Why Ali is the greatest and why Jack Nicklaus should shut up!

In a week when the most political sportsman of all time passed away we had the greatest in our game weighing in on politics.

Jack Nicklaus is 76-years old and by major wins is the greatest golfer of all time.

He’s respected and adored by nearly all who have touched a club and it’s almost sacrilege to say a bad word about either him or his two pals Arnold Palmer and Gary Player

They hit the ceremonial tee shots at Augusta every year to start the season and saying anything about them is the equivalent of tripping up your nan or punching your grandad... you just don’t do it!

Don't slag off your Grandad

But where Muhammad Ali’s decision and bravery to stand up against his own government and not fight in Vietnam will be heralded as one of the most powerful political moves by a sportsman of all time and a wholly positive one… the same might not be said for the Golden Bear who endorsed Donald Trump this week.

"What Donald has done ... he's turning America upside down. He's awakening the country.

"I like the guy. He's a good man. And certainly — if he's the one that's on the ticket, I'll be voting for him."

Now everyone gets a vote and good luck to them but this is Donald Trump we are talking about. This is golf we are talking about. And this is one of its most famous ever players.

We’ve all heard about Trump’s plans to build a giant wall to keep Mexico’s rapists out and how he’ll ban all Muslims from entering the country and whatever happens there happens. Up to the American people.

But when golf’s participation is struggling, with its image a huge problem, the last thing it needs is this.

When people think golf is a game for rich, old white men who are probably sexist and racist, the last thing we need is its most successful player who is a rich, old white man who’s possibly sexist and racist voting for a rich, old white man who is definitely sexist and racist.

It just looks shit.

Nicklaus designed the recently opened Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in New York City so it’s no surprise he is sticking up for his mate and employer but someone who has been in golf so long should know to keep these things to himself, rather than tarnish the game some more and court controversy.

Ali had his faults, like we all do, but he touched millions and inspired so many in a hugely positive way, making massive social changes worldwide along the way.

Nicklaus on the other hand, whether he realises it or not, may well be inspiring many…

Inspiring them to not bother picking up a golf club, because it’s just rich, old, sexist and racist white men. Of course we know it isn’t but external perception is everything.

Maybe when asked about Trump Nicklaus should have remembered the words of the greatest athlete of all time.

“Silence is golden when you can't think of a good answer.”

I'm the Managing Editor at The Club. I like putting and Rioja. I dislike my low slice.