Jack William Nicklaus, nicknamed The Golden Bear, is a retired American professional golfer. He is widely regarded as the greatest golfer of all time, winning a record 18 career major championships, while producing 19 second-place and 9 third-place finishes, over a span of 25 years. After winning the U. S. Amateur in 1959 and 1961 and his first professional win came in a major championship, the 1962 U. S. Open, when he defeated Palmer by three shots in a next day 18-hole playoff. This win over Palmer began the rivalry between the two golf superstars. At age 26, he became the youngest to do so at the time, in 1968 and 1969, Nicklaus did not win a major tournament. He then won another Open Championship in 1970, at the age of 46, Nicklaus claimed his 18th and final major championship at the 1986 Masters Tournament, becoming the championships oldest winner. He continued to play at least some of the four regular Tour majors until 2005, Nicklaus has also taken part in various other activities, including golf course design, charity work and book writing. Nicklaus is a member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects and has helped design such as Harbour Town Golf Links. Nicklaus also runs his own tournament on the PGA Tour, the Memorial Tournament and his golf course design company is one of the largest in the world. Nicklaus was born on the east side of Columbus, grew up in the suburb of Upper Arlington, Ohio and is of German descent, Charlie had also been a scratch golfer and local tennis champion in his youth. Nicklaus was raised in Upper Arlington, and attended Upper Arlington High School, whose nickname and he also competed successfully during his youth in football, baseball, tennis, and track and field. Nicklaus took up golf at the age of 10, scoring a 51 at Scioto Country Club for his first nine holes ever played, Charlie Nicklaus had joined Scioto that same year, returning to golf to help heal a volleyball injury. Nicklaus overcame a mild case of polio as a 13-year-old, Nicklaus won the first of five straight Ohio State Junior titles at the age of 12. At 13, he broke 70 at Scioto Country Club for the first time, Junior Amateur, where he survived three match-play rounds. He had earned a handicap of +3 at age 13, the lowest in the Columbus area, Nicklaus won the Tri-State High School Championship at the age of 14 with a round of 68, and also recorded his first hole-in-one in tournament play the same year. At 15, Nicklaus shot a 66 at Scioto Country Club, which was the course record. He won the Ohio Open in 1956 at age 16, highlighted by a third round of 64. In all, Nicklaus won 27 events in the Ohio area from age 10 to age 17, in 1957, Nicklaus won the International Jaycee Junior Golf Tournament, having lost the previous year in a playoff
Nicklaus in September 2006
Nicklaus walks up to his ball on the 9th hole of the par-3 course at Augusta National Golf Club during the 2006 par-3 contest.