Things to know about the Golden Bear
January 21, 2015
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
- Jack Nicklaus, the all-time leader in major victories, celebrates his 75th birthday this week. (David Cannon/Getty Images)
Jack Nicklaus turned 75 on Wednesday and we're saluting the greatest golfer of all-time with 75 Jack facts. Here's a closer look at Nicklaus' life on and off the course over the past 75 years.
1. His middle name is William.
2. His father, Charlie, was a pharmacist in Upper Arlington, Ohio, and also played football at Ohio State University and later semi-professionally for the Portsmouth Spartans, which became the Detroit Lions.
3. His mom's name is Helen.
4. He has five children -- Jack, Steven, Nancy, Gary and Michael -- and 22 grandchildren.
5. His grandson, Nick O'Leary, plays football for Florida State and is one of the top tight end prospects in the country.
6. In addition to his record 18 career major championships, he has 19 runners-up and nine third-place finishes in major championships.
7. His 73 career PGA TOUR wins ranks third all-time behind Tiger Woods and Sam Snead.
8. The mascot for his high school, Upper Arlington, is the Golden Bears.
9. He shot 51 at 10 years old in the first nine holes he ever played, at Scioto Country Club.
10. At age 14 he recorded his first hole-in-one.
11. He won the first of five straight Ohio junior titles at age 12 and by 13 had a +3 handicap.
12. He played in the first of 44 straight U.S. Opens in 1957 but missed the cut that year.
13. He majored in pre-pharmacy his first three years at Ohio State before switching to focus on insurance, which he briefly sold before turning pro.
14. He married Barbara Bash in July 1960.
15. He was a few course hours short of graduating from Ohio State but was granted an honorary doctorate in 1972.
16. His first start as a professional came at the 1962 Los Angeles Open, where he tied for 50th to earn $33.33.
17. His first win as a professional came in his 17th career start at the 1962 U.S. Open at Oakmont, where he defeated Arnold Palmer in a playoff.
18. In 1974 he was one of 13 original members inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
19. He played the final 10 holes of the 1986 Masters in 7 under to become the oldest winner of the tournament at age 46.
20. He has 10 career Champions Tour wins, including eight majors.
21. His last round on the PGA TOUR came at the 2005 Open Championship at St. Andrews, where he finished 3-over 147 to miss the cut.
22. His last competitive round in the U.S. took place on June 13, 2005 at a Champions Tour's Bayer Advantage Classic in Kansas.
23. Harbour Town Golf Links, co-credited with Pete Dye, was his first course design and opened in 1969.
24. His first solo design was Glen Abbey in Oakville, Ontario, and opened in 1976.
25. He opened Muirfield Village in 1974 and it has hosted the Memorial Tournament since its inception in 1976.
26. He founded his own equipment company, Nicklaus Equipment Company, in 1992.
27. In 2010, he partnered with Terlato Wines, to form his own wine label.
28. He won the long drive contest at the 1963 PGA Championship with a drive of 341 yards, 17 inches and still uses the money clip he won from it.
29. In 2002 the Jack Nicklaus Museum opened on the campus of Ohio State University.
30. He and wife Barbara formed the Nicklaus Children's Healthcare Foundation in 2004.
31. In 2005 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
32. He was Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year in 1978.
33. He finished second on the PGA TOUR 58 times in his career.
34. He has a 12-10 career playoff record on the PGA TOUR.
35. Eight times he led the PGA TOUR money list before finishing with $5,723,192 in career earnings.
36. He has 117 worldwide professional victories.
37. He played in 146 consecutive major championships between 1962 and 1998.
38. He finished second at the 1960 U.S. Open as an amateur.
39. He surpassed Bobby Jones' record of 10 career major championships in 1972.
40. He won the 1966 Open Championship to complete the career Grand Slam, an achievement he would accomplish two more times in his career.
41. He is 5 feet, 11 inches tall.
42. He was an honorable mention All-Ohio selection at shooting guard in basketball his senior year of high school.
43. He was coached by Jack Grout, who was a contemporary of Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson.
44. He overcame a mild case of Polio at 13.
45. At 15 he shot a 66 at Scioto Country Club to set the amateur course record before later qualifying for his first U.S. Amateur that year.
46. At 13 he broke 70 for the first time at Scioto Country Club.
47. He won the NCAA individual title in 1961.
48. He was named Father of the Year by the Minority Golf Association of America in 1999.
49. He and Barbara and their five children were honored with Golf Family of the Year by the National Golf Foundation in 1985.
The Nicklaus Family
50. He was inducted into the PGA Professional Hall of Fame in 2006.
51. He was named Best Individual Male Athlete of the 20th Century by Sports Illustrated.
52. He led the PGA TOUR in scoring average eight times and was second six times.
53. He has 20 career holes-in-one.
54. He has 73 career top-10 finishes in major championships.
55. He won two U.S. Amateurs, defeating Charlie Coe, 1-up, for his first in 1959.
56. He won $61,868 his first year on the PGA TOUR.
57. He won at least two tournaments a year for the first 17 years of his career on the PGA TOUR before going winless in 1979.
58. At 17, won his first national title, capturing the U.S. National Jaycees Championship.
59. Other famous men born on January 21: Hakeem Olajuwon, Stonewall Jackson, Ethan Allen and Paul Allen.
60. He won his first of six Masters titles in 1963.
61. He was awarded the PGA TOUR Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.
62. He was PGA Player of the Year five times between 1967 and 1976.
63. He played his first PGA TOUR event at the 1958 Rubber City Open in Akron, Ohio, where he tied for 12th.
64. His first child, Jack Jr., was born in Sept. 1961.
65. His win at the 1962 U.S. Open landed him on the cover of Time magazine.
66. He tied for sixth at the 1998 Masters where, despite a sore left hip, he shot 5-under 283 for the lowest 72-hole score by a player over 50 in the Masters.
67. The only Champions Tour major he didn't win was the Senior British Open.
68. He has 289 courses around the world open for play that he designed, co-designed or redesigned.
69. His courses are represented in 36 countries and 39 states.
70. He lends his name and likeness to a line of flavored lemonades from Arizona Beverage Company -- the same company that sells a line of Arnold Palmer drinks.
71. He was named Rookie of the Year in 1962.
72. He "dotted the i" at Ohio State's homecoming game against Minnesota in 2006, becoming just the fifth non-band member to be bestowed with the honor.
73. In 2014, a bill was passed to award him with the Congressional Gold Medal "in recognition of his service to the nation in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship."
74. His longtime caddie was Angelo Argea.
75. He was inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1995.