"I do a lot of humming out on the course. I tend to stay with one song, you know, the sort of song that sticks in your mind and you can't get it out. I find my whole game shifts and becomes involved. I shot a 66 to Moon River. You remember Georgy Girl, that great song, how does that line go, 'Why do all the fellows pass you by?' I did pretty good with that one. Once in Chicago, playing with George Archer and George Knudson, I changed it to Georgy Boy. I don't know what they made of it."
"What sort of a voice does this stuff come out in?" I asked.
"A flat monotone," Nicklaus said. "You remember Answer Me, My Love? Well, we won an awful lot on that one, too."
"What else works from the outside—like the songs?" I asked. "I mean, do you ever get advice from unexpected quarters?"
"You mean from the galleries? Oh, I get these letters. 'Jack, I was sitting at the 4th at Bermuda Dunes, and when you came through today I noticed your elbows were lower than they were yesterday.' That sort of thing. I once got a letter from a woman, with illustrations, all diagramed with arrows, that had 55 ways suggested as to how I could improve my game. Or a letter will come in, and the author will say very simply: I will fix your putter.' The best one I ever got was from someone who wrote in after I had played two real bad rounds. The message was: 'I know why you didn't make the cut. You snubbed me.' "
Someone at the table said: " Lawson Little tells that story about the 1940 Open—the playoff against Sarazen at Canterbury—and how this guy comes up to him on the 5th and asks if he inhales or exhales on the backswing. It's a miracle he took Sarazen after that, but he did."
"How much psyching goes on?" I asked. "Are there players who try to unnerve their opponents?"
"There's not so much of that," Nicklaus said. "After all, there is so little match play these days. Your opponent is your golf course—he's the fellow you're struggling against. Of course, on a practice round players will have fun with each other—give each other what are called 'Dutch Harrisons.' "
"What are those?" I asked.