The name Nicklaus has long been associated with greatness on a golf course. The 18 professional major championships, the electrifying finishes, the sheer will to win; Jack's achievements are legendary. However, the name Nicklaus transcends Jack Nicklaus' dominance as a player and extends far beyond the man. Today, Nicklaus also stands for superior golf course design, a result of Jack's more than four decades as a renowned golf course designer.
What became a vocation for Jack Nicklaus began as an avocation. After playing numerous tournaments and exhibitions throughout the early 1960s on courses designed by the head golf professional or superintendent at those clubs, Jack developed an eye and an interest in what was good in golf course design. Then, in the mid 1960s, Jack was invited by Pete Dye to The Golf Club in Jack's hometown of Columbus, Ohio. Dye was designing the course, and asked Jack to look at what he was doing and offer suggestions. A hobby and budding passion were born.
A few years later, Jack and Dye teamed to design Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, a course which quickly earned and maintains its place among the Top 100 courses in the world. Since that collaboration opened in 1969, Nicklaus courses have continued to blanket the globe, launching Nicklaus Design, a team of the world's most accomplished golf course design associates, agronomists, industry consultants, and experts in golf course construction and marketing, to the forefront of the industry. Just as Jack once raised golf to a higher level, Nicklaus Design has elevated the standards of golf course design.
The result of that dedication and ingenuity is a firm recognized the world over as the industry leader, with a resume of 365 spectacular courses in more than 34 countries and close to 40 states. Yet as unique as each design is, they all share Nicklaus Design's philosophy of working closely with clients, enhancing the natural environment and creating courses that are both challenging and enjoyable for players of all levels.
The accolades that followed Jack Nicklaus' storied tournament career and the honors that hang like badges on his playing legacy have followed the Golden Bear into his second career as a golf-course designer.
If Nicklaus' mark on the 20th century was as a player, he is fast making his mark on this century as a designer, iconic name and brand, and goodwill ambassador who is embracing the challenge of introducing and growing the game of golf in countries around the world by designing the highest quality of facilities.
Nicklaus Design is widely recognized as the world leader in golf course design. No other design firm in the world has produced more world-ranked or championship golf courses and no firm has more projects currently under development worldwide than Nicklaus Design.
Jack has been recognized with every significant global award that recognizes excellence in course design and development. For six consecutive years (2004-09), Golf Inc. magazine ranked Jack as "The Most Powerful Person in Golf," due to his impact on the industry through his course design work, marketing and licensing business, and involvement on a national level with various charitable causes. He was also named "Golf Development Newsmaker of the Year" by Golf Inc. in 2005 - the same year he was honored at the White House with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor bestowed on any U.S. civilian. More than a decade ago, Golf Digest tabbed Jack the world's leading active designer - and in the years since, Nicklaus Design's business has tripled.
Nicklaus Design was named in October 2010 by Asian Golf Monthly as the "Golf Course Architect of the Year in Asia Pacific" for the third year in a row. In addition, Jack has been named by one magazine as "Top Architect in Mexico" for all five years the industry survey has been in existence.
The firm's exacting standards of quality associated with the construction and maintenance of golf courses have been lauded for ushering in a new era of golf-course design and forever changing the face of golf-course architecture.