FanDuel - WFBC

December 10, 2007

Jack talks to Golf Digest: - that's Nicholson, not Nicklaus - "You don't understand golf. I can play this game as well as Tiger ... for a very short time. There's one shot a hole between me and the best golfers in the world..." [printable version]

posted by JJ to golf at 04:14 AM - 10 comments

He's right. One shot a hole is the only difference. Unfortunately, it's the shot Tiger puts in the hole, versus the shot Jack puts in the lake (or in the canyon off his back porch).

posted by chicobangs at 09:33 AM on December 10

(I kid out of affection. It's a very nice interview.)

posted by chicobangs at 09:40 AM on December 10

One shot a hole doesn't sound like much, but if he was in a tournament that's 18 per day which leaves him, what, 72 strokes behind the leader?

posted by apoch at 10:32 AM on December 10

If he was playing (oh, let's pull an example from the interview) the U.S. Open at Shinnecock, and there was no cut for some reason, and he finished the Sunday within 72 strokes of the eventual winner, I suspect Jack Nicholson would be absolutely thrilled. As, most certainly, would I.

posted by chicobangs at 10:55 AM on December 10

His point is a sound one though - the lowliest duffer can, very briefly, and only very occasionally, touch the greatness of the best player in the world. It's always been the attraction (and addiction) of the game for me. I think my favourite part of the interview is his personal rules of golf - particularly "Under pressure, I will cheat ya."

posted by JJ at 10:56 AM on December 10

If he was playing (oh, let's pull an example from the interview) the U.S. Open at Shinnecock, and there was no cut for some reason, and he finished the Sunday within 72 strokes of the eventual winner, I suspect Jack Nicholson would be absolutely thrilled. As, most certainly, would I. I have a pal from back home in Northern Ireland who got to play five rounds at Augusta last month. I met up with him a week ago on my way home from a work trip in the US and he told me about it. He's a good player. His handicap is scratch and his game has always been based around a long drive (always with a middling to hard draw) and an exceptional touch on the greens. Of all the courses on the major rota, Augusta could have been set up for him in terms of an examination. In his five rounds, he broke 80 once ("My best was 75, but that day we played off what would pass for ladies tees if they had any lady members - I mean all the way forward.") and the one time they played the course with "Sunday flags and from the very tips," he claims to have lost count. "Don't be silly, what did you score?" "I'm serious, I lost count. I was dreaming of making double at most holes." "Break a hundred?" "Not in a million years. It's just too long. I couldn't hit it far enough - or maybe couldn't hit it high enough might be more accurate - to get it to the landing areas. So then you're going in with 3-iron (but only because you don't want to look like a prick hitting a 3-wood) at holes like eleven. That's a hard green to hit with a wedge. With a 3-iron, if you hit that green, it was an accident and you just pulled it 40 yards." I was surprised, but as he said, it was probably the height problem more than the length problem. We grew up fighting the wind and hitting it low. He also gave us the stunning insight offered every year by the commentary teams all over the world "You just don't know how hilly this place is until you've been here in the flesh."

posted by JJ at 11:08 AM on December 10

"Chi Chi [Rodriguez] told me seniors need to take fatigue into account during a round -- always hit one more club from the 15th hole on." Funny, I'm in my late 20s, and I normally take an extra club on the last few holes. I guess I need more excercise.....

posted by DudeDykstra at 07:03 PM on December 10

Thanks JJ, That was a fun read. Rule #5 Shoot 5, Yell 4, Write down 3. Using this method, I too am only 1 shot per hole away from the best in the world.

posted by BoKnows at 10:52 PM on December 10

I enjoyed reading that for some reason despite my only interest in golf being watching the last day of the Open. Cheers.

posted by squealy at 04:08 PM on December 11

Thanks JJ I hack around on a lot of ordinary courses and, like Jack says, sometimes you get up and down for a bird and feel like you're not that far away from what a pro might do. Than you get on a 'real' championship course (like JJ's mate at Augusta). I find I'm pulling out a 4 wood on 'short' par 3s (for some strange reason I just can't get any backspin), Par 4s become damage limitation (hitting a mid iron to the green for 3) and Par 5s are ridiculous but at least you might have a chance if you haven't stuffed up either the drive or the two fairway woods and then you might chip in from off the fringe). Distance. Erk.

posted by owlhouse at 05:26 PM on December 11

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