Everyone carries burdens in life and living up to the expectations of your namesake can be one of the toughest. Just ask Jack Nicklaus 2. “I was kind of like Don Quixote chasing that impossible dream,” chuckles the 36-year-old when talking about his playing career. “I never really did anything professionally. I played some in Japan, some in Asia, the Ben Hogan tour. Also played some on the PGA tour, but not as a regular tour member.”
Despite a valiant effort to make his own mark as a professional golfer, Jackie’s biggest victory was in the North-South Invitational at Pinehurst, which he won as an amateur in 9185. Fortunately, even after Nicklaus had given competition to a good go and come back lacking, he still had the entire world of golf open to him. His interest gravitated toward course design.
“I’ve always been around it, following my dad. I think it’s probably every golfer’s dream to design a golf course. I remember as a little kid, drawing out these really unusual holes over water. I guess everybody with their imagination does that kind of thing. I had the opportunity when I got out of the University of North Carolina. Although I was playing professional golf, in my free time I spent some time in the office helping the guys. Really just doing the busy work that had to be done when designing golf courses.