Happy 74th birthday to one of the worlds greatest golfers, The Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus. Younger golf fans probably don’t remember watching Jack play in his prime, but he was without doubt, one of the most intense competitors I ever saw. Jack Nicklaus still holds the record with 18 major tournaments, and the one thing that always impressed me, was whether he was leading a tournament by 10 strokes, or losing by 10 strokes, he always tried to birdie the final hole, and most of time, did.
In the past 17 years, we have watched Tiger Woods dominate the world of professional golf, but Jack did it in an era where the competition was intense to say the least. His run began when Arnold Palmer was dominating the tour, and some of the old-timers were still around, but Jack’s competition came from Gary Player, Tom Watson, and Lee Trevino.
With all of that being said, Jack finished his career with 73 official PGA Tour wins, and 10 Senior Wins. He is now number three on the all-time wins list behind only Tiger Woods, and Sam Snead. To go along with his 18 career majors, he also picked up 8 major championships on the Senior Circuit.
If you ever wondered how good he was, Nicklaus made 131 of 164 cuts in majors, finished as runner-up, 19 times, had 9 third place finishes, and 95 top 25’s. He won his final, and sixth Green Jacket at age 46 by winning the Masters in 1986. Wow!!
The Golden Bear won the Masters six times, the US Open four times, The British Open three times, and the PGA Championship five times. He was the leading money winner on the PGA Tour eight times, was PGA Player of the year five times, and was elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974 at age 34.
Jack continues to be involved in professional golf, and has never been accused of anything short of being a true gentleman of the game. He has been, and always will be Tiger’s biggest fan as he tries to catch and surpass Jack’s majors record.
The thing Jack Nicklaus was known for during his career was being extremely focused, and one of the best pressure putters the game has ever known.
The younger generation want to crown Tiger Woods as the greatest player that game has ever known, but most of them were never able to see Jack in his prime. Jack won most of his tournaments with Persimmon Clubs, and dead golf balls.
Happy Birthday Jack!
You can follow Les on Twitter @Spin_47 and in the Golf Community at Google+