Jack Nicklaus Golf






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Jack Nicklaus Golf

Jack Nicklaus Golf (/ˈnɪkləsˌ ˈnɪkəl-/; born January 21, 1940), nicknamed The Golden Bear, is a retired American professional golfer and golf course designer.[2] He is widely considered to be either the greatest or one of the greatest golfers of all time.[3][4][5][6] He won 117 professional tournaments in his career. Over a quarter-century, he won a record 18 major championships, three more than second-placed Tiger Woods.[7] Nicklaus focused on the major championships—the Masters TournamentU.S. OpenOpen Championship and PGA Championship—and played a selective schedule of regular PGA Tour events. He competed in 164 major tournaments, more than any other player, and finished with 73 PGA Tour victories, third behind Sam Snead (82) and Woods (82).

Nicklaus won the U.S. Amateur in 1959 and 1961 and finished second in the 1960 U.S. Open, two shots behind Arnold Palmer. Nicklaus turned professional at age 21 in 1961. He earned his first professional victory at the 1962 U.S. Open, defeating Palmer by three shots in a next-day 18-hole playoff and launching a rivalry between the golf superstars. In 1966, Nicklaus became the first player to win the Masters Tournament two years running; he also won The Open Championship, becoming at age 26 the youngest player to win all four golf majors.[8] He won another Open Championship in 1970.[8]

Between 1971 and 1980, he won nine more major championships, overtook Bobby Jones‘s record of 13 majors, and became the first player to complete double and triple career grand slams. He won the 1986 Masters, his 18th and final major championship at age 46, the tournament’s oldest winner. Nicklaus joined the Senior PGA Tour (now known as the PGA Tour Champions) when he became eligible in January 1990, and by April 1996 had won 10 tournaments, including eight major championships despite playing a very limited schedule. He continued to play at least some of the four regular Tour majors until 2005 when he made his final appearances at the Masters Tournament and The Open Championship.

Today, Nicklaus heads Nicklaus Design, one of the world’s largest golf course design and construction companies. Nicklaus runs an event on the PGA Tour, the Memorial Tournament, named after the annual honoring it bestows to individuals associated with the game of golf. Nicklaus’s books vary from instructional to autobiographical, with his Golf My Way considered one of the best instructional golf books of all time; the video of the same name is the best-selling golf instructional to date.

Early life and amateur golf pursuits

Nicklaus was born on January 21, 1940, in Columbus, Ohio and grew up in the suburb of Upper Arlington. He is of German descent, the son of Helen (Schoener) and Charlie Nicklaus, a pharmacist who ran several businesses named Nicklaus Drug Store.[9] Charlie was a skilled all-round athlete who had played football for the Ohio State Buckeyes and had gone on to play semi-professional football under an assumed name for the Portsmouth Spartans (who later became the NFL‘s Detroit Lions). Charlie had also been a scratch golfer and local tennis champion in his youth.[10][11] Charlie Nicklaus died of pancreatic cancer at age fifty six.[12]

Nicklaus attended Upper Arlington High School, whose nickname and mascot are coincidentally the Golden Bears. In Nicklaus’s senior year, he was an honorable mention All-Ohio selection in basketball as a shooting guard, and he received some recruiting interest from college basketball programs, including Ohio State. During his youth, he also competed successfully in football, baseball, tennis, and track and field.[10][13]

Nicklaus took up golf at the age of 10, scoring a 51 at Scioto Country Club for his first nine holes ever played. Charlie Nicklaus had joined Scioto that same year, returning to golf to help heal a volleyball injury. He was coached at Scioto by club pro Jack Grout, a Texas-developed contemporary of golf greats Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan; Grout had played quite successfully on the PGA Tour and would become Nicklaus’s lifelong golf instructor.[10] Nicklaus overcame a mild case of polio as a 13-year-old.[14]

Nicklaus won the first of five straight[15] Ohio State Junior titles at the age of 12. At 13, he broke 70 at Scioto Country Club for the first time, and became that year’s youngest qualifier into the U.S. Junior Amateur, where he survived three match-play rounds. He had earned a handicap of +3 at age 13, the lowest in the Columbus area.[10][11] Nicklaus won the Tri-State High School Championship (Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana) at the age of 14 with a round of 68, and also recorded his first hole-in-one in tournament play the same year. At 15, Nicklaus shot a 66 at Scioto Country Club, which was the amateur course record, and qualified for his first U.S. Amateur. He won the Ohio Open in 1956 at age 16, highlighted by a phenomenal third round of 64, competing against professionals. In all, Nicklaus won 27 events in the Ohio area from age 10 to age 17.

