“The Big Three” – a moniker first assigned to Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer in the 1960’s due to their dominance in professional golf – has evolved into a trademark representing golf’s greatest legends. Below explore what made these three legends the greatest rivals and friends in golf and maybe even in sport.
“The thing that comes to mind about Arnold, Jack and me is that there was such a wonderful rivalry and competition amongst the three of us. When we competed against each other on the golf course we were like wild dogs, we wanted to win so badly. But when one of us won, the other two would put their hands out and say: “Well done, but I’ll get you next week.” It was a very healthy rivalry, based upon gentlemanly conduct.
Golf is a global game and we all felt it was our duty to promote the sport around the world, not just in our home countries. We got on aeroplanes and buzzed off to Japan, to Australia, to South Africa. We had some terrific matches and some wonderful memories, and today it is gratifying to hear people say we were not just thinking of ourselves, but the betterment of the game.
We are the best of friends, we respect each other, and we try to do more than just play golf. We tried to be global ambassadors for the game and to be role models for young people. I never saw Arnold or Jack behave badly. In all the time I played with them, I never saw either take a golf club and thump it on the ground in anger. That is something I have noticed with true stars. Very few of them have bad tempers. The three of us always felt we had a responsibility to be better than that.”
I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Jabu Mabuza. He was a man that I admired deeply and was a person who contributed a great deal to South Africa. I will miss him terribly and my love goes out to his family at this difficult time.
Seeing @garrick_higgo win his first PGA Tour event in only his second start has been one of the most enjoyable things for me to witness in my career. He is without a doubt the most humble, well mannered young man that you could wish to meet. Watch this space, big things to come!
As we await the #USOpen, I was reminded of when @b_dechambeau was practicing at night well after his round. His win is what’s remembered, but we should also remember that night before. I have much respect for that kind of hunger and I can’t wait to see who's victorious next week.
Jack, Arnie, Phil Rogers and myself at the 1963 @TheOpen Championship. Apparently the more time we spent together, the more we started to dress alike! Bob Charles defeated Phil in the playoff that year, with Jack finishing third. #TBT