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Posted by Dave on Thursday, July 21, 2011

They say the ball doesn't know how old you are...

Jack Nicklaus won at least three majors in three different decades.  Think about that. 

His first win on the PGA Tour was the 1962 US Open.  He was 22.  His final win on tour was the 1986 Masters.  He was 46.  ...Flare for the dramatic much?

I am 24 years old.  If I had been born on the day that Jack won his first major, he would be winning another one right... about... now. 

After winning the 1966 Open Championship, he acheived his first of three career grand slams.  He was 26.  Only one other player has done so faster than Jack.  You may have heard of him.  That guy was 24. 

These facts kind of make me think, "Holy crap.  I'm 24.  Tiger already had a grand slam by the time he was my age.  What am I doing with my life?"  But I find solace when I think about Jack in 1986, raising his putter in the air on 17 at Augusta, following his golf ball with methodic and confident steps as it made its way in to the bottom of the cup.  I think about Tom Watson (or as I like to call him, Popeye...  Seriously, look at that guys arms.  Jesus...), narrowly missing an opportunity in the 2009 Open Championship at Turnberry to become the oldest major winner by THIRTEEN YEARS.  I remember being at my lake house during that tournament, glued to the XM radio (no TV up there...), with my non-golfer friends looking at me like I had nine heads. 

"You have no idea how IMPORTANT this is!!"

I think that this exhibits one of the greatest things about the game of golf - you can play it for the rest of your life.  There is always time to improve, time to gain something from this game, time to have more and more great experiences with great friends on great golf courses (and trust me, there is no shortage of great golf courses). 

There are plenty of people out there that will tell you that golfers aren't athletes.  Their reasoning?  "Golfers are old and fat and out of shape."  "My grandpa can play golf!  It's not a sport if my grandpa can play it." 

Golf as a sport and golf as a leisure activity are two completely different things.  Sure, you can play golf.  But you're no Tiger Woods.  And sure, your grandpa can play golf. 

But he's no Jack Nicklaus. 

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