'The 1986 Masters - How Jack Nicklaus Roared Back To Win' by John Boyette

By: Dr. John Wagner


For fans of Jack Nicklaus, of which I am one, this book is a must-buy. As presented by John Boyette, it's also really fun to read.

Rarely do I enjoy wading through a book's introduction, but Boyette's is a good place to start as we learn how he got into writing about golf. The author then spends about 50 pages relating personal stories about Nicklaus and the golf world, which are a pleasure to read. Some of this section deals with Nicklaus's family and how they all get along so well, which is also interesting.

There are some nice quotes by Jack involving how he approached and handled tournaments. I savored these insights, especially what he did after big events.

The chapter that covers how most of Nicklaus's family, his sister and friends showed up for the '86 Masters seems now almost like it was destiny, especially the part about his mother and how he and his friends played practical jokes on each other during the tournament. Before reading this it was hard for me to visualize Jack Nicklaus pulling practical jokes, but that's indeed what golf's "Golden Bear" did.

Just prior to the '86 Masters, often considered the greatest win in golf history as it was Nicklaus's 18th and final major title and he had to shoot a magical 65 in the final round that included an even more magical 30 on the back nine, sportswriter Tom McCollister of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote that "Nicklaus is gone, done. He just doesn't have the game anymore. It's rusted from lack of use. He's 46 and nobody that old wins the Masters."

Here you'll find Jack's post-tournament response to that article, which Nicklaus posted on the refrigerator in the house he was renting and gave him extra incentive during the '86 Masters. You'll just have to read the book to find out what Nicklaus said later about McCollister's article.

Even though Boyette covers every single shot by Nicklaus in the final round, the book is a great read. Considering that the pictures are also nicely done, I greatly enjoyed this book, which is perfectly timed for the 2011 Masters.

"The 1986 Masters - How Jack Nicklaus Roared Back To Win," by John Boyette, Globe Pequot Press, $24.95, 175 pages, ISBN 978-0-7627-7758-7.

Dr. John Wagner has been a Seattle dentist for 37 years. He's been published in several dental journals as well as had several articles appear in the turf magazine for Pacific Northwest golf course superintendents. John has served as a guest lecturer at the University of Washington Business School for several years and as a guest lecturer for several dental societies. Dr. Wagner is the co-designer (with Steve Shea of the Berger Partnership) of a golf course in Japan that cost over $120 million and was built by Wadsworth Golf Construction. He's a Past President of the Washington State Golf Association and a Trustee of the Pacific Coast Golf Association. A 7 handicap, John is currently a member of the USGA Green Section and a Director of the WSGA.


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