The ‘bucket list’ golf workout that helped Jack Nicklaus lose 20 lbs

When Jack Nicklaus decided it was time to shed some weight, he adopted a new diet and a routine of running on the golf course.

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The 1969 Ryder Cup was a turning point for Jack Nicklaus.

A rookie on the U.S. team, Jack played 18 holes on Thursday and Friday, then 36 holes of singles on Saturday (as was the format back then). He was just 29 years-old, but admitted that was “the first time in my life I got tired.”

Jack’s speed golf routine features in a new book

Always a strong and burly athlete, Jack decided after that it was time to trim some of the fat. He adopted the Weight Watchers diet of the time, along with a unique fitness regimen that earned a spot in Greg Presto’s newly-released book: “The Workout Bucket List” (which you can buy for yourself right here).

To work up a sweat, the 18-time major champ would grab “four or five clubs” — usually a driver, two irons, and a putter — and run around the course during the offseason.

We know it today as Speedgolf. Eighteen holes will equate to about five miles, and take about an hour. It quickly helped Jack lose more than 20 pounds and increased his on-course stamina along the way, rendering his tiredness issues a thing of the past.

Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees the brand’s game improvement content spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.