Jack Nicklaus proud to see his own S. Korean course host Presidents Cup

October 7, 2015
Jack Nicklaus, the designer of Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, speaks during a news conference ahead of the Presidents Cup golf tournament at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon, South Korea, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Woohae Cho)

Jack Nicklaus, the designer of Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, speaks during a news conference ahead of the Presidents Cup golf tournament at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon, South Korea, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Woohae Cho)

INCHEON (Yonhap) — Jack Nicklaus, one of the greatest golfers ever who’s also put together an impressive resume in course designing, said Wednesday he was “proud” to see a South Korean venue bearing his name host the Presidents Cup this week.

“It’s a nice little golf course and I am proud of it,” Nicklaus said, as Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon, west of Seoul, readies to host the biennial match play competition starting Thursday. “I think the players will enjoy playing it. I went out this morning and the golf course is in fantastic condition. The greens are perfect.”

The par-72, 7,380-yard layout has been hailed by the players this week for being in tip-top shape. Some have called it “wide open” but with undulating, tricky greens that will trouble them if they don’t place balls on the right spots.

Nicklaus, who has won a record 18 professional majors, predicted that putting will be more crucial than driving this week, adding that he takes particular pride in how the greens have turned out.

“We felt like there was going to be a fair amount of play here, so we wanted to get the greens large enough to be able to handle the play,” he said. “So when you do large greens, you have to put some movement in them. We did put some movement in them, probably more than we should to start with, but we’ve come back and worked on that. I think that the golf course has great pin placements on every green, and that gives a different feel to every hole, which is what we tried to accomplish.”

The course underwent some changes prior to the Presidents Cup, adding bunkers and growing rough. Asked why he felt compelled to make changes, Nicklaus deadpanned, “Because I made it too tough to start with.”

“I think a lot of times, all designers go through cycles of when they do different things,” he went on with a smile. “I guess I was in my bumpy cycle when we started this. I’m in my more ‘peaceful, love golfer’ cycle right now.”

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