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Jack Nicklaus has an interesting idea about how to change Shinnecock for future U.S. Opens

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In his most recent 19th Hole podcast, Michael Williams asked Jack Nicklaus for his thoughts on U.S. Open setups in general and what transpired at Shinnecock in particular.

His response is noteworthy because, well, he’s Jack Nicklaus, and because his take is a fresh one in a discussion that has grown predictable and largely played out.

Nicklaus said, “I grew up playing USGA golf courses. I loved the way the USGA sets up golf courses. When you’re a junior, they set it up at the junior level…amateur set up on the amateur level, ladies set up on the ladies level and then the Open gets set up on the most difficult. That’s how I learned to play golf. That’s why majors were so important to me. And to take the U.S. Open and not make it…the toughest and the most difficult, to me, you’re making it too much like another tournament. And that’s not what I really wanted to see.”

“Now, did they set up Shinnecock poorly? No. I don’t think they set it up poorly at all. I think Mike Davis did a pretty darn good job of it. I just think that because course conditioning has changed so much, and they have courses just on the edge…the setup lends itself–you saw scores on Saturday and Sunday in the mid 60s in the morning and the mid 70s in the afternoon…I don’t think they really wanted that.”

“I think if you back to Shinnecock again, I think the wise thing would be to redo the greens…not change them…but there’s nothing under those greens other than what nature had there….but with the way they do things today, that lends itself to not being able to be controlled. And they could redo those greens exactly as they are now and control the moisture level on those greens, then the setup that they had would work fine, and work fine in the morning and the afternoon.”

The four-time U.S. Open winner added that he didn’t expect the membership at Shinnecock to approve anything so rash, and that he was merely making a suggestion should the tournament return to the Southampton course that reworking the greens could make the course “fair in the morning and fair in the afternoon.”

As for exactly what method of green rebuilding Nicklaus is proposing (presumably some reworking of soil and drainage), we’re not sure. However, his suggestion remains an interesting one.

He also added

“The greens were great in the morning, they just got away in the afternoon. When you’ve got starting times from…7:30 to 3:30…a lot of things are going to happen.”

Nicklaus added that the USGA should strive to offer players the same course in the morning and the afternoon to give everyone a “fair chance to compete.”

The Golden Bear also touched quickly on Phil Mickelson’s rules violation.

“Phil came back…and said, ‘I just lost it,’ which is probably what he should have said to begin with.”

However, Nicklaus suggested Mickelson has earned the right to be cut some slack and said all golfers can relate to his frustration.

Nicklaus also discussed his charity work on the pod, and Michael Williams has another great guest in the episode: golf fitness and flexibility expert, Roger Fredericks, who’s well worth listening to.

Check it out below, and let us know what you think about the 18-time major champion’s remarks.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. ogo

    Jul 8, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    Jack: “Bulldoze the greens and flatten all of them!”

  2. ogo

    Jul 8, 2018 at 12:04 am

    I love watching multimillionaire golfers suffering on the putting greens in the afternoon and dragging them down to the rest of the field. Btw… that “socialism” too … 😀

    • bebop a lula

      Jul 8, 2018 at 5:51 am

      No it would be republicanism 101 where you benefit from the luck of the draw rather than having to earn it!

  3. Richard Douglas

    Jul 7, 2018 at 8:31 am

    Make the golf course tough. Fine. But the course must meet two criteria to be fair:

    First, it cannot be random. Good shots should get good results, and bad shots should be punished. They only got this half-right. Bad shots were punished, and so were a lot of good shots. You didn’t know what would happen even if you put the ball right where you intended.

    Second, it must be proportional. A little mistake should result in a little trouble and a big mistake should result in a big penalty. Unfortunately, even small mistakes created big trouble, so what was the point? If everything but perfection creates horrible results, why bother?

    The USGA should contract out the Open. They’re a bunch of amateurs running the most important tournament in golf. It’s not a good look.

  4. Robert

    Jul 6, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    So if it rains in the morning but the sky is sunny in the afternoon, the guys in the morning are SOL – unless of course the USGA can make it rain in the afternoon to even things out.

    Or, they can delay the afternoon round until the next time it rains.

  5. 2putttom

    Jul 6, 2018 at 10:22 am

    “The greens were great in the morning, they just got away in the afternoon. When you’ve got starting times from…7:30 to 3:30…a lot of things are going to happen.” …. BRILLIANT !

  6. Prime21

    Jul 5, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    Although I hate to admit it, The Golden Bear is right. The only way to be in complete control of a golf course any longer is to have total control of the turf. Nobody cares if the fairways burn out, but if the greens do, the consequence is note worthy. In this day and age, with sub air units that offer complete control of the agronomy above, it is essential to have inorder to truly host a Major Championship. You don’t think Augusta has had it for decades now? Whoever whines at Augusta? Winged Foot put them in over the last four years and Augusta is about the only place with green complexes that have more undulation. The time has come for technology to catch up with nostalgia and for any true US Open venue to come to term with the times! Now, whether or not the USGA should be allowed to oversee the US Open, that’s a whole nother discussion!

