No name is more synonymous with greatness in the sport of golf than the name Jack Nicklaus, and no single person has changed the face of the sport more than Jack Nicklaus - the player, the designer, the philanthropist, and the good-will ambassador.
Jack, 70, has been named "Golfer of the Century" or "Golfer of the Millennium" by almost every major golf publication in the world. He was also named Individual Male Athlete of the Century by Sports Illustrated, and one of the 10 Greatest Athletes of the Century by ESPN.
In November 2005, the Golden Bear was honored by President Bush at the White House with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor given to any U.S. civilian. A few weeks later, he was unanimously named by GolfWorld Magazine as its Newsmaker of the Year 2005, punctuating a year in which he played his final British Open, his final Masters Tournament, and led the United States to a thrilling victory in The Presidents Cup.
In 2001, Jack was honored with the first-ever ESPY Lifetime Achievement Award, and he became the first golfer-and only the third athlete-to receive the Vince Lombardi Award of Excellence. In 2003, he was honored with the Muhammad Ali Sports Legend Award.
Jack's competitive career spanned five decades, and his legend has been built with 118 professional tournament victories worldwide and a record 18 professional major-championship titles. He is the only player in history to have won each of the game's majors at least three times (six Masters, five PGA Championships, four U.S. Opens, three British Opens), and is the only player to have completed the career "Grand Slam" on both the regular and senior tours.
Jack is a five-time winner of the PGA Player of the Year Award, has been the PGA Tour's leading money-winner eight times and runner-up six times. He has played on six Ryder Cup teams, captained two other Ryder Cup teams, and served as U.S. captain for the 1998, 2003, 2005, and 2007 Presidents Cup teams.
The legacy Jack has left as a player can be rivaled only by the legacy he is leaving as a golf course designer, businessman and philanthropist.
Jack was named GolfWorld's Architect of the Year in 1993, and in 1999, Golf Digest named him the world's leading active designer. In February 2005, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America recognized Jack with its highest honor, The Old Tom Morris Award. In 2001, he was named recipient of both the Donald Ross Award (American Society of Golf Course Architects) and the Donald Rossi Award (Golf Course Builders Association of America), and was honored with the International Network of Golf's Achievement in Golf Course Design Award for 2000-2001.
Jack has been involved in the design of 275 courses open for play worldwide, and his thriving business, Nicklaus Design, has 346 courses open for play around the world. Nicklaus Design courses are represented in 34 countries, 39 states, and close to 90 have hosted a combined total of over 600 professional tournaments or significant national amateur championships. At least 63 Nicklaus Design courses have appeared in various national and international Top-100 lists. The firm currently has projects under construction or under development in 45 different countries-25 in which Nicklaus Design has never been involved.
Since 1962, Jack has added the moniker of "businessman" to his lengthy resume. He is chairman of the privately held Nicklaus Companies. This month, Golf Inc. magazine ranked Jack "The Most Powerful Person in Golf" for the sixth consecutive year, due to his impact on various aspects of the industry through his course design work, marketing and licensing business, and his involvement on a national level with various charitable causes. He was also named "Golf Development Newsmaker of the Year" for 2005 by Golf Inc., and the Robb Report once named Jack the "Leading Power Player" in the golf market. Over the past year, Jack was also the Global Ambassador for golf's unified campaign to gain inclusion into the Olympic Games, a goal realized Oct. 9 when the International Olympic Committee voted to add golf to the 2016 Olympic Program.
In October 2009, Jack received the Asia Pacific Lifetime Achievement Award from Asian Golf Monthly magazine on the same night he was named Golf Course Architect of the Year in Asia for the second straight year and third time in seven years. In just over a four-week period ending in May 2008, Jack received three Lifetime Achievement Awards in three different countries, as he was honored by the China Golf Association, then received the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award, and, finally, was presented the KPMG Golf Business Forum's Lifetime Achievement Award on May 13 in Dublin, Ireland, before close to 350 industry leaders and developers representing more than 30 countries.
In January 2008, Jack was recognized for his global impact through design as well as his philanthropic efforts at home, when he was presented with The Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship. With its Woodrow Wilson Awards, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars recognizes leaders in business and public service from around the world and across the political spectrum. The Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship is given to executives who exemplify a commitment to the common good-beyond the bottom line-and who demonstrate that private firms should be stellar citizens in their own neighborhoods, as well as in the world.
Jack and his wife Barbara have a long history of involvement in numerous charitable activities, from junior golf to children's hospitals to several scholarship foundations. Jack and Barbara are the guiding light for the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation, which supports numerous pediatric health-care services in a five-country area, including Palm Beach County, and has raised over $12 million in five years. On the golf side, Jack is a national chair of The First Tee program's "More Than A Game" capital campaign, and he is Global Ambassador for the worldwide movement to have golf reinstated into the Olympic Games. Because of their contributions to golf and to community, Barbara and Jack were honored twice in 2007-the first being The Boys Scouts of America Distinguished Citizens Award, and then the Francis Ouimet Lifelong Contributions to Golf Award, which drew close to 2,200 people to Boston to set a record for a sports function in New England.
Residing in North Palm Beach, Fla., Jack and Barbara Nicklaus are parents to five children and grandparents to 21.