Nicklaus, speaking with USA Today Monday at a charity golf tournament, was disconsolate when discussing the prospects of Woods' future in the wake of a DUI arrest and another back surgery.
"He'll have a very hard time," Nicklaus said. "I don't know whether Tiger will play much golf anymore."
But Nicklaus was cautiously hopeful, saying he wanted Woods to get his life "straightened out."
"Whether he plays golf or not, I think he's got an awful lot to offer the youth of the country and the game itself," Nicklaus said. "Tiger's a good kid, he cares about people, and we'll just see what happens."