Legendary golf instructor, Jim Flick - the man who taught and helped Jack Nicklaus become one of golf's greats, has died of pancreatic cancer. He was 82. RIP, Jim.
Another of his students, Tom Lehman, who won the Charles Schwab Cup on the Champions Tour for the second consecutive year, paid tribute to his teacher and mentor in a post-round interview Sunday, hours before he died.
"The last hole, I know that he was probably watching today," Lehman said on Sunday, Nov. 4. "I felt quite certain that that was probably the last driver he was ever going to see me hit and I wanted to make it a good one. And the last 7-iron he will ever see me hit, and I wanted to make that a good one. And the last putt, and I wanted to make that putt. I didn't want to make it simply because I want to win by six. I wanted to make it for him."
Flick also was a tireless promoter of junior golf. One of his students was 17-year Beau Hossler, the Santa Margarita Catholic High standout who contended through three rounds of the 2012 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.
Flick was PGA Teacher of the Year in 1988, and he was inducted into the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame and the Southern Ohio PGA Hall of Fame in 2002. Golf World magazine selected him as one of the top 10 teachers of the 20th century.
When he announced his retirement on his web site he said:
“After teaching the game of golf for more than 50 years, the time has come for me to step away from the lesson tee.
My life as an instructor has given me more than I ever dared imagine when I took my first swing at a golf ball as a boy in Bedford, Indiana. Golf has taken me all over the world and introduced me to so many wonderful and remarkable people. I’ve been privileged to work and associate with some of the game’s greatest players, though I’ve gotten as much satisfaction helping an amateur straighten his or her slice.
Yet for as much as I’ve learned about golf during my decades teaching, it’s taught me even more. Because of that, I urge you to always be open to the life lessons the game has to offer. I guarantee that they’ll make you a smarter, more successful and more contented person.
One more thing: Although golf is a game of infinite subtlety and possibility, always remember that the door that leads to its inner secrets and rewards is marked fun.”