Monday, March 9, 2009

Jack Nicklaus Thinks Tiger Woods Knows Nothing About Design

I've always liked Jack Nicklaus, just because it was fun rooting for him as his skills were declining. To this day, the 1986 Masters is my favorite sporting event to watch and remember and his run in 1998 was as remarkable to me as that win in '86.

One thing I've noticed from Jack over the last few years is his snark attitude towards Tiger Woods. He seems to respect Tiger and probably likes the guy but if there is a moment Jack can say something negatively about the guy that will end up taking down his major championship record (that Jack doesn't want to happen), Jack does it.

In a Q & A with Golf Digest, one of the questions was about course design and if Tiger and Jack had talked about it. This is what Jack responded.

No. I wouldn't think so. Tiger, at this point in time, wouldn't know anything about design. He knows how to play golf and he knows what a golf course looks like. But it was no different than when I was his age and starting out -- I wouldn't know anything about design. If he decides to get involved he'll learn. He's a smart kid and it depends on how much he wants to get involved. He won't know how to do it, but he'll learn. It will take him seven or eight golf courses before he'll learn enough before he'll really be able to talk about it intelligently.

That's a dig, right? Sure, Jack compliments him by saying he's an intelligent guy and all, but flat out saying he knows nothing about design when you've never talked to the guy about it seems a little ridiculous.

Sure, Jack probably knows more about it than Tiger, but you can't just say that without talking shop with the guy. I'd expect a little more from the Golden Bear, but when it comes to Woods, Jack tends to say whatever he feels, even if it isn't the most positive.


niel said...

I gotta agree with Jack here. The notion that a good golfer will automatically know something about good golf design is like saying that someone who drives a lot will know anything about highway/road design. There's a lot more to both of those fields than most people ever realize.

Orange Chuck said...

Jack is wrong and is displaying his ignorance. He doesn't know what Tiger is capable of until he at least tries it. I like Tiger and I like Jack but in this case, Jack was wrong to assume and you know what they say about assuming.

Marc said...

I think it's fine for Jack to say what he did since he compared Tiger to himself at that stage of his design career. Yes, assuming anything can be problematic. In this case though I think Jack ultimately wants to see Tiger succeed. It's his form of tough love ;)

The Green Blazer said...

A nicely placed subtle zing by the ol' Golden Bear.

Jack seems to be generalizing here and probably not giving Tiger enough credit. Tiger will likely zing him back by destroying his major record.