Nicklaus led the Ohio State men's golf team to Big Ten titles in 1960 and 1961 and won the NCAA
individual title in 1961. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Ohio State in 1972 and was inducted
into the Ohio State Athletic Hall of Fame in 1977.
Nicklaus was born in Columbus and raised in the suburb of Upper
Arlington, and attended
Upper Arlington High School, where he earned his nickname "The Golden Bear" the
school's mascot. Jack first played golf at the age of 10 at the Scioto Country Club with head pro Jack Grout in 1950. Although Jack Nicklaus also played most sports in school, he concentrated on golf as being the only sport where he could become a complete player by himself.
It was Jack's father that enrolled his 10-year old son in Grout's 2-hour Friday junior clinic. Over the years, Jack Nicklaus and Jack Grout became close friends and in later years, Nicklaus referred to Grout as his second father.
At 13, Jack broke 70. He won the first of 5 straight
Ohio State Junior titles at the age 12. He won the Ohio State Open in 1956 at 16, competing
While attending The Ohio State University, he won the U.S. Amateur title
twice (1959, 1961), and an NCAA Championship (1961). At the 1960 U.S. Open, he shot a 282, finishing
2nd by 2 strokes to Arnold Palmer, who won the tournament with a final round 65. This score
remains the lowest ever made by an amateur player in the U.S. Open.
Jack represented the United
States against Great Britain, on winning Walker Cup teams in both 1959 and 1961, winning both
of his matches in each contest. He was also a member of the victorious 1960 U.S. Eisenhower Trophy
team, winning the unofficial individual title with a four-round score of 269, a record which
Jack Nicklaus today
Nicklaus devotes much of his time to course design and operates one of the largest golf design
practices in the world. His first design was opened for play in 1970. For the first few years all
of his projects were co-designs with either Pete Dye or Desmond Muirhead, who were two of the leading
golf course architects of that era. His first sole design, Glen Abbey Golf Course in Oakville,
Canada, opened for play in 1976. He is now in partnership with his four sons and his son-in-law
through Nicklaus Design. The company had 299 courses open for play at the end of 2005, which was
nearly 1% of all the courses in the world (In 2005 Golf Digest calculated that there were nearly
32,000 golf courses in the world, approximately half of them in the United States.). There
are Nicklaus Design courses in more than thirty U.S. states and more than twenty-five countries
around the world. Jack Nicklaus is personally responsible for over 200 golf course designs. These
include Muirfield Village, Shoal Creek, Porta Cima, Castle Pines and the PGA Centenary Course at
the Gleneagles Hotel.
Nicklaus continues managing the Memorial Tournament he created here in Ohio,
which is played on a course he designed and is one of the more prestigious events on the PGA Tour.
Other interests include a golf equipment company and golf academies.
The Jack Nicklaus Museum on the campus
of The Ohio State University recently opened.