Happy 79th Birthday Jack Nicklaus.
We will never see another like Jack Nicklaus, and for my money, he is still the best golfer of all time.
The number everyone talks about is eighteen. Perhaps even more remarkable is the fact that he finished second in Majors twenty times. But for a few shots, Nicklaus might have 38 Majors. He had 46 top-threes; 56 top-fives; 73 top-tens. Within the span of his Majors wins (95 starts), Jack missed the cut just six times. He is the only one to win each major three times. No one, even Tiger, comes close to that sort of sustained excellence, with his first and last Majors spanning a 24 year period.
While records are made to be broken, I think that Nicklaus’ impact, like Palmer’s, will extend far beyond his (hopefully long) lifespan. The Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation is just one example of how he parlayed his athletic fame into something for the greater good.
On May 19, 2014, the United States House of Representatives awarded Nicklaus the Congressional Gold Medal “in recognition of his service to the nation in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship.” The bill noted Nicklaus’ “magnetic personality and unfailing sense of kindness and thoughtfulness have endeared him to millions throughout the world.”