“But everybody has their own personality. That’s not a fault. It’s not a criticism. It just is what it is.”
So what kind of golf talk is Woods missing out on?
Nicklaus spoke mainly about taking risks only when the percentages and the situation called for it, and realize that a shot into the middle of just about any green at Augusta National will leave a reasonable chance at birdie.
He still thinks about the 3-wood he hit into the water on the 15th hole that cost him in the final round of the 1971 Masters.
“One shot shouldn’t be a shot that puts you out of the tournament,” Nicklaus said. “I needed to make 4. I didn’t need to make 3. I should have laid the ball up. Why put yourself out of the tournament on one shot? That’s the thing I stress.
“I wouldn’t take risks unless it was necessary to take risks,” he said. “These guys that come to me and ask me about the tournament, basically what I tell them is there’s a half-dozen shots on this golf course (where) you can put yourself out of the tournament.”
He mentioned the tee shot on the par-5 second hole; the second shot into No. 11; the tee shot on the par-3 12th. The tee shot and the second shot on the par-3 13th; and the second shot on the par-5 15th.
“Think about what you’re doing on them,” Nicklaus said. “If you’ve got a 50-50 chance of doing it, certainly I wouldn’t be doing it. If you’ve got a 90-10 chance, think real hard about it, and try to make sure you eliminate the 10. It’s a golf course that when you make a mistake, it’s really difficult to make up for it.”