Happy Birthday Jack

“The summer I was 12, I broke 80 for the first time. It was odd how it happened. I shot 80 eight straight times, and just as I was wondering what I had to do to break that barrier, I shot 74.”

                        Jack Nicklaus

Even the great Jack Nicklaus scored in the 80s at one time; of course, he was only 11 years old! In his book, “The Greatest Game of All,” Jack describes breaking his own mental barrier when he beat “old man par”, as Bobby Jones called it, for the first time in his life.

The following year, Jack was playing golf with his father one evening when he shot 34 on the front nine, putting him in an excellent position to break 70 for the first time. To his dismay, as they walked off the 9th green his father congratulated him on a great nine holes and announced it was time to go home for dinner!

The young Nicklaus protested, but to no avail. His father said Ma was expecting them and they could finish the round after dinner. Both of them ate their food as quickly as they could swallow it and headed back to the course. Playing the par five 18th hole in near darkness, Nicklaus hit a long straight drive. He followed that with a 2-iron to the middle of the green, some 30 feet from the hole, just as the sprinklers came on. Making the eagle putt would give him a 69, and Jack Nicklaus seldom missed a putt that meant a lot to him. As he would do again and again during his unparalleled career when it really mattered, he rolled it in. To quote Jack, “The promised land!”

By regularly putting themselves in a position to win, overcoming fear of failure and being ready to accept success, champions dramatically increase their chances of victory. Once that first winner’s trophy is in the display case, others almost inevitably follow.

From Your Friends at Mark Wood Golf Academy

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Mark Wood

PGA Advanced Professional
UK’s No1 Golf Coach

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