Nicklaus says 90 percent of his design work now in Asia

He's the Global Bear now.Jack
Nicklaus
has embraced course design with the passion and intensity he
brought to his golf game and in turn has became one of the game's most
successful developers. Like any successful businessman, Nicklaus
follows the money, and today the money for golf is in Asia, not the United
States. In an interview with Reuters, Nicklaus said he expects the game
to explode in popularity among "regular people" in Asia, not just the wealthy,
and that Chinese players will someday be among the world's best.Florida-based Nicklaus, who has won a record 18 major titles, does just 0.3 percent of his work in his home country. "The recession has not been as severe here as it has been in the
States, 90 percent of my work, golf course design work now, is here in
Asia," Nicklaus, whose company has designed almost 350 courses
worldwide, told Reuters in an interview.
The rise of Asia's economic power and golf's presence in the 2016
Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will boost course construction in countries
like China and India and the former will one day provide five of the
world's top players, Nicklaus predicted.
The
sometimes curmudgeonly Nicklaus also had kind words for the USGA's
groove rule change
, which will become law of the land on Tour in
January.Initially a sceptic about rule changes to equipment, likening them
to "the deckchairs on the Titanic", Nicklaus is now an enthusiastic
convert and said the golf authorities avoided a fight they could not
win.
"It's a domino effect," he said. "It's going to make itself felt throughout the whole game. "I think they (golf authorities) have been very clever."More on Nicklaus: Special Section | Photos: Career Highlights | Major Victories | 20 Greatest GolfersFollow Mike Walker on Twitter.

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