My Hero: Jack Nicklaus

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Whenever Jack Nicklaus comes to Maui, if I am here, it is a big day for me. He is one of those pros who gets just how much he is loved by his fans. Tiger? Forget about it. He’s standoffish and snotty. Jack, on the other hand, will stand there and sign autograph after autograph for those of us who are lucky enough to be near him.

I’ve been going to golf tournaments since my 20s, but for the past 17 years, I’ve had greater access to the players because of this magazine. I am at the bottom of the media food chain, and course staff, tour officials, and many players have no problem letting me know it. In fact, the ones who are actually the worst are the other writers. They literally will sneer at me if I get within a few feet of them. Must be all that free red meat they get.

But Jack Nicklaus is different. He is picked over like there is no tomorrow, and because he’s a nice guy, he gets it in spades. His voice is almost hoarse by the end of the

Jack Nicklaus & Scott Ashworth

day, as he makes cracks while playing, thanks literally hundreds of people involved with the event, and then mingles with his fans. He’s a true star, and the likes of Mr. Tiger Woods ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Jack Nicklaus was here in the islands just a couple of months ago. He flew in, and he flew out, just to take a look at his redo of Kauai Lagoons. Aloha Section PGA pro & president, Scott Ashworth, runs the place, and was kind enough to give me a heads-up before the Golden Bear arrived. I was so strapped for cash, that I had to bail. It was devastating for me, as I really want to just see and say ‘hi’ to my hero. There are only two heroes in my life: my father, a giant, and Jack Nicklaus.

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