1. Jack William Nicklaus , nicknamed “The Golden Bear”, is a retired American professional golfer.
2. He is widely regarded as the greatest professional golfer of all time, winning a total of 18 career major championships, while producing 19 second-place and 9 third-place finishes in them, over a span of 25 years. Nicklaus focused on the major championships .
3. After winning the U.S. Amateur in 1959 and 1961, and challenging for the 1960 U.S. Open , Nicklaus turned professional at age 21 toward the end of 1961.
4. This win over Palmer began the on-course rivalry between the two golf superstars.
5. In 1966, Nicklaus won the Masters Tournament for the second year in a row, becoming the first golfer to achieve this distinction, and also won The Open Championship, completing his career slam of major championships. At age 26, he became the youngest to do so at the time.
6. He continued to play at least some of the four regular Tour majors until 2005, when he made his final appearances at The Open Championship and the Masters Tournament.
7. Nicklaus has also taken part in various off-course activities, including golf course design, charity work and book writing.
8. Nicklaus is a member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects and has helped design courses such as Harbour Town Golf Links.
9. Nicklaus also runs his own tournament on the PGA Tour, the Memorial Tournament.
10. His golf course design company is one of the largest in the world.
11. Nicklaus was born on the East side of Columbus, grew up in the suburb of Upper Arlington, Ohio and is of German descent, the son of pharmacist Charlie Nicklaus and his wife Helen.
12. Charlie was a skilled all-round athlete, who had played college football for the Ohio State University Buckeyes, and had gone on to play semi-professional football under an assumed name for the Portsmouth Spartans .
13. Charlie had also been a scratch golfer and local tennis champion in his youth.
14. Nicklaus was raised in Upper Arlington, and attended Upper Arlington High School, whose nickname and mascot are called the Golden Bears.
15. Nicklaus was an honorable mention All-Ohio selection in basketball as a shooting guard in his senior year, and received some recruiting interest from college basketball programs, including Ohio State.