A legend in the sport of golf has told of how the sport gave him the tools to compete against the best in the world and what it meant for him.
Key points:Golf legend Jim Clark was born on the Gold Coast, but spent the first four years of his life in England before returning to Australia in the 1960sGolfers from all over the world gathered in the English seaside town of Blackpool to watch and compete in the inaugural World Series of Golf.
Clark, who played for the West Australian Country Club from 1962 to 1968, says he was fascinated by the sport at a young age, and was fascinated with the challenges of getting to the top.
“I was a little bit of a whacko, I was a kid that thought it was a bit ridiculous, I thought it’s a bit of an illusion to get in,” he said.
Clark began training at the age of 12 and by the age 18 was playing golf for the first time.””
The sport was just something that I was interested in and something I could be a part of.”
Clark began training at the age of 12 and by the age 18 was playing golf for the first time.
“It was pretty much my whole life,” he told the ABC.
“When I was 18 years old, I started training at a golf course in England and I started playing golf.”
His father, Dave, a former Australian captain, had just finished a stint as a golf player in the UK and Clark was offered a place at the club.
“We had a big pool at the time,” he recalled.
“He was going to give me a place and I was going for a week and I ended up playing five rounds.”
But it was the first match he played against world number one Jack Nicklaus that changed his life.
“There was no question about it, Jack Nicklas, the greatest golfer of all time, was playing me,” he recounted.
“My dad was watching on and I remember Jack Nickles name being mentioned.”
That’s when I realised I had to get to the next level.
“The match in question was the 1973 Masters.
Clark had already beaten Nicklas on three previous occasions, and after Nicklas went on to win the tournament, Clark was given the task of defending his title.”
In the second round, he went on the attack and won the title,” he remembered.”
After that, I just kept playing.
“It was the challenge of defending the title that led Clark to take up golf again, this time at the Australian Open in 1976.
The first major of his career, it was another match against world record holder Jack Nickolas.
Clark played well, but his time at Australian Open was short-lived.”
One week, I lost my place at Australian and it was pretty obvious that it was time for me to move on,” he laughed.”
At that time, I’d played more than 200 games, and I’d just come back from my first major, and it seemed like the time was right to go back to the States.
“Clark moved to the United States, but in the meantime, his father was taking on the task to raise money for a cancer treatment.”
Dad was taking me out on a golfing trip to Florida,” he revealed.”
His friend, Bob Landon, and his wife, Barbara, had an engagement that weekend, so I was taking Dad out to Florida.
“He also found out about the World Series, which would become his first tournament.”
The only thing I knew about it was that it’s something that’s in the US, but it was something that was not really recognised in Australia.””
I didn’t realise that there were competitions going on in Australia.”
The only thing I knew about it was that it’s something that’s in the US, but it was something that was not really recognised in Australia.
“Clark would go on to become one of the biggest names in the game, winning a record 20 major titles in the span of 30 years, but he never felt that he had any regrets about his decision to play golf.”
A lot of the time, when you’re going through the ups and downs of life, you’re not really worried about things like money or fame, you just want to play the game that you love and enjoy yourself,” he explained.”
You want to have a good time and enjoy the time that you have.
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