Tuesday, June 2

Jack Nicklaus Meets Andy Warhol


Jack at the Masters. (Pocketwiley/Flickr)

IT’S MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT WEEK, and that means a spotlight on the greatest golfer of all time, Jack Nicklaus, the Golden Bear. I’m not trying to pick a fight. Really, I’m not. I simply will consider Jack the greatest until Tiger Woods bypasses Jack’s record mark of 18 professional majors.

I suspect that Tiger would tell you the same thing. There’s a reason he had Jack’s records taped to his bedroom wall while he was growing up in Cerritos, California.

In Jack’s honor, PGATour.com has a photo gallery of some of the Golden Bear’s treasures located in the World Golf Hall of Fame, including, of all things, a painting of Nicklaus by legendary artist Andy Warhol. The Warhol painting was donated to the Hall by renowned art collector Richard Weisman, who told PGATour.com that at one point during the sitting Warhol asked Jack to move his “stick.”

“Jack glared and said, ‘Excuse me, this is not a stick, this is a club,’” Weisman told PGATour.com. “Then he looked at me and said, ‘Does this guy know what he is doing?’”

Besides the Warhol portrait, items include Jack’s first Green Jacket and the Memorial Medallion Jack was awarded at his own tournament in 2000.

Nicklaus Treasures Photo Gallery

−The Armchair Golfer

5 comments :

One-Eyed Golfer said...

No bigger Tiger fan than me, but Jack Nicklaus is still the greatest golfer of all time. And, you are right, Neil, Tiger doesn't want to be in that conversation until he hits 19...

Charles Boyer said...

"Greatest golfer of all time" is an extremely subjective subject if you think of it. Why not Bobby Jones?

True, "only" 13 majors, but he did win a Grand Slam. No one has yet to replicate that minor feat. Plus, look at his winning percentage in majors vs. anyone else...it's still the highest.

At any rate, it is fodder for great discussion.

The Armchair Golfer said...

Thanks, One-Eyed. I agree.

Great point, Charles. I agree that it's very subjective, which makes for fun discussion.

Maybe it would be more accurate to say Jack is greatest of the modern era. Jones was incredible, accomplishing so much and essentially retiring before he turned 30!

And if we want to reach back in time, there's always Harry Vardon, who won the British Open six times and the U.S. Open once. Back in his day, there wasn't a Masters or PGA Championship. So Vardon was about as dominant as a golfer could be in the early 20th century.

Charles Boyer said...

Thanks, Armchair.

Along with Vardon -- who I view as the Tiger Woods of his day, replete with the adulation that went with the job, I would also not hesitate to mention the man who invented the idea of the touring pro in the first place: Walter Hagen.

52 wins and 11 Major wins is nothing to sneeze at, and remember that Hagen only played in the 1936 Masters, well past his prime and before it was a major. As a professional, The Hage was ineligible for one of his time's annual big championships, the US Amateur. Let's suppose he was and that he won 5-7 of them, which is very likely given the rest of his results. That puts him right there with Tiger and Jack, where he belongs in my book.

The Armchair Golfer said...

The Haig! Absolutely. Great, great player. And every PGA Tour pro owes him. He blazed the trail.