Nick Rodger: Support for Donald Trump by Jack Nicklaus scratches the portrait of the Golden Bear

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NICK RODGERRESS

I got a call from a London area code just as I sat down to start writing these weekly reflections-a process that starts with purposeful, urgent momentum but degenerates rapidly into a farcical palaver that leaves me hunched over my laptop and contorted like Quasimodo having a tortured conversation with a house mouse.

On the other hand, a very friendly woman quickly told me that “Hello?” After I responded with a curious “the parish nurse is on her way.” It was obviously a wrong number, so what did your correspondent do instead of simply informing her that she may have dialed a wrong digit or two?

That’s right, I inexplicably launched into an unnecessary, confounding ramble about medical assistance, which I gratefully embrace “as I’m having a hell of a time writing my golf column at the moment” while studiously ignoring the fact that some poor soul really needs those services in the Haringey and Islington Health Authority area.

“yes, I think you’ve dialed the wrong number”Yes, I think you’ve dialed the wrong number.

“Doreen, I’ve just been listening to the ramblings of a rather absurd man.”Doreen, I was just listening to a rather absurd man’s ramblings.

That all takes us directly to President Trump. It’s been a crazy year all over the world already, but the U.S. election has brought a little more uncertainty to the situation.

The enthusiastic endorsement of Trump by beloved golden oldie Jack Nicklaus sent broad portions of golf fans into dewy-eyed consternation amid all the political hustle and posturing on the other side of the Atlantic.

I’m sure that Nicklaus’ face would be pixelated if you play a replay of his ’86 Masters victory, so as not to offend viewers who are now suddenly questioning their adoration.

“more diverse than any president I’ve ever seen”more diverse than any president I’ve ever seen”bring the American dream to many families across the country.”bring the American dream to many families across the nation.

Four extra years? With all the partisan, polarizing tensions presently in the U.S., an outcry should have accompanied Jack’s post. It’s not shocking that this will be the vote of an incredibly rich, 80-year-old man who certainly appreciated Trump’s hospitality and savoured his tax cuts.

Nicklaus is perfectly free to help whoever he wishes, but the surprise adulation of his message was very disappointing in this extremely divisive, acrimonious campaign and caused a sigh to be heaved by a legion of admirers who grew up with his inspirational successes, exciting triumphs, dignified losses and unique brand of American grace.

And as for the wider golf impact? Well, the gushing, self-serving, public endorsement of the crazed Trump by perhaps the greatest representative of golf has simply added another dent to its reputational damage to a game that has been burdened for years with the self-imposed shackles of racism, sexism and elitism.

Given that the last few years have spent numerous professional tours and governing bodies seeking to separate themselves from Trump – the R&A, for instance, has kicked the Trump-owned Turnberry into the grass so much that the Open is more likely to be held at the Budhill & Springboig Allotments – it would have been best if Jack had stayed on the whole issue as silent as Amen Corner.

In all its unedifying beauty, the book “Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump” documents the questionable duplicity of the new U.S. president on the golf course. The foot wedge here, the blatant absurdity of the gimme chip, the lies everywhere about his lies? “Caddies got so used to seeing him kick his ball back into the fairway that they nicknamed him Pele,”Caddies got so used to seeing him kick his ball back into the fairway that they nicknamed him Pele.

As its bedrock, this great game has honour and dignity. They are precious ideals that Trump has lost. Nicklaus clearly sees, however, that

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