As one of the all-time greats, Jack Nicklaus is ought to have a pretty weighty opinion on all things golf. So when he tosses that weight on one side of the equipment debate, we’d do well to listen.
The Golden Bear offered his opinion Wednesday on ESPN Radio 980 in Washington D.C. So where did he fall? Well, not only does he think the golf ball should be rolled back — he expects it to happen. And he doesn’t rely on any abstract “integrity of the game argument.” For Jack, it’s cold, hard cash:
The game of golf has three problems. It’s too hard, it’s too expensive and it takes too long. If they dialed the golf ball back it would reduce all those costs. The costs of maintaining the golf course, the cost of land and all those things would be dialed back and as an added benefit there’s only one golf course in this country that is not obsolete to the pros and that’s Augusta National, they’re the only people that have enough money to build the golf course and do the things they needed to do. Every time they have an event what do they do? Build new tees, new bunkers and do everything. It doesn’t make any sense. The simplest thing to do is fix the golf ball.
And how about the belly putter, that other controversy-of-the-moment? Jack doesn’t seem too concerned.
I’m sort of in the middle of the road. I don’t know how much it really helps and I know a lot of guys, Arnold (Palmer) is very strong that it should be banned, I think something anchored to your body is probably not in the nature of what the game of golf is and up until Keegan Bradley won, nobody had ever won a major with one so I didn’t think much about it but my guess is it will probably go.
There you have it. For the full transcript of Nicklaus’s interview, head over to SportsRadioInterviews.com