Golf's Golden Bear: Jack Nicklaus


By: Nathan Chandler

4 Min Quiz

Image: Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

Golf is a brutal sport that few people learned to dominate quite like Jack Nicklaus. He was a prodigy from the beginning, and with his incredible work ethic and stamina, he became one of the sport's biggest legends. How much do you know about this famous golfer?

How old was Nicklaus when he began playing golf?

Nicklaus was 10 when first picked up a bag of clubs. Without much practice, he could shoot a score of around 50 for nine holes, a number that would make many adults envious.


Where did Nicklaus attend college?

Nicklaus played on the golf team at Ohio State. He won two U.S. Amateur titles while at college.


In what year did Nicklaus turn pro?

Nicklaus turned pro in 1961, an era that pitted him against two other golf greats, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.


During his time in college, Nicklaus decided to pursue what career path?

Nicklaus decided that he'd be a good insurance salesman. Fortunately for all of us, he found his true calling in golf.


Nicklaus wanted to be the first amateur golfer to win which tournament?

During his college days, he set his sights on winning the Masters as an amateur. The best he could manage was when he tied for seventh place in 1961.


Who introduced Nicklaus to golf?

Nicklaus's father suffered a broken ankle and used golf as part of his healing process -- he took young Jack along during his outings, and Jack turned out to be very gifted.


How many times did Nicklaus win the British Open?

He won the British Open three times -- his first Open title came in his fifth season.


Nicklaus won a major championship in his first year as a professional.

Nicklaus tied for 15th at the Masters that year, and then in June won the U.S. Open, an act that proved he would be a force on the PGA tour.


How did Nicklaus do at the 1962 PGA Championship, the fourth and final major in his first year as a pro?

Nicklaus tied for third place at the PGA Championship, proving that his U.S. Open victory in June was no fluke.


How many times did Nicklaus win the Masters tournament?

Nicklaus loved the Masters course and triumphed six times at Augusta National. In numerous years he also finished near the top of the Masters leaderboard.


How many major titles did Nicklaus win in his second professional year?

In 1963, Nicklaus won both the Masters and the PGA Championship. In just two years, he'd already won three majors, a statistic that most pro golfers would die to achieve.


Nicklaus was the first to win a specific major tournament twice in a row. Which major was it?

In 1965 and 1966, Nicklaus won the Masters. He was the very first golfer to win this major in consecutive years.


Who did Nicklaus beat to win his first major title?

At the end of the fourth round of the 1962 U.S. Open, Nicklaus was tied with Palmer. They went on to an 18-hole playoff, which Nicklaus won.


At major tournaments, Nicklaus had more second-place finishes than first-place finishes.

Nicklaus suffered through many near-misses during his career. He had 19 second-place finishes in the majors -- he won 18.


Nicklaus won a major title in 1962, his first year as a pro. In what year did he finally NOT win a major?

In 1964, his third year as a pro, Nicklaus was blanked at the majors. That year he tied for second at three of the four majors.


How did Nicklaus fare at the 1979 Masters?

Nicklaus struggled with his swing in 1979 and had one of his worst years as a professional. He missed the cut at the 1979 Masters.


At the 1980 U.S. Open, Nicklaus set the tournament record for the lowest winning score ever. What was his final score?

Nicklaus carded a -8 for the tournament, a new record (which has now been tied by three other players). He shot a 63 in the opening round.


Nicklaus has more career wins than any other golfer.

Nicklaus is currently third on the all-time win list with 73 victories. He finished behind Sam Snead (82) and the still-active Tiger Woods (79).


Nicklaus turned pro at the end of 1961. In what year did he fail to win even a single PGA tour event?

Nicklaus won at least one event each year until 1979, meaning that for nearly two decades he tasted victory each season.


Nicklaus won his final Masters in 1986. How old was he at the time?

The '86 Masters was one of Nicklaus's most improbable wins. He was 46 years old at the time and his game was nothing like it had been 20 years earlier.


By how many strokes did Nicklaus win the 1986 Masters?

Nicklaus shot an incredible 65 on the last day of the tournament, with six birdies in the final nine holes. He beat Greg Norman and Tom Kite by a single stroke.


Which of golf's major championships did Nicklaus fail to win?

Nicklaus actually managed to win all of the majors at one point or another. He was least successful at the British Open, which he "only" won three times.


Following his victory at the 1986 Masters, Nicklaus kept playing the event each year. What was his best finish?

In 1998, at the age of 56, Nicklaus made one last unbelievable charge up the leaderboard. He finished in a tie for 6th place.


Nicklaus won most of his major titles at which major championship?

He won the bulk of his major titles at the Masters, where he triumphed six times. He won five times at the PGA and four times at the U.S. Open.


In the 1998 Masters, Nicklaus tied for 6th place. By how many strokes did champion Mark O'Meara beat Nicklaus?

Nicklaus was just four strokes behind O'Meara by the end of the tournament. Nicklaus shot a 68 in the final round, just one stroke more than O'Meara.


Including the Champions (Senior) Tour, how many total PGA victories did Nicklaus earn?

He won 10 times on the Champions Tour, bringing his PGA victory total to 83.


How many times did Nicklaus wind up in second place during his career?

For all of his winning, Nicklaus often came up just short, with 58 second-place finishes. He said that those instances served as learning opportunities.


Nicklaus is known by which nickname?

Nicklaus is known as "The Golden Bear." A sportswriter gave life to the name early in Nicklaus' career.


Which tournament did Nicklaus nearly win as an amateur?

At the 1960 U.S. Open, Nicklaus was on fire -- he finished second by just two strokes to a guy named Arnold Palmer, with whom he'd eventually duel on the PGA circuit.


How much did Nicklaus make from prize money during his pro career?

For all of his big wins, he wound up with only around $9 million in winnings. However, he's made many millions more through endorsements and businesses.


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