Good topic (Jack''s major tournament wins) by a great golfer and sportsman (Jack Nicklaus). Here''s my book report: Jack Nicklaus’ instruction from Jack Grout My Story p. 384-6 1. The first and always the most important of Jack’s fundamentals concerned your...
Good topic (Jack''s major tournament wins) by a great golfer and sportsman (Jack Nicklaus). Here''s my book report:
Jack Nicklaus’ instruction from Jack Grout
My Story p. 384-6
1. The first and always the most important of Jack’s fundamentals concerned your head. You had to keep it in the same place throughout the swing, not rigidly anchored by steady. It wasn’t good enough to “keep your eye on the ball,” because you could keep your eye on the ball and still move your head around quite a lot, and when you did that you changed your body angles, which messed up your arc, and upset your balance, and wrecked your timing.
2. The second of Jack’s basics concerned the other end of the anatomy, the feet. Here, he believed, lay the source of balance and of full free coiling and uncoiling of the body, both indispensable to good golf. The way you achieved them was through your ankles. you didn’t go at it stiffed-legged like a stork, or jump up on your toes like a ballerina. What you did was roll your left ankle inward on the backswing and your right ankle inward on the through-swing. “But that’s hard to do, Mr. Grout!” “Well, then, Jackie boy, let’s see you hit those three buckets of balls without letting your heels come of the ground even a little bit.”
3. Number three in Jack’s order of priorities was to hit the ball as hard and far as you possibly could from the moment your first pick up a golf club. Even a hint of laziness in this regard would bring stern disapproval. ...Jack believed in it for three reasons.
a. first, raw distance is the number-one weapon in a golfer’s armory.
b. second, height with the longer clubs—a product of great clubhead speed—came a close second.
c. third, if you didn’t fully extend and stretch and strengthen your golfing muscles when you were young, you would never do so when you got older. The encouragement to belt the ball was endless and exciting, “Go on, Jackie boy, hit it harder. Give it hell. Whack the daylights out that ball. Don’t worry about where it goes. We can fix that later. Go ahead, knock the devil out of this one.”
4. He had one more fundamental. This was the size of the clubhead’s arc in the backswing. For him, it could never be too big. “And there’s only one way to make it as big as I want to see it, Jackie boy. You’ve got to turn that body of yours around until it just won’t go any farther, and you got to extend those arms until they reach right on up through the clouds.”
His father to him when he was a boy just starting: “Hit it hard, go find it, and hit it hard again.” p. 10.
Gives a lot of credit for his success to a stable family life provided by Barbara Bash Nicklaus, his wife. p. 407-8.
Sam Snead joked about Ben Hogan’s reticence in putting that he had one and two cigarette putts.
Four qualities shared by consistent winners (151-2)
1. ability to think clearly under pressure. This is the most important, and this is the reason Nicklaus thinks helped him win the most.
3. self-centeredness. Hogan was playing with Claude Harmon on the 12th hole at the Masters. After the hole Hogan commented that was the first time he birdied the hole, apparently not noticing that Claude had aced it.
4. hard work. Working hard at the previous three when your game is not going well.
Jack really wanted to be liked by the crowds more than his stoic appearance revealed. He knew Arnie was more popular and maybe he wanted some of that fan devotion too. After being winless in 1979, people were wondering if the Old Jack had gone. He decided he needed to change his swing. Things were coming together 3 weeks before the national tournament and he got a putting tip from Jack Grout, “hit the ball!” But in 1980 as he made the turn on the final round of the US Open at Baltusrol crowds had to be held back by marshals. He needed a police escort to take him from the greens to the tees. People encircled the greens seemingly fifty deep. Up the 18th hole the fans were screaming “Jack! Jack! Jack!” After his opponent made his final putt to finish 2 back the crowd rushed him, one accidentally kicking him in the shin. He needed marshals to escort him to scorer’s tent. It was “the most emotional and warmest reaction to any of my wins in my own country, and it remains as sharp and wonderful to any of my wins in my memory all these years later as the day it happened.” Chapter “Jack’s Back!” p. 399.
JC Snead on playing Nicklaus: “When you go head to head against Nicklaus, he knows he’s going to beat you, you know he’s going to beat you, and he knows you know he’s going to beat you.” The Intimidation Factor. p. 427.
1986 win at Augusta. Herbert Warren Wind The New Yorker reporter and in Nicklaus’ mind golf’s top historian called it “nothing less than the most important accomplishment in golf since Bobby Jones’ Grand Slam in 1930.” Arnie wrote a telegram: “That was fantastic! Congratulations. Do you think there’s any chance for a fifty-six-year-old?
Jack Grout’s letter to Nicklaus after he won the golfer of the century award p 400-401. An excerpt:
What you have going for you, however, was born into you and then nurtured by your home life. When Charlie told you you couldn’t play anymore if you threw another club, he did you a great favor, Jack.
Don’t get me wrong. You wouldn’t be the “Player of the Century” if you weren’t a heckuva player. But so is Arnold a heckuva player, and Byron, and the rest of them. And they are all great sports. After the judges gave it a lot of thought, though, they gave the honor to the guy who is a great sport and a great sportsman. As far as I’m concerned you are the greatest golfer who ever swung a club in the entire history of the game.
Nicklaus, Jack with Ken Bowden. My Story. 1997. Simon & Schuster.