Friday, July 8, 2016

The right shot..................

     Watson had questions about Nicklaus's play:  Why did he hit that shot?  Why did he use that club?  Why didn't he go for the birdie?  What Watson noticed most was how often Nicklaus would hit conservative shots.  This was exactly the thing that turned him off as a youngster, when he preferred the risk-taking brilliance of Palmer.  But once he reached the PGA Tour, he saw golf - and Nicklaus - in a whole different way.
     Nicklaus told him, "More golfers lose golf tournaments than win them."
     This fascinated Watson.  Nicklaus was not thinking about great shots  most of the time; he was thinking about avoiding big mistakes.  It seemed counterintuitive to Watson;  he had always played the game fast and loose and full of aggression.  But watching Nicklaus changed the way he thought.  He began to take fewer chances.  He began to look for the widest part of the fairway and aim for it.  He hit away from bunkers.  He would try for the heroic shot only when none of the safer options made sense.
     "No golfer hit the right shot more often that Jack Nicklaus,"  Watson would say, and yes, that's the secret of golf.

-Joe Posnanski,  The Secret of Golf:  The Story of Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus

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