.  Always happy to play with my dad.  To see him in his element and be out here is always fun.  This tournament has been great to us.  We won it in like you said '99.
We'd like to be coming down the last few holes with a chance to win this year.
MODERATOR:  Questions.

Q.  Gary, did you have to rearrange your schedule to make this work out?
GARY NICKLAUS:  Actually, my best friend and college roommate is getting married tomorrow.  I was in his wedding, so I had to call him yesterday and say, Sorry, I'm going to have to skip your wedding.
JACK NICKLAUS:  You hate weddings anyway, don't you?
GARY NICKLAUS:  Well, I was the best man in his first wedding.  That one didn't work out too well, so...
JACK NICKLAUS:  I love it.  (Laughter.)  I love it.  He was bad luck the first time, so...

Q.  Do you send him part of your winnings as a gift?
GARY NICKLAUS:  I get zero of the winnings.  I'm an amateur now, so I'll give him half of my winnings.
JACK NICKLAUS:  Give him half of the love I give you.

Q.  Since you're late fill‑in, did you have to do something extra to prepare, or is it just part of what you've always been doing with your golf game now that you're an amateur?
GARY NICKLAUS:  I don't play a whole lot, but my son, J.T. he's playing in a golf tournament this weekend, so I've been playing with him most every day just to prepare him.  So I am probably a lot better prepared this year than I was last year.  Let's not six myself.

Q.  How is your game, Jack?
JACK NICKLAUS:  Well, my game was so bad that I hadn't played from May until October, and I went up‑‑ I actually went up to Augusta.  I shot my age, 73.  Thought that was pretty good.
Played the next day and started thinking about my golf swing and I hit two greens in regulation.  Shot about 82 0r 83.  Putted like a demon to shoot that.
Came back home.  Didn't think much about it.  Played a round with another couple friends about two weeks later and hit three greens.  I said, That's not too good.  They picked me pretty good.  I said, I can't let that happen.
Then I went out and played 10 holes three or four days later and hit no greens in regulation.  I said, I think I'm gonna get myself out on a golf course just enough to not embarrass myself.
Anyway, I skipped yesterday, but I think I played maybe seven or eight days in a row prior to that, or hit balls.  Actually, I'm sort of in the stage where I was hitting it pretty good a couple days ago; now I couldn't find it today.  I'll be all right tomorrow.  One of those stages.
Nice to have some idea what I'm doing.  I do not hit it very far anymore.  It's really kind of funny.  I went back and started trying to figure out what I had for golf clubs.  My clubs, I hadn't played and don't have any club head speed anymore.
I looked at what I was doing, and Gary got me to try some other fairway woods or fairway whatever they call them, hybrids or whatever.  So I tested the yardage on them.  I went with my own and I had four clubs and I was hitting the same distance.  My putter was included.  (Laughter.)
But I said, Wait a minute.  So now actually I've got a cheat sheet in my pocket telling me how far I hit a club because I don't remember.
Anyway, I played a couple days ago and I played decently.  I'm actually looking forward to it.  I played more golf in the last week than I played all last year in preparation for this.
I don't know, I certainly don't hit it as far as I did last year.  If I hit it 250 it's going to be on a hard fairway and downwind.  But he can hit it, and I may be able to get it to the green after that if you give me an iron.

Q.  Have you been playing your ball this past few days, and how do you like it?  What are you finding as far as the way it plays?
JACK NICKLAUS:  The new Nicklaus ball?  Yeah, it's a very good ball.  I'm playing the black ball, a Urethane ball, which is sort of a back tee or good amateur players' ball.  I think more people will play that ball than any of the other ones.  It's a fairly wide compression range for usage.  I think it plays very well.
You're playing with it.  You like it.
GARY NICKLAUS:  Do I have a choice?
JACK NICKLAUS:  I don't think you have a choice, but I think the ball plays very well.  It's long enough.  It spins enough.  It's soft enough.  It's easy to maneuver.  You can cut and hook it‑ sometimes unintentionally.
But I think the ball plays very well.  I'm pleasantly, pleasantly pleased.

Q.  Jack, why did you feel the need to come out with a golf ball at this time?
JACK NICKLAUS:  I didn't feel a need.  As a company, we've come out with a lot of things over the last couple years, whether it be wine or lemonade or what have you.
We basically stopped making golf clubs because it wasn't a business we ever felt like we were going to make any money at because we weren't big enough.
But a golf ball is fairly high margin item.  We decided as a fulfillment of our brand, and it was a great vehicle for charity.  We donate ‑‑ for every ball we sell we donate money, as well as we sell over the Internet at www.nicklaus.com.  We have had over 80% of the people that bought balls have donated on their own.
Basically what we do is we offer them a price that would be the equivalent of what a pro could buy it for the shop.  So instead of paying 55 or 60 bucks a dozen it's 32 bucks a dozen for a golf ball.  If you think you have a bargain, if you think it's good ‑‑ because it's a good‑quality golf ball, the shops sell it for $5o some.
If you think that's good and you would like to donate some money for children's charities, we think that would be nice.  Over 80% of the people have, which has surprised the devil out of me.
But it's been nice.  It hasn't been huge, but it's been very nice.  We've introduced the balls into several of the clubs and the driving ranges for people to try and for them to give us their feedback on what they think.  We're getting very good feedback from it.
Our Nicklaus courses will have it, and then we'll expand what we're doing in the coming here.

Q.  When you think back to all the clubs you used during your career, is there a favorite set or couple clubs that you have?
JACK NICKLAUS:  People ask me what my favorite club, and I always said the shot I was playing at the time.  I always wanted to be that way.
I can't say it's exactly that way anymore.  But if I had a 1‑iron in my hand it was my favorite club.  If I had a sand wedge in my hand it was my favorite club.  You know, driver, putter, didn't make any difference.  I wanted to be equally competent with all of them and not have something I didn't like.
I've always tried to feel that way.  I didn't have a favorite club.

Q.  Was there a certain set or a driver or...
JACK NICKLAUS:  No, not really.  Not really.  I mean, I had‑‑ back for most of my early career I was playing (indiscernible) back in the '40s for drivers.  They were a couple old Tommy Armor woods that they made back then.
I used one of them for 10 years of my career and another one for about 8 or 10 years of my career until we finally got to metal.
So, you know, it wasn't that Iwas using something they weren't making.  The irons I've used, I've had the same specs on my irons until just recently since I'm 11 years old.  I never changed the shafts.  I had a dynamic S shaft when I was 11 and have exactly the same today.  I have a softer shaft, but I still use a dynamic shaft.
I have a different mix.  That 1‑iron, 2‑iron doesn't exactly go here anymore.  Goes into the bin back here.  Something that I can get the ball into the air with now because I don't have the club head speed to do that.

Q.  You have how many hybrids now?  Several?
JACK NICKLAUS:  I got a couple.  I have a driver, 3‑wood, 2‑ and 3‑wood hybrid.  My irons cut off at 5, and then I got a 4 and 3‑iron that ‑‑ I don't know what you call them.  I guess a hybrid iron.  I just put those in Wednesday.  I just feel like I can get the ball up in the air a lot easier with it and stop 'em on a green.
I'm not very wild about 'em.  I don't know how efficient I'm going to be, so first thing I want to do is make sure I get the ball somewhere up around the green.
Distance is probably more important than accuracy most of the time, and I felt that most of my life.  If I can't catch a 3‑iron solid, I want to make sure I got something I can put at least the right distance.
THE MODERATOR:  Anything else?  Jack, Gary, good luck this year.
JACK NICKLAUS:  Boy, the girls didn't have any questions at all.  (Laughter.)

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