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"Play well and money will follow"....Jack Nicklaus

I am a lifelong fan and player of the game of golf....since I was a boy, golf always intrigued me in that it was me trying to beat the course. I always gravitated to the more difficult courses too because they were more interesting both aesthetically and technically in how I would approach each shot or hole...I am not a low handicapper either, I work for a living and golf takes way too much time to hone a skill set like the man I have always admired in not just for his golfing prowess but more importantly at how his family was his most important priority. I would have to say over the years and all the golf I have played, I made almost every great shot there was to make on a golf course. The only difference was I couldn't put them together to make anything of it. So even if I played horrible, I could always look to that one shot or two that reminded me of how Jack would have done it. To

"duffer" like me, that would make my day and made me want to come back and do it all again.

His name is Jack Nicklaus or to the golfing world it is now just "Jack" thank you very much...over the past few nights there has been a retrospective of his life on Golf Channel (yes there is such a station) after the 81 Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia (of which Jack

won 6 times). This annual right of golf migrating north in early Spring always excited me because it was so classy, so elegant, so historical and yes, so tough. It is the official kick off to not baseball season to many but golf season to me. I love this game...why? Some people (my wife and my late father) would rather watch paint dry than sit down and watch a round of golf on TV and more astonished by who would go out and hit a little white ball around a field for 4 hours? Those doubters and golf haters would contend there are numerous chores to be done, yard work to tend and that spare bedroom could certainly use a new coat of paint. Oh, the joys of homeownership on summer days when the call for "a quick 9" were always on the tip of my tongue....but I digress, I have to mow the lawn.

Jack and before him Arnold (Palmer), were every bit a part of an American male folklore of heros as John Wayne, Babe Ruth, Douglas MacArthur, Jackie Robinson, James Dean and Vince Lombardi...I can name many more too. In that era, Jack or "The Golden Bear" was the quintessential professional...transcendent athlete, winner, gentleman, son, husband and father. The take away from this TV series about Jack's golfing prowess was not his obvious talent and longevity in golf but more compelling, that was not obvious, was his singular devotion to his wife and family. Jack, despite his massive success and notoriety, would schedule his tournament starting times around the morning so he could finish and then fly home to make his kids athletic events later in the day. His wife Barbara (his college sweetheart) said he put his family FIRST and everything else came second. He didn't say it, he did it.

Another take away was his perspective....Jack said one time when he invested heavily in a golf dream of his own to build a world class golf course in Ohio, call Murifiled Village, named after the famed course in Scotland, where he was the sole financier of the project and money was getting tight. He said he told himself to "play well and money will follow"....and it did.

My final take away from this story was Jack's work / life balance...he was not a workaholic but he worked hard. He was present in his home, businesses and had to love this guy.

Jack never said it but he certainly lived up to the expression that if you do something you love you will never work a day in your life....AMEN!

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