The United States Golf Association Museum in Far Hills, N.J., has held a special event to mark the opening of the Jack Nicklaus Room. The new room, which celebrates the life and career of the 18-time major champion, joins galleries that honor Bob Jones, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Mickey Wright.
The 1,200-square-foot exhibit space contains more than 80 artefacts, many on loan from the Jack Nicklaus Museum in Columbus, Ohio.
“We are delighted that we are able to gather friends and family at the USGA Museum to celebrate the addition of a room devoted to one of the game’s greatest players, Jack Nicklaus,” said Thomas J. O’Toole Jr., USGA president. “The Nicklaus Room offers an interactive experience that will allow future generations the opportunity to appreciate Jack’s legacy and relive many of the greatest moments in American golf history.”
From his first U.S. Open victory in 1962 to his last Green Jacket in 1986, Nicklaus had the skill and the determination to compete more successfully than anyone else in golf’s major championships. He compiled the best amateur record since his hero, Bob Jones, capped his career by winning the Grand Slam in 1930. Nicklaus won two U.S. Amateurs and played on two victorious USA Walker Cup Teams. He turned professional in November 1961 and embarked on a career that included 73 PGA Tour victories and a record 18 major championship titles. He won a record-tying four U.S. Opens, six Masters Tournaments, three British Opens and five PGA Championships – an amazing testament to his three decades of sustained excellence.
Nicklaus did not become golf’s greatest major champion on ability alone, however. His competitive spirit, self-belief, commitment, integrity, perseverance and vision were among the values that helped turn his unquestioned skills into unmatched success.
“The USGA has had a great influence on my career and helped shape my love of the game and for competition since I first picked up a club at age 10,” Nicklaus said. “My association with them – from the championships I played to the USGA leaders who have impacted my life – is one I have always valued. For them to recognize my career and life with this addition to the USGA Museum is humbling and meaningful to me and my family. I hope this room provides guests the opportunity to share some of the cherished memories I have, but more important, I hope parts of it can help educate a new generation of golfers and golf fans about our collective work to grow this great game.”
MacGregor Tommy Armour 3-wood
Nicklaus used this 3-wood from 1958 through 1995 and won all 18 of his professional majors and both U.S. Amateurs using it.
“White Fang,” Acushnet Bull’s Eye Putter
In an effort to jump-start his game, Nicklaus switched to this putter before the 1967 U.S. Open. It was painted white and the round grip was altered with a pencil jammed into the end of it. He made eight birdies in a final-round 65 to win his second U.S. Open.
MacGregor VIP 1-iron
Nicklaus won seven major championships with this 1-iron and hit two of his most memorable shots – the 238-yard approach to the 72nd hole at Baltusrol in 1967 and the tee shot at the 71st hole at Pebble Beach in 1972.
Caddie overalls worn by Jack Nicklaus II, 1986 Masters
Nicklaus won his 18th major championship at Augusta National in 1986 at age 46. The victory was unforgettable not only because of his final-nine heroics, but because his son, Jackie, caddied for him.
MacGregor 5-iron, 1986 Masters
Coming off an eagle at 15, Nicklaus hit a 5-iron at the 170-yard 16th. As the ball was in flight, Jackie yelled, “Be right!” and Nicklaus said, “It is,” as the ball rolled back to within 3 feet, setting up a birdie.
Wedding invitation and napkin
Jack and Barbara Nicklaus were married on July 23, 1960. Nicklaus has said that Barbara has been his foundation, his voice of reason, his biggest supporter, his best friend and the love of his life.
Titled “Jack is Back” by Zenos Frudakis
“A Study of Jack Nicklaus 1” by Harold Riley
“Our partnership with the Jack Nicklaus Museum gives us the unique opportunity to display our collection of artifacts while enhancing the exhibit with many of Jack’s personal items,” said Michael Trostel, senior curator/historian for the USGA Museum. “In this exhibit, Nicklaus uses his own words to tell you what made him a successful player; respected golf course designer and businessman; and dedicated husband, father and grandfather.”