  7. Commoner

    Jul 5, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    Why do these retired old _____’s think they have so much earth shaking, civilization changing wisdom the rest of us lowly mortals are just falling over each other to hear? There are several heroes of yesteryear that simply need to learn the meanings of modesty, moderation, and temperance. There is no need to opine on everything in the hope of setting the world right before you leave it.

  8. Jamie

    Jul 5, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    St. Andrews called. The phone was silent.

  9. truth

    Jul 5, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    Who cares??

  10. Bob

    Jul 5, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    JACK .. YOUR TIME HAS PAST…YOUR COMMENTS ARE STUPID AND OUT OF TOUCH.

  11. kevin

    Jul 5, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    is the only response to setup now for usga major courses to spend millions upon millions of dollars installing sub air systems, new drainage, and basically a computer system to be able to control a course. weird coming from a guy who wants to dial back the ball because its getting too costly moving tees back.

    why not simply dial back the mowing a hair and let these greens stimp at 11 instead of 14 and let the scores, tournament, and eventual winner take care of itself.

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19th Hole

The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (4.23.19)

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In this segment, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best #GolfWRX tagged photos on Instagram. In case you aren’t already, there’s a whole load of action going on at our page, so follow us: @golfwrx

Let’s get to it then, here are six of the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

A custom TeI3 Newport from Embrace Putters.

Airstrike headcovers from Bettinardi Golf are hitting the Hive this Thursday.

While these flat-sticks from Bettinardi look very impressive.

It wasn’t just the Egg Cover that the guys over at Swag were busy creating for this Easter.

How about this creation from National Custom Works, exciting or scary?

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The perfect amount of exciting & scary.

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Love the coloring of these putter covers from MLA Golf that will be released this summer.

Get hashtagging your golf posts #GolfWRX for your chance to feature in our best of Instagram posts in the future!

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19th Hole

Former caddie Steve Williams raves about Tiger Woods’ victory at the 2019 Masters

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Tiger Woods’ ex-caddie, Steve Williams, has spoken in glowing terms concerning the 43-year-old’s latest victory at the Masters, a win which Williams believes will “re-energize” the sport.

The New Zealander, who was speaking to ESPN’S Bob Harig, admitted that though he doesn’t watch the sport regularly on TV anymore, he made an exception last weekend, and feels how his former boss’ victory at Augusta National will do wonders for the game.

“Now that Tiger has come right back there again, winning a major championship, possibly putting Jack’s (Nicklaus) record in play again … it just re-energizes the game . . .  It’s absolutely awesome.

He’s the only guy who can energize the game like that. All those kids who were watching had to think it was fantastic. And so what he’s done is a remarkable achievement. It’s so positive.”

Though Williams and Woods’ high profile split in 2011 was less than amicable, Williams credited the 15-time major champion’s “amazing achievement” in coming back from the point where he was on the verge of retiring to claim his fifth green jacket down to “pure guts and hard work.”

“Given the fact that two years ago he stated that he was unlikely to play competitive golf again, or was seriously doubting it – he wouldn’t just say that in jest, There would have been a lot of truth to it. For him to actually come back full cycle to win a major championship… it’s just an incredible story.

 It’s an amazing achievement of pure guts and hard work for him and just a true indication of what he is made of. It proves again what an amazing athlete he is. It’s just an amazing achievement.”

Williams also believes that the passing of golfing legend Arnold Palmer in 2016 had a significant impact on Woods, and while writing for the Australian site The Players Voice, the New Zealander stated

“I’m thinking that when Arnold passed away there was a realisation in Tiger that golf had lost a guy who was the most popular player ever. It was about a year after Arnold died that Tiger started his comeback after his back surgery and I think he may have decided that with his second chance he wanted to be remembered the way Arnold was remembered. I do think the passing of Arnie had a change in that respect.”

Steve Williams caddied for Woods between 1999 and 2011 and was on the 43-year-old’s bag for 13 of his 15 major championship victories.

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19th Hole

Couple to name son after Tiger Woods after husband wins a bet with his wife

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Tiger Woods’ victory at last week’s Masters had a significant impact in the sporting world, and its meaning will forever be remembered in the household of a Dallas couple who are set to name their child after the 15-time major champion.

Trey Little, a lifelong golf fan, drew up a contract the week of the tournament (as you do), which stated that “If Tiger Woods wins the Masters this week, I (father) get to have the option of naming our son (coming September 2019) Tiger Little.” which his wife, Denise, signed.

Speaking to the NY Post, Little talked about the reaction of his wife and himself when they realized that Woods was about to win the event last Sunday.

“On hole 18, we realized, ‘Wow, he’s really going to pull this thing off. This whole thing started almost as a joke, then it turned into something really real, really quick.”

The name may not be the easiest to live up to, but with the child’s middle name to be Julian, Trey has all the bases covered, joking “He could always go by T.J.”

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