By any measure, Jack Nicklaus enjoyed a sensational year. His Gleneagles (PGA Centenary) course hosted the Ryder Cup, and his renovated Valhalla was a drama-inducing PGA Championship venue.
But this award recognizes excellence in new-course design, and in 2014 the Bear -- who's 75 in January -- had a banner year. With 380 courses (and counting) to his name, Nicklaus isn't done yet.
"I have no desire to retire," he told us.
Jack reigns supreme in his preference for downhill holes and spectacular visuals. Nowhere is that more true than at Quivira and Potomac Shores, his two award-winning creations. Simply put, people love them. And give credit to Nicklaus the innovator.
"Few realize it, but it was at Glen Abbey and at Muirfield Village that Jack built the first spectator mounds," Pete Dye said. "It was Jack's idea to incorporate those mounds into the course."
Nicklaus is probably the greatest player of all time. Amazingly, he's forged a majestic design legacy that approaches the greatness he achieved on the course.
For that triumph -- and for the remarkable new courses he introduced in 2014 -- Nicklaus is our Architect of the Year.