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October 24, 2008

Reporter: Jack, you really know your way around a course. What’s your secret?
Nicklaus: The holes are numbered.

In an interview recently with Jack Nicklaus he said the thing he misses most about golf is the competition. He plays rarely and doesn’t watch it on TV and it’s really no surprise. Why? Because Jack was the best player in the world because he was the best competitor in the world.

He had problems off the tee from time to time and found himself in the deep rough but had the ablilty to keep himself in the race and if he was in the running come Sunday Jack finished like no other golfer could (until a guy called Eldrick Woods hit the scene some years later).

Jack Nicklaus brought the idea of management to golf. He managed his rounds, calculating and minimizing the risks and giving himself every chance to be in contention to win. He made golf professional by playing like a pro. Nicklaus also said this:

“Professional golf is the only sport where, if you win 20 percent of the time, you’re the best.”

I like golf and I’m not too bad at it. But it’s a wicked game with a level of difficulty which makes it almost impossible to play well consistantly. This is why it’s interesting. It’s a lot like life (only harder) and a lot like business (only easier) and there are lessons to retain to bring to both life and business. Stay in the hunt, never give up and like the guy who beat Nicklaus on perhaps the most epic final day of a British Open ever in front of 80, 000 Scots in 1979 remember:

“A lot of guys who have never choked, have never been in the position to do so.”
– Tom Watson

Image – Nicklaus by Warhol

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