Jack Nicklaus told a radio station before last night’s Champions Dinner that he was looking forward to catching up with Tiger Woods to find out what’s going on concerning the former world No.1’s health.
During a conversation on the Dan Patrick Show, during which he talked about his own training routine in his early days, Nicklaus said he still thinks Tiger has the ability to surpass his haul of 18 majors – but is aware he doesn’t have the physical capabilities to do so.
“Records are made to be broken,” said Nicklaus during the 20-minute chat. “If someone did better than me I’d want to be there and shake their hand.
“I still think Tiger has the ability to do so, I just don’t know physically whether he’s going to be able to come back and do it.
“I haven’t talk to him for a couple of months. I usually sit next to him at the Champions Dinner and talk.”
Nicklaus, 77, who was on the show to help promote a three-part biopic film, called Jack, to be shown on Golf Channel on Sunday night, also touched on his weight training in his early career, which was noticeably different to that of today’s modern professionals.
“I don’t think you can be too toned in anything,” he said. “Golf is a game of long loose muscles, and you need to be as supple as you can. I was never into having tight, strong muscles as I think that limited your ability to have a loose swing, which is what I think you need to have.
“I was always very careful with what I did with weights. I was pretty strong and most of my exercise involved playing other sports. I played in a basketball league ‘til I was 40, played a lot of tennis, skiing. I did a lot of things that benefited my body but I never did anything that tightened me up.”
Pressed about his relationship with Tiger, Nicklaus said he first saw Tiger hit balls when he was 15-years-old in Bel-Air, and thought he was “very impressive”.
“I followed his career as he grew,” he added. “Then he played at Augusta and I said then that this was a kid that was going to win a lot of Masters. Then I made the comment that he could win as many as Arnie and me combined, and I was being a little facetious, but at the time he was winning at a great rate and he could have. “Obviously he’s had his problems with his health and I feel sorry for him. He’s such a talented athlete. To have all the physical problems he has is a shame right now and I just hope he overcomes them.”