Jack Nicklaus Quotes

Some of the Golfer's Best Quotations, Plus What Others Said About Him

econd round of the Insperity Invitational at The Woodlands Country Club on May 7, 2016 in The Woodlands, Texas.
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Jack Nicklaus was one of the best professional golfers of all time. Many golf fans and analysts rate him No. 1, and of those that don't, very few rank him lower than second. Here are some quotations from and about Jack Nicklaus.

Quotes By Jack Nicklaus

  • The 20-year-old Jack Nicklaus in 1960: "Jones is the greatest golfer who ever lived and probably ever will live. That's my goal. Bobby Jones. It's the only goal."
  • "I guess it could be said my legacy might be that I changed an era. I came along during an era where the game of golf was more of a stylish game, and I added power to the game. I was probably the first player that played with real power and was successful. And I was able to play with finesse as well. If you look at today's player, they all play with power. So I think I took the game in a different direction."
  • "I'm a firm believer that in the theory that people only do their best at things they truly enjoy. It is difficult to excel at something you don't enjoy."
  • "I never went into a tournament or round of golf thinking I had to beat a certain player. I had to beat the golf course. If I prepared myself for a major, went in focused, and then beat the golf course, the rest took care of itself."
  • "The Masters and Augusta National are and always have been very special to me. From the first time I drove up Magnolia Lane at age 19, I had a special feeling about Augusta. Even today, I get chills driving up Magnolia Lane."
  • "Learn the fundamentals of the game and stick to them. Band-Aid remedies never last."
  • "My ability to concentrate and work toward that goal has been my greatest asset."
  • "The older you get the stronger the wind gets - and it's always in your face."
  • "A golfer who learns to swing hard initially can usually acquire accuracy later, whereas a golfer who gets too accuracy-conscious at the outset will rarely be able to make himself hit the ball harder later on."
  • "There are really two ways of increasing your distance. You can learn to swing the clubhead faster. Or you can learn to deliver it to the ball more accurately."
  • "All my life I've tried to hit practice shots with great care. I try to have a clear-cut purpose in mind on every swing. I always practice as I intend to play."
  • "I never missed a putt in my mind."
  • "Confidence is the most important single factor in this game, and no matter how great your natural talent, there is only one way to obtain and sustain it: work."
  • "Quite often when I am preparing to play a tournament at an extremely long course, I will go out with an 8-to-10 handicapper at home in Columbus (Ohio) and hit his second shots, which means that I am forced to play a lot of long irons, many of them from difficult angles into the green."
  • "Most putting troubles stem from being scared or indecisive, or both."

Quotes About Jack Nicklaus

  • Arnold Palmer, in 1962, after losing the U.S. Open to 22-year-old Nicklaus in a playoff: "Now that the big guy's out of the cage, everybody better run for cover."
  • Bobby Jones after watching Nicklaus win the 1965 Masters: "Nicklaus played a game with which I am not familiar."
  • Author Rick Reilly: "He was not homespun like Sam Snead, funny like Lee Trevino. His pants didn't need hitching like Palmer's. Instead, he won over America with pure, unbleached excellence."
  • Chi Chi Rodriguez: "Jack Nicklaus is a legend in his spare time."
  • Gene Sarazen: "I never thought anyone would ever put Hogan in the shadows, but he did."
  • Tom Weiskopf: "Jack knew he was going to beat you. You knew Jack was going to beat you. And Jack knew that you knew that he was going to beat you."
  • David Graham: "Jack Nicklaus preferred leather grips on his clubs. So did a few other guys, but Jack's grips were different. He liked the grips to get old so the leather was rock hard and shiny. They were slick as glass. Whenever I swung one it almost flew out of my hands—and I had strong hands!"