By Bret Baier
As Spring is now officially in the air and the azaleas are in full bloom at Augusta National during this Masters week, it’s worth spending a few moments to watch and listen to a great speech about an amazing golfer. Jack Nicklaus Jr., the son of the golfing great, gave a speech March 24th when his father received the Congressional Gold Medal. While this speech IS about golf and it IS a tribute to the best in the sport, at its heart – it’s a speech from a son to his father… a speech worth listening to… from a family that is clearly engaged in FAMILY. There is a great description of Jack Nicklaus’ historic 1986 win at the Masters – Jack Jr. was on his father’s bag that day. The final nine holes of that tournament will stay with ME forever. I was there that day in the crowd at Augusta – a high school golfer from Atlanta with goosebumps watching a 46 year old legend win again on golf’s biggest stage – Jack Nicklaus’ 6th green jacket. I have since watched that ‘86 Masters tournament several times – on an old VHS tape I had (remember that format). Listening to it from Jack Jr.’s speech – gives it new life. I was out of the country when Nicklaus was awarded this medal on Capitol Hill. I just recently watched the ceremony in full. Congratulations Jack and Jack Jr.!
Full disclosure – I am a HUGE Jack Nicklaus fan. I essentially learned to play golf by reading and then repeatedly watching “Golf My Way” (Again with a VHS tape). And even today, on the wall of my office on Capitol Hill, you can find a Nicklaus signed Augusta National scorecard from 1986 – and a signed picture of the Golden Bear and Arnold Palmer. For me, he was and still is THE BEST EVER. So here’s hoping for some of that Augusta National magic this week. It’s moments like 1986 that create a whole new generation of golf addicts – like me.
Here is a link to Jack Nicklaus Jr.'s speech--