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March 14th, 2012

Who Was Jack Grout?

By Lee Brower

Jack Grout was an American professional golfer from 1931 to 1953. He began his golf career in 1918 as a caddie at the Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club. In 1927, he was named the golf professional at Edgemere Country Club in Oklahoma City. Just one day after the stock market collapsed in 1929, he was elected to membership in the PGA, the Professional Golfers of America. In 1930 he and his older brother Dick moved from Oklahoma City to Fort Worth, TX. There, he began working with his brother as the assistant professional at Glen Garden Country Club.

Jack Grout ranked #25 with $2,389 in official PGA Tour money in 1941. His best finish came in the St Augustine Professional-Amateur where he and his partner placed second. In 1942, he again ranked #25 on the PGA Tour in official money. In 1943, according to PGA Tour Player Rankings, he was ranked #18. By 1950, Grout was teaching golf at Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio. He completed his playing career in 1956 and then devoted his time to teaching golf in Ohio in the summer and Florida in the winter. As a teaching professional, Grout developed a system based upon three principles: keeping the head still, maintaining balance through proper footwork, and striving for maximum extension of the arms during the swing. Grout pioneered a way of playing and teaching the modern game of golf based upon developing maximum distance in shot making.

Jack Grout passed away in 1989.

To those who knew him, Jack Grout was a remarkable, extraordinary professional. Certainly it wasn’t his trophies or winnings that made him remarkable. So what was it that made him so extraordinary?

Jack Grout is best known as the ‘first and only’ golf teacher of Jack Nicklaus.

“Grout and Nicklaus worked together as coach and student from the time Nicklaus began golf in 1950. They developed a unique arrangement where Nicklaus would visit Grout at the start of each new season to review fundamentals, virtually from scratch. Nicklaus would consult Grout periodically for tune-ups and minor modifications, away from the Tour, if he was struggling for form, but Nicklaus primarily stayed with the knowledge he acquired with Grout. Grout made annual visits to the Masters, U.S. Open and PGA Championship, but seldom instructed Nicklaus at major tournament sites. Grout believed in self-sufficiency, that a golfer had to be in charge of his own swing. His conviction was that a golfer could achieve his full potential only by being self-reliant.” – Wikipedia 5-13-12

As you may know, Jack Nicklaus is widely regarded as the greatest golfer of all time.

What does the story of Jack Grout and Jack Nicklaus have in common with Empowered Wealth? Three things stand out:

  • Most truly great professionals work with a coach;
  • Working within a system and reviewing the fundamentals are important to stay on track;
  • Principles form the basis of a sound system.

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