Jack Nicklaus


Born: January 21st, 1940 in Upper Arlington, Ohio
Nationality: American
Famous For: Being victorious in the U.S. Open four times and the PGA Championship five tives
Awards: PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, PGA Tour Player of the Year, Bob Jones Award, Payne Stewart Award, World Golf Hall of Fame

The name Jack Nicklaus brings many different things to mind: champion, businessmen, architect, family guy and statesmen are just a few adjectives that describe him. Nicknamed “The Golden Bear,” he is one of the dominant golf players of his era.

Early Years and Career

Jack Nicklaus was born in Columbus, Ohio on January 21st, 1940. His father, Charlie Nicklaus, was a pharmacist and an all-round athlete. Nicklaus went to school at Upper Arlington High School where he took interest in football, baseball and tennis. As a boy, Nicklaus took up the game of golf at the age of ten and once shot a 51 in nine holes. He was coached by club pro Jack Grout, who became Nicklaus’s lifelong golf instructor.

Improving rapidly, Jack Nicklaus became a child prodigy, winning numerous championships. At the age of twelve, he won the Ohio State Junior Championship. At thirteen, he became the qualifier for the youngest US Amateur, and at sixteen he won the Ohio State Open against a field of top professionals and amateurs from the state. While attending Ohio University, Jack won The U.S. Amateur twice and an NCCA Championship.

Apart from golf, Jack also had an interest in architecture. As an architect, some of his golf course designs are among the best, which include Castle Pine and Muirfield Village. In 1960, he designed his first golf course, Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head. Since then he has designed more than 300 golf courses worldwide.

Professional life

He began his professional career on the PGA tour in 1962. After winning his first professional game against Arnold Palmar in the U.S Open, Nicklaus became a national phenomenon. This was the beginning of Nicklaus winning reign. At 22, Nicklaus was the youngest US Open champion after Bobby Jones who won the championship at the age of 21.

He attended several Professional Golfers Association tours during 1969. During his entire golfing career, Nicklaus has won the British Open three times, U.S. Open four times, PGA Championship five times, Masters six times and U.S Amateur two times. He was ranked as the number one golf player in the world for ten straight years on the McCormack’s World Golf Rankings.

After going through his declining phase in late sixties, Nicklaus’ game revived again and he broke Bobby Jones’s record of majors by winning the PGA Championship in 1973 by four shots over Bruce Crampton. He played on six Ryder Cup teams and held the captainship twice.

Nicklaus was known for his consistent long and straight shots, course management skills and exceptional swing tempo. However, he frequently struggled at making putts.