In 1957, Nicklaus won the International Jaycee Junior Golf Tournament, having lost the previous year in a playoff. Nicklaus also competed in his first of 44 consecutive U.S. Opens that year, but missed the cut. In 1958 at age 18, he competed in his first PGA Tour event, the Rubber City Open, at Akron, Ohio, tying for 12th place after being just one out of the lead at the 36-hole mark,[16] and made the cut in the U.S. Open, tying for 41st place. Nicklaus also won two Trans-Mississippi Amateurs – in 1958 at Prairie Dunes Country Club and 1959 at Woodhill Country Club, with final match victories of 9 & 8 and 3 & 2, respectively. Also in 1959, Nicklaus won the North and South Amateur at Pinehurst, North Carolina and competed in three additional PGA Tour events, with his best finish being another 12th place showing at the Buick Open.

While attending Ohio State, he won the U.S. Amateur twice (1959, 1961), and an NCAA Championship (1961). In the 1959 U.S. Amateur, Nicklaus defeated two-time winner and defending champion Charles Coe 1-up in the final 36-hole match when he birdied the 18th hole.[17] This was significant not only because of Coe’s proven ability as a player, but also because Nicklaus became the then-youngest champion in the modern era, second only to Robert A. Gardner, who won in 1909. In 1961, Nicklaus became the first player to win the individual title at the NCAA Championship and the U.S. Amateur in the same year. He was followed by Phil Mickelson (1990), Tiger Woods (1996), Ryan Moore (2004), and Bryson DeChambeau (2015). Nicklaus also won the NCAA Big Ten Conference Championship that year with a 72-hole aggregate of 283, while earlier claiming the Western Amateur in New Orleans. In his second and last U.S. Amateur win in 1961, Nicklaus convincingly defeated Dudley Wysong 8 & 6 at Pebble Beach in the 36-hole championship match. For the week, Nicklaus was 20 strokes under par, including 34 birdies and two eagles.

At the 1960 U.S. Open, twenty-year-old Nicklaus shot a two-under-par 282, finishing in second place two strokes behind winner Arnold Palmer. This score remained the lowest ever by an amateur in the U.S. Open, until Viktor Hovland beat the record in 2019. Nicklaus played the final 36 holes with Ben Hogan, who later remarked that he had just played 36 holes with a kid who should have won by 10 shots. During the final 36 holes, Nicklaus was two-under-par; he had shot every round of the tournament at or below par and was the only entrant to do so. Nicklaus had led by two shots with six holes to play. In 1960, Nicklaus also tied for 13th in the Masters Tournament. He tied for fourth in the 1961 U.S. Open, three shots behind champion Gene Littler, having played the final 54 holes one under par. Each of these three major championship finishes designated Nicklaus as low amateur. However, Nicklaus’s one-under-par 287 tied for seventh in the 1961 Masters Tournament, and was second that year only to Charles Coe‘s low amateur placing, when he tied for second with Arnold Palmer at seven-under-par 281, one shot behind champion Gary Player.[citation needed]

Nicklaus represented the United States against Great Britain and Ireland on winning Walker Cup teams in both 1959 and 1961, decisively winning both of his matches in each contest. On the 1959 trip to Britain, he also made his only attempt at the British Amateur, the world’s oldest international amateur event, at Royal St George’s Golf Club, losing 4 & 3 in the quarterfinal round to fellow-American, Bill Hyndman.[10][18] He was also a member of the victorious 1960 U.S. Eisenhower Trophy team, winning the unofficial individual title by 13 shots over teammate Deane Beman with a four-round score of 269, a record which still stands; this score was 18 shots lower than Ben Hogan‘s earlier U.S. Open aggregate of 287 at the same site (which had, however, been scored under much tougher conditions).[10][19] For three straight years (1959–1961), Nicklaus was named the world’s top amateur golfer by Golf Digest magazine.

This work © 2023 by Wikipedia is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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