Nicklaus’ Proposed Florida Design Monopoly Killed 0

(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) March 14, 2011 — Opinion: Step away from the drafting table and put the pencil down — slowly. That means you, Jack Nicklaus.

That was essentially the public reaction when word got out that two Florida state legislators had introduced a bill to give Nicklaus exclusive rights to design the “Jack Nicklaus Golf Trail” in Florida state parks.

A la the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama, the Nicklaus trail would have required Florida parks officials to “coordinate with Jack Nicklaus” to identify parks suitable for golf courses.

Now, Jack Nicklaus has designed some nice golf courses — 300 in fact, 63 of which are on various “top 100” lists. But does Florida need more golf courses? Does it need more condos? More hotels?

Would vacationing golfers choose to torment themselves with Nicklaus’ difficult designs when they could choose to have fun doing something else — like yanking out their fingernails with pliers?

Before the idea was killed, the Orlando Sentinel in an editorial called the proposal “Worst. Idea. Ever.” More.

— Dan Vukelich

Elsewhere …

Reclaimed water: A study of reclaimed water use in Spain found that courses that use it tend to over-irrigate, in the belief that salinity needs to be flushed from the soil. More.

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Dan Vukelich, former editor of ABQ Free Press and Sun Country Golf magazine, is editor of He's a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and the Golf Travel Writers of America. Reach him at