Lawrence Henry writes a marvelous piece today in honor of the great and admirable Bobby Jones…. but why so nasty to Nicklaus? For many years before the 1974 ghost-written book that Larry pans, Nicklaus was known to be gentlemanly, a good sportsman both in victory and defeat, and very patient with the press. I certainly can say that the several times I’ve been around him (and, for that matter, around his saint of a wife, Barbara), as a fan or as a reporter or as an eager member (at discount rates) of a new club he was formally opening, he was gracious and approachable. Maybe his book sounded imperious, but if so, blame ghost-writer Bowden, not Jack. Not all good men are good writers, and I hate to fault Nicklaus just because he didn’t live up to Jones’ standards as a purveyor of fine prose.
That said, I otherwise loved Larry’s review. It’s always worth reminding people that sports “superstars” like Jones can be multidimensional and admirable, unlike certain steroid users, wife abusers, and druggies who litter our playing fields today.