Jack Nicklaus

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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Title: Jack Nicklaus: My Story Authors: Jack Nicklaus & Ken Bouden Pages: 505 Publisher: Simon & Shuster, 1997 Everyone's life is scattered with milestones, events that make a change of course for better or worse. Through Jack Nicklaus's career as a professional golfer many positive milestones were made, as well as an evident number of negative milestones that sat in the back of his frustration- filled mind. This masterpiece of Jack's greatest golf accomplishments displays some of the true feelings and emotions that were present at crucial points during his career. While reviewing some of the Columbus kid's most memorable moments, there's no doubt why he was transformed into the greatest golfer up to this day.

The book proceeds to reveal how he developed a wide range of knowledge and understanding through his teenage years to life on tour. He found that there was more to the game than beating the ball around the course, when he soon discovered the mental portion of the game.

It forever changed the way he played golf, and presented himself socially and emotionally. Golf and his social life became more strategic rather than using common sense. He soon developed the ability to calm himself, on the course and when answering questions from the press. He would no longer have his erratic replies posted on the front page of national newspapers.

The suspense during the reading of this book contributes to the overall interest factor. While travelling out of a car and trying to make enough money for his next meal, it can be very crucial and stressful to make the final eight-foot putt on the eighteenth green to win fame and fortune. This type of situation occurs many times to Nicklaus and is described hole by hole. As it comes down to the wire, the outcome is not noticeable until the last sentence and sometimes the next chapter. Although descriptions of hole by hole competition can become very boring in to non-golfers, Nicklaus does a magnificent job to keep a suspenseful atmosphere. To reach fame and fortune all Jack needs are three pars coming down the home stretch at Augusta National, home of the Masters. Vivid descriptions of each shot and his thoughts are displayed, creating suspense until the last putt drops in the cup.

The diction used by Nicklaus allows people at any level of understanding of the game of golf to thoroughly enjoy and understand what's going on. When certain golf lingo occurs such as the word "draw'', he immediately lets the reader know that this type of shot travels in a right to left path for a right-handed golfer. His choice of words also allows the reader to picture and feel what he is talking about. A feeling such as a lump developing in the throat with a cold-hearted shiver running down the spine are acknowledged and gives the reader something to relate to.

There's no doubt this book is very well written, not only because of the character development, suspense, and diction, but also because of the feeling and experience of the tour life explained. Jack takes the reader through the good and the bad happenings. Being able to fly around the world in your own private plane while competing in tournaments can be quite the experience, but losing family relationships is a major setback to this adventure. This book is definitely recommended to people who have an interest in golf and is easy for the non-golfer to learn more about the greatest golfer thus far, the Golden Bear.