Jack Nicklaus reveals his greatest accomplishment, and it’s not golf-related

May 31, 2019

Welcome to You Don’t Know Jack, a five-part GOLF.com series in which — in a nod to the Memorial Tournament, being played this week at Jack’s place, Muirfield Village GC — we’re bringing you a daily dose of something you (most likely!) didn’t know about Jack Nicklaus.

There was his first Masters championship, in 1963. There was his last 23 years later. There were 16 other majors to choose from. And even his 17 consecutive years of winning at least one PGA Tour event. Or maybe the 400-plus courses he and his firm have designed trumps them all.

Instead, Jack Nicklaus said, his greatest accomplishment lies outside the purview of golf.

“Barbara and our five kids (are my greatest accomplishment), without question,” he said in the June issue of GOLF Magazine. “And 22 grandkids, obviously.”

Nicklaus married Barbara in 1960 and had the first of his kids, Jack II, in 1961. His family tree has only grown exponentially since then.

Outside the game, he and Barbara started a foundation aimed at providing pediatric healthcare. And by all accounts, Nicklaus’ dedication to his family is far more than just lip-service.

Of course, golf remains an integral part of Nicklaus’ life. He hosts his annual Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio. He continues to design courses around the globe with regularity. He was even a guest editor for the June edition of GOLF Magazine. Nearly 60 years since he turned professional, Nicklaus remains a staple of the sport.

But his answer reveals one thing: There’s far more to him than golf.

“Golf is a game, and I happened to be good at the game,” he said. “But you know, there are a lot more important things to life than golf.”

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