“He Has to Make His Own Decisions”: Jack Nicklaus Once Spoke About the Reason Behind the Slow Down of His Son’s Golf Career

Published 01/24/2023, 1:14 PM EST

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Growing up in the shadow of a famous father can be very difficult for anyone. It takes a lot to establish your own identity and break away from the expectations that come with their name. But Gary Nicklaus, son of Jack Nicklaus, has proven himself to be a talented golfer in his own way, and has the potential to make a significant impact in the sport. Though his progress has been slow due to his several football injuries, his determination and passion for the sport have always been his driving forces. Jack has always been there for Gary, supporting him through all his ups and downs, being his pillar of support.

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Jack Nicklaus was a supportive father to Gary Nicklaus

Gary was a very promising golfer when he was young, and there was an uncanny resemblance between him and his father, Jack Nicklaus. An article in Vault SI back in 1985, spoke about what held up his progress in golf. Gary’s career slowed down due to several football injuries faced by him. In 1983, Gary went through an operation to repair a tendon in his right hand. It took some time for him to recover and get back on track, but his bad luck struck once more.

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Just a year later, the young Nicklaus dislocated his shoulder and had to go through another major surgery. With physical health taking a toll, anybody would get disheartened, and this is exactly what happened with him. And during that phase, he wanted to start playing football. Jack said, “He wants to play football.” Even after being the best golfer of his time, Jack had never imposed the sport on him.

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Jack had always given his children the liberty to make their own decisions. He said, “I’m not going to tell him not to play. He has to make his own decisions. I’ve concluded that the more I push Gary toward golf, the worse it will be.” Jack had always been an understanding parent, he never neglected the negative impact that his popularity and name had on his son. Jack even said, “My kids have a tough way to go. They’re given a lot, and that’s not always the best way. But it’s hard for me not to do that. Still, I don’t want to spoil their lives with money.” Clearly. Jack was not only an amazing golfer but also an amazing parent.

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What do you have to say about Jack Nicklaus’ parenting style? Write your thoughts in our comments section below.

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Written by:

Manisha Upadhyay

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Manisha is a Golf writer at EssentiallySports. A Philosophy graduate, she possesses a writing experience of over 2 years now. Having picked up on the sport for quite some time now, Manisha looks up to Tiger Woods and admires his fortitude and charisma.
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Edited by:

Manaal Siddiqui

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