Jim Flick has Died

      

Jim Flick/ golfwrx.com                                Jim and Tom Lehman/jimflickgolf.com

Jim Flick, golf instructor to some of the great golfing stars, has died of pancreatic cancer at age 82, his family has announced.

Jim had been a golf instructor for more than fifty years, his last piece of advice was given to Tom Lehman on Sunday morning when he advised Tom to ” Be Tom Lehman.”  Tom then went out and won the Charles Schwab Cup Championship at Desert Mountain, on the Cochise Course. Jim was director of instruction at Desert Mountain, in Scottsdale for 20 years, and also wrote five books, his most recent publication was Jack Nicklaus, Simply the Best.

Jack Nicklaus consulted with Jim and they co-founded the Nicklaus-Flick Golf Schools, the association lasted from 1991 until 2003. Jim was awarded PGA Teacher of the Year, in 1988 and was also inducted into the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame. Golf World magazine selected Jim as one of the top ten teachers of the 20th Century.

Jim had recently said in an interview, with Golfweek magazine, that he was concerned that too many of the worlds golfers were trying to perfect the perfect swing, and stating that a mechanical or robotic swing is the worst thing you can do;

 ”We’ve let the game be taken over by science, golf is an art form. The golf swing is an athletic movement. Becoming mechanical and robotic is the worst thing you can do.”

Jim’s funeral arrangements have yet to be announced, I send my condolences to Jim’s wife, and his five children.

Dear Colleagues, Students and Friends:

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.

Kindest regards,
Jim

Charles Schwab Cup Championship, Tom Lehman Triumphs

Two for Tom

Tom Lehman/ Chris Condon/PGA Tour

Triumphant Tom Lehman became the first ever back-to-back winner of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, with a final round of -5 under par 65 and a tournament total of -22 under par, six shots clear of his nearest rival. In doing so Tom also picked up the Charles Schwab Cup, the season long points race, coming into the tournament Bernhard Langer was leading that points race, that was until Tom blitzed the Desert Mountain Cochise Course. Tom’s spectacular performance included a 47 hole bogey free run from the back of the 1st round to the turn of the 4th and final round. Tom needed to win this tournament, to have a chance of winning the season long title race, he did, and admits this is a dream come true week;

There’s a lot of times in this world where you need to play well and you don’t. This is one of those weeks where I needed to and I did. All in all, it’s a bit of a dream-come-true week.”

Tom’s  longtime teacher and mentor Jim Flick is battling terminal pancreatic cancer, Tom spoke to Jim briefly before the last round on Sunday. Jim had some special words of wisdom for him;

 “Be Tom Lehman.”

Tom recalled the many times he and Jim had spent time together on the driving range at the Renegade Course at Desert Mountain;

“We probably spent half an hour just back there hitting shots, those are the kind of things you think about. But the more I thought about that, the more teary-eyed I would get. I decided I can’t play this round of golf with tears in my eyes. I have to wait until business was finished. The last hole, I know that he was probably watching today. I felt quite certain 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, I wanted to make that putt.”

When it was all over and Tom had secured victory, he had a few moments alone with his head pushed deeply into his white Taylot-Made hat, before being surrounded by family and fellow professionals.

In the tournament, Jay Haas finished in second place alone, after a last round of -1 under par, and a total of -16 under par. Third spot was occupied by Jay Don Blake with his final round of -4 under par, and finishing total of -14 under par. The two Fred’s, Couples and Funk were tied in fourth, Couples suffering a last round of +3 over par 73, to dash any hopes he had of victory. Fred Funk had a better last round, -5 under par, but he never got going in the first round, slumping to +1 over par effort. Bernhard Langer was ruing his par round of 70 on the third day of play, it cost him victory here.