Jack Nicklaus isn't just the name of a famed golfer, he's the overseer of this beautiful sport. He's the man that put the game on the map, fighting all the big names that have ever smacked a golf ball. He's the 18-time major winner, the 73-time PGA Tour champion, and the holder of more records than you can count dimples on a Titleist.
So, when the Golden Bear speaks of what he could have accomplished, your mouth drops. Jack spoke with Jaime Diaz of Golf Digest this month and said something that will make even the most famous golfers in the world do a double-take. Jack said he could have been better. A lot better.
"If I were to look back on my work, I think I accomplished probably about 70 to 75 percent of what I could have. Maybe 60 percent. Somewhere in that area; two-thirds of what I could have accomplished. If I had been a really dedicated person, and really worked hard, I think I could have accomplished more."
It really is an astonishing thing to hear from someone so accomplished, but I'm assuming Jack can point to those 19 second-place finishes in major championships as a place he could have improved.
The entire piece is an incredible read, and maybe the part about Jack not having a ton of motivation in the later years to add to his major legacy makes it all the more understanding of why Tiger Woods is chasing so hard to get to that magical number of 19.
While I won't tread too hard on the article, I will add this quote by Lee Trevino about Jack. For anyone that followed Nicklaus, they knew that in his prime, the part of his game that was lacking was his ability to pitch the ball close, mostly because the man barely missed any greens.
Trevino gave this great soundbite about Nicklaus' wedge game: "If Jack had had a wedge, no doubt in my mind, he would have won 30 majors."
Now that would have been a tough number to beat.