Ohio's Golf Magazine July 2009 : Page 17

OH O’s GOLF same experience for all golfers, whether it is private or public, no matter what facility you go to. It’s terrifi c for the average golfer to be able to go to Bethpage, or go to Torrey Pines, and the new course in Seattle … Chambers Bay. The public doesn’t have any access to Augusta National. It has never had the opportunity to go there. Jack, how did you prepare to play the U.S. Open? How was it any different from the regular tourna- ments you prepared to play? (JN) I started off at the beginning of the year, the Masters was the fi rst thing I looked at. I’d set my tournament schedule based on what I wanted to do to prepare myself to play in the Masters. So, I played about half the tournaments and got to Augusta about a week ahead of time and played it. the tournament the week before the (Masters) tournament to fi nd out how my game would do. And once the Masters was over, my preparation was for the U.S. Open. It (the U.S. Open) was much the same thing. I would pick golf courses de- pending on where the Open was go- ing to be. And I’d go play my practice rounds and work on my golf game (in conditions) like at the U.S. Open. Okay, this rough is really deep. These fairways are really narrow. These greens are really fi rm. These greens are really fast. s l ally All elements that come into the U.S. Open. As a result, when I got there the week of the tournament, I had all those elements out of the way. As the players came in on Monday to start their practice rounds, and they said, “Oh God, that rough is so deep, oh, these greens are so hard,” I’d just check them off. have to worry about them. Don’t Jack, Arnold Palmer turns 80 this year. Can you give us a sense of where you guys are in your relation- ship? (JN) We usually end up talking about something once a month or maybe every six weeks. Arnold and I had a very close relationship when we fi rst started on the Tour. He was very good to me. We used to travel a lot together and everything else. As Arnold left the regular Tour and went to the Senior Tour, we had 10 years in there where we really didn’t see a lot of each other. Once we (both) started playing the Senior Tour I always played Masters) we started to spend more time together. I think we would both like the everybody plays to get a little younger. I think that’s al- ways way is. Arnold still prob- ably times more golf than I play. 10 He struggles with it, as you know. That’s one thing I talked to him (about) when we were at Augusta. I said, “How are you play- ing?” playing?” (I asked). “Every day” (he said). But s him. That’s what he does “Oh, horrible” (he replied). s h I told him, (Tiger),I’d give him a couple of extra shots if he needed it. I’ll throw my 98 mile-an-hour club head speed at him. wi y a competitor, you stood in the fairway with Arnold in his prime. How would you assess Arnold Palmer as a golfer? What did he bring to the game of golf? (JN) I think he brought a lot more to the game than his game. What I mean by that is that, you know, there’s no question about his record and his ability to play the game. He was very, good at that. But he obviously brought more. He brought, you know, the hitch of W ( m abili g more his pants, the fl air that he brought to the game. The fans that he brought into the game. Tiger’s respect for you is immense. Has he ever sought your advice on how to juggle parenthood with tournament golf? (JN) Never asked me, no. I’ve had enough comments on what I’ve done and how I’ve handled things, and I am sure he’s probably read that or not read it, or he’s taken it and used it or not used it. We’ve never re- ally had a discussion on it. I’ve said many times that Tiger will be a better player with a family than without a family. You’ve got somebody to play for, somebody to come home and share it with, and somebody to root for you that’s right there that you love. Tiger Woods Tiger, Jack was just asked to assess your recovery WWW.OHIOSGOLF.COM • JULY 2009 17 2 “How much you

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