ESPN is reporting that legendary golf instructor Jim Flick, whose clients included Tom Lehman and Jack Nicklaus upon joining the Champions Tour, died Monday of pancreatic cancer. He was 82.
Flick’s family confirmed the sad news and released the following statement after Jim’s passing:
“For all the work Flick did with accomplished players, he said often that the most rewarding of all his students were juniors. Though he lived to teach, Flick himself never stopped learning, and one of the things the game taught him, he said last week, was that golf is not about searching for the perfect swing or working at golf – it’s about playing golf.”
Born in Bedford, Indiana, Flick began playing the game of golf at age 10. He attended Wake Forest on a basketball scholarship and roomed six months of his sophomore year with Arnold Palmer, who was a junior at the time. Flick turned pro after he graduated in 1952 and tried tournament golf until realizing his career was in teaching.
Over the course of his more than 50 years as a golf instructor, Flick taught the sport in 23 countries and directed programs such as Golf Digest’s Schools, ESPN Golf Schools, and Nicklaus-Flick Golf Schools, which Jim co-founded with the Golden Bear in 1991.
He also was director of instruction at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale for 20 years and penned multiple books on golf instruction including Jack Nicklaus, Simply the Best.
For his efforts, Flick was named PGA Teacher of the Year in 1988, and he was inducted into the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame and the Southern Ohio PGA Hall of Fame in 2002. Golf World magazine also honored him as one of the top 10 teachers of the 20th century.
After news of Flick’s death was made public, swarms of golfers took to Twitter to offer their condolences.
Rickie Fowler, the number one ranked amateur golfer in 2008, wrote:
RIP Jim Flick…the game lost a great guy today…he will forever be remembered for the positive impact he has had on so many!! #Legend
— Rickie Fowler (@RickieFowlerPGA) November 6, 2012
Top-ranked women’s golfer Paula Creamer added:
Flick is survived by his wife, Geri, and five children. Funeral arrangement were pending at the time of this posting.
via USA Today