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Golf: Golden Bear Says, “Go for it”

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

Kyle Stanley’s inability to finish off the job at Torrey Pines continues to be a topic of conversation, myself included. Kyle’s mindset and choice of club for his second shot and second wedge shot to the final green was questionable and many have suggested he should have been more aggressive and go for it.

And it just so happens that immediately after writing my previous post about Kyle I turned to a pile of books and magazines a friend had suggested I read. Including a very dated November 1986 copy of Golf World.

Pages 51/53 contain excerpts from Jack Nicklaus’ My Most Memorable Shots In The Majors and the Golf World headline reads, “When in doubt – Go for it”

Jack writes, “The Lesson: There are times when you just have to bite the bullet in golf and put all your faith in boldness…” and quotes as an example his thought processes as he prepared to putt on Oakmont’s 17th green during the 1962 U.S. Open Championship.

“Just thinking about that putt still gives me goose pimples,” Jack writes and then proceeds to provide the details.

“I look over the putt for a long time, hoping to settle my nerves while trying to assess all the options. One is to attempt to read both breaks perfectly, commit to a starting line, then try to “gentle” or “die” the ball into the hole. I’m not sure my pulse rate and adrenalin flow will let me make either the fine line judgment or the ultra-delicate stroke necessary to do that. The only real alternative is to hit the ball straight and hard enough to eradicate both breaks – to ram it into the hole. Finally – going mostly, I guess, by what my nerves are telling me – that’s my decision.”

Jack won at Oakmont and John Garrity wrote, “A new kid in town: Jack Nicklaus defeats Arnold Palmer at Oakmont in the 1962 U.S. Open”

One of the new kids in town at Torrey Pines was Kyle Stanley who tended to rush his putts at critical times. And for what it’s worth, from the best clutch-putter in the modern era, Jack suggests, “There’s a tremendous urge to rush very critical short putts, to get them over with, to release the almost unbearable tension. Usually, that’s fatal.”

Here’s a link to Golf World and to John Garrity

Quote of the Day

“Palmer knew, and even his staunchest fans would soon understand, that the fat kid from Ohio was changing the game, changing the way golf would be played. "Now that the big guy is out of the cage," Palmer said, "everybody better run for cover." – John Garrity concluding his article on “the times they are a changin’ 1962 U.S.Open

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