Wednesday marked the grand opening of the Jack Nicklaus Room at the USGA Museum in Far Hills, N.J., a 1,200-square foot exhibit complete with 82 artifacts that span the length of Nicklaus’ splendid career.
Among the items in the exhibit is a MacGregor Tommy Armour 3-wood that Nicklaus used from 1958 through 1995. The club was in Jack’s bag for each of his record 18 major championship victories. Also included are a few personal items like a wedding invitation and napkin from Jack and Barbara’s marriage celebration on July 23, 1960, and a pair of caddie overalls worn by Jack Nicklaus II during his father’s final major title, the 1986 Masters.
“For the USGA to recognize my career and life with this addition to the USGA Museum is humbling and meaningful to me and my family,” said Nicklaus, who joins Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer and Mickey Wright as the only players to be commemorated with their own room at the USGA Museum. “I hope this room provides guests the opportunity to share some of the cherished memories I have, but more importantly, I hope parts of it can help educate a new generation of golfers and golf fans about out collective work to grow this great game.”
During the press conference from Far Hills, Nicklaus told stories about some of the artifacts included in the exhibit and described the role USGA events played in his development as a golfer. He talked about showing up only 30 seconds before his tee time at his very first USGA tournament, the 1953 U.S. Junior at Southern Hills in Tulsa. Joe Dey, USGA executive director at the time, told Nicklaus, “Young man, 30 seconds later and you would be on the second tee 1 down.” Nicklaus said that to this day, he dreams about being late for tee times twice a week.
Nicklaus, who described himself as “not a tech guy”—“I like to get my computer on and somebody shows me the button”—said he was most impressed with the interactive features of the exhibit. The room includes nine short films and 27 “Ask Jack” vignettes focusing on Nicklaus’ four U.S. Open victories and six themes exemplified throughout his career: competitive spirit, integrity, self-belief, commitment, perseverance and vision.
Check out coverage of the grand opening here, along with a look at other exhibits from the USGA Museum.