BOSTON (CBS) – Rob “Hardy” Poole scratched off another goal on the bucket list this past weekend when he and others sat down with the Golden Bear, the one and only Jack Nicklaus for the latest edition of The Golf Club.
After talking about his foundation, Nicklaus opened up about a whole host of golf topics.
On The State Of Golf As A Whole:
“Tournament golf is in very good shape. The biggest problem we’ve had, because of the recession, is we’ve lost a lot of our core golfers. I think we’ve made the turn. I think we’re starting to come back. You’re seeing a lot of golf courses that are well-located being redone and rebranded. It won’t be rapid, but you’re going to start to see a resurgence of the game from that standpoint.”
On The Evolution & Future Of Golf:
“We’ve had some problems with how the game is played and how old fogey’s like me sort of dictate how the game should be played. I think we need to think outside of the box a little bit. Everybody wants instant gratification, something that is faster, not as costly, not as difficult with a little more fun, a little more recreation. The PGA of America is starting to think about 12-hole golf, thinking about larger holes and thinking about play it forward — things that help bring people into the game and keep them into the game. We don’t want to bring them into a difficult game and run them out because of traditionalists. I’m a traditionalist, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think about ways to grow the game. We need to bring kids into the game, bring women back into the game and keep the elderly playing. It’s a great sport. It’s a lot of fun. We’re trying to find ways to make it faster, cheaper and more fun.”
On Tiger Woods:
“Tiger will be back. There’s no question about that. He might even get back to being better than what he was. I know he’s a very determined, very focused, very well-conditioned athlete. Recently his body hasn’t held up for him. His health is going to be a key issue for him, because certainly his talent is not going to disappear. I went through several periods where I didn’t win a major for two, three, four years, then all of a sudden I came back and won again. And I think he will. I still think he’ll probably pass my record. He may not, but I think he’ll win more majors.”
On The PGA Tour Then vs. Now:
“I think the guys have always gotten along pretty well. Golfers have always helped each other. When we played, and I saw a guy doing something wrong, I’d say, ‘Hey Joe, mind if I make a suggestion?’ I’d do that quite often. I’ve had other people do the same to me. I think golfers accept that pretty well. I think today they probably do the same. I think the international aspect of the game has been the big focus of the game. If you look at the Ryder Cup coming up, the European team on paper is very very strong — on paper a lot stronger than the US team. Golfers from all over the world are excelling and are going to continue to do so. I think we need to step it up here [in America]. We need to get more of the guys playing, more of the kids playing.”
Listen below for the full interview!