Nicklaus says equipment gives older players a fighting chance

Jack Nicklaus won his sixth Green Jacket 25 years ago

Jack Nicklaus rarely misses an opportunity to talk about golf equipment, particularly when it concerns today’s high tech tools versus clubs of say, 25 years ago when he won his sixth Masters.  The Golden Bear, remember, was 46 when he won in ’86 – an almost unheard age for a major champion in those day.

These days, however, nobody blinks twice when it’s suggested that 48-year-old Vijay Singh or 51-year-old Fred Couples has a chance to seriously contend for the Green Jacket.

“To think Vijay couldn’t be in contention is silly. Freddie Couples is 51 and can certainly play well here at any time,’’ Nicklaus said this week at Augusta National Golf Club.

Nicklaus believes it’s easier for the old guard to compete today than a couple decades ago.

“The only reason I say that is because equipment has allowed guys to extend their year,’’ Nicklaus said. “Equipment allowed me to extend my career. Even though I played a wood driver here in ’86 and essentially the same irons I’m playing now – I’m too stubborn to change – but the golf ball goes so much farther today. The ability for an older player to not worry about the distance of the golf course is not as significant as it was then.’’

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