Jack Nicklaus, Six-Time Masters Champion, Had Some Issues Proving His Identity At This Year’s Tourney
Even winning the Masters Golf Tournament six times didn’t prevent golfing legend Jack Nicklaus from being stopped by security as he made his way into the famed Augusta National golf course facility.
On Tuesday night, the former number-one golfer was stopped and asked to show his ID by security as he made his way down Magnolia Lane to the traditional Champions’ Dinner.
A photo was snapped and video captured of perhaps the most famous Masters champion trying to pass through the scrutiny of guards for the dinner hosted by last year’s champion, Jordan Spieth.
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) April 6, 2016
The “Golden Bear” first spoke with a sheriff, who quickly waved him in and chatted him up about the likely menu for that evening, which turned out to be Texas barbecue. A second security guard needed a few moments before realizing who was in the car.
ESPN reports that the beloved 76-year-old champion raised his badge to present it to the man working the gate.
Nicklaus even posted a video of the encounter with the guard on his Facebook page, and you can hear the clueless guard asking to see his ID.
“Yes sir, I need to scan it.”
A surprised Nicklaus replied, “Mine?”
After replying affirmatively, the guard reached over to grab Nicklaus badge before realizing who he was accosting.
— PGA.COM (@PGAcom) April 6, 2016
Needless to say, the tone of the conversation quickly changed after the guard’s realization.
“Oh, how you doing?” the security guard quickly asked as the realization came over him.
The poor guy apologized to Nicklaus, and it’s pretty obvious on the video that he never had any intention of dissing the 18-time major champion.
— Total Frat Move (@totalfratmove) April 6, 2016
Nicklaus ended the encounter acknowledging that the young man was simply doing his job and insinuated that there were no hard feelings.
But that was not the end of Nicklaus’ encounters with officials. At a third checkpoint, another sheriff initially had trouble recognizing the Master but quickly changed his tune and told Jack that he could go anywhere he pleased.
Perhaps Jack Nicklaus should have worn one of his green jackets to avoid the confusion!
Meanwhile, the legend seems to have a solution for the ever-increasing problem that is plaguing the sport today — the distance a golf ball travels on the PGA Tour because of innovations to the clubs and the strength of younger golfers.
— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) April 6, 2016
Officials have been trying to find a solution to the problem over the past few years, according to Golf Digest. Even Augusta is considering lengthening the 13th hole. However, Jack seems to have the a better, more logical solution.
“Change the frigging golf ball.”
While his solution was greeted with some laughter on Wednesday, he said it really should be considered because lengthening courses is not really feasible.
“The golf ball goes so far, Augusta National is about the only place, the only golf course in the world that financially can afford to make the changes that they have to make to keep up with the golf ball. I don’t think anybody else could ever do it.”
— Golf Digest (@GolfDigest) April 6, 2016
Nicklaus noted that when he was playing, he was one of the stronger golfers out there and had quite the drive.
“I used to be called Big Jack. I’m really huge now, about 5’8?. But now the guys are all 6’3?, 6’4?, 6’5?, big long arms, and can hit it nine miles and they just take it right over the top of the trees.”
The Golden Bear has a good point.
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]