In the world of golf, you won’t find a bigger name. And it tells you all you need to know that, even if you’re not at all familiar with the sport, you’ve probably heard his name before.
Jack Nicklaus is considered the “golfer’s golfer” — and might be the best to ever play the game on a professional level. Only Tiger Woods can get close to what Nicklaus has achieved. And though one of his records fell recently, according to PGA Tour.com, there are plenty more where that came from, when you take even a casual look at his legendary records:
73 PGA Tour victories
18 Major tournament victories
20 International victories
19 Additional victories
58 2nd Place finishes
Career Low round: 62
Now, he’s made an endorsement in the 2020 presidential race: President Donald Trump, whom you might know owns several golf courses. Also, if you’ve played a round or two of golf in your time, you may have seen Nicklaus’ name emblazoned on courses, too, nationally and internationally that meet his exacting standards.
Back in July, he took some criticism for insisting on shaking hands at the 18th tee with the winner of the Memorial tournament, which is held at Muirfield, one of his courses. According to the Sun, he said,
“I’m going to shake their hand.
I’m going to walk right out there and shake their hand.
If they don’t want to shake my hand, that’s fine.
Incidentally, I like shaking their hand too.
I think it’s a great tradition, but it’s as much fun for me as I hope it is for them.”
Much like the man himself, Nicklaus doesn’t hold back in his endorsement statement. And it’s a blunt rebuttal to anyone who might have implied, for over four years, that Trump’s tweets and strong personality disqualify him from holding high office.
He begins with the simple exclamation: “Get out and vote. I did!”
Get out and vote. I did! pic.twitter.com/IfQb3NeSO3
— Jack Nicklaus (@jacknicklaus) October 29, 2020
Then he writes:
“Through the years, I have been blessed to personally know several Presidents on both sides of the aisle. All were good people. All loved their country. And all believed in the American Dream.
I have had the privilege over the last 3½ years to get to know our current President a little more as his term has progressed. I have been very disappointed at what he’s had to put up with from many directions, but with that, I have seen a resolve and a determination to do the right thing for our country. He has delivered on his promises. He’s worked for the average person. In my opinion, he has been more diverse than any President I have seen and has tried to help people from all walks of life—equally.
I’m just a guy from Ohio and a Midwestern middle-class family, whose grandfathers both worked on the railroad. They gave their son—my father—the opportunity to pursue his education and his American Dream. I was taught strong family values and worked hard to pursue my own dreams—my own American dream. I also believe that Donald Trump’s policies will bring the American Dream to many families across the nation who are still trying to achieve it.
You might not like the way our President says or tweets some things—and trust me, I have told him that!—but I have learned to look past that and focus on what he’s tried to accomplish. This is not a personality contest; it’s about patriotism, policies and the people they impact. His love for America and its citizens, and putting his country first, has come through loud and clear. How he has said it has not been important to me. What has been important are his actions. Now, you have the opportunity to take action.
I know we are only a few days from Nov. 3 and Election Day, but I am certain many of you have not yet made up your minds.
But if we want to continue to have the opportunity to pursue the American Dream, and not evolve into a socialist America and have the government run your life, then I strongly recommend you consider Donald J. Trump for another 4 years. I certainly have and have already cast my vote for him!”
Pres. Trump reacted via Twitter:
Jack, this is a Great Honor. Thank you! https://t.co/60WWISm5hs
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 29, 2020
No surprise, but Nicklaus is no fair-weather friend to Trump — he enthusiastically endorsed the then-presumptive GOP nominee in 2016, too.