124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Loop

Nicholson and the Rules

December 04, 2007

Sometimes I get so mad at myself it's close to the assassination level. Then I get in the car and think, Why ruin other people's golf with your rotten, disgraceful attitude? __Jack Nicholson


You guys are sticklers for the rules. Besides correcting us when we get rules questions wrong, you often object to rules-violators whom we cover. Latest example: Jack Nicholson, who espoused these rules of play:


Anthony Abilo of Madison, N.J., can't abide our publicizing Jack's rules.

Your magazine should not be in the business of glorifying golfers who cheat when calculating their handicaps. According to the article, Nicholson has a 12.5â¿¿I am a struggling 27 handicap who always plays by the rules and would never think of doing anything dishonest on the golf course. It is an insult to the integrity of the game that Jack can boast a 12.5 handicap given his set of "rules".

Anthony, in my experience there are two types of handicap manipulators: those who try to keep their handicaps low and those who try to keep them high. Beware of both; the first as a partner, the second as an opponent. But in Jack's case, I think he's just trying to keep his blood pressure low. Though his rules don't work for me or you, being the upstanding rules citizens that we are, at least he's having fun. I suspect the Lakeside buddies who compete against him adjust for his "rules."

--Bob Carney

(Photo: Nigel Parry)