My National Post column on Jack Nicklaus in Ucluelet, B.C., is now accessible. You can find it here.
Here’s a taste:
UCLUELET, B.C. – Bombing along in an all-terrain vehicle over rough and rocky ground, the greatest player to ever hit a golf ball hardly looked like an imposing figure. At 67, Jack Nicklaus no longer resembles the dominant golfer that won 18 majors. Weighted down by a heavy coat to combat the ocean breeze, and smaller in stature than one expects, Nicklaus was in this remote area of western Vancouver Island to build a golf course as part of an ambitious real estate development.
Creating golf courses is what takes most of Nicklaus’s time, especially with his game having disappeared with the ravages of age and worn-out body parts. He has dreamed up about 300 all over the world, and his Gulfstream jet logged in more than 500 hours last year alone, taking him to distant shores in places like China and South America.
These days, Nicklaus no longer bothers testing himself out even on the Champions Tour, the home of golf ‘s senior citizens. For him, golf was about challenge and competition. It was about winning. Once his ability to compete with the best disappeared, he largely stopped playing.