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Murcia Golf Course Designer: Jack Nicklaus


Designed the Golf Course at: El Valle Golf Resort, La Torre Golf Resort, Hacienda Riquelme Golf Resort, Alhama Signature Golf, Saurines de La Torre Golf Resort & Mar Menor Golf Resort (9 Holes).

Jack Nicklaus (born January 21, 1940), also known as "The Golden Bear", is widely regarded as the greatest professional golfer of all time, in large part because of his records in major championships. Nicklaus accmulated a record 18 professional majors in a PGA Tour career lasting 25 years, from 1962 to 1986.

Later, on the Champions Tour, the senior version of the PGA Tour, he won 8 of that tour's majors between 1990 and 1996. Both records still stand today.

Nicklaus has also taken part in many off-course activities, including golf course design, golf instruction, book writing, and running his own tournament on the PGA Tour, the Memorial Tournament. Together with Arnold Palmer and Gary Player (collectively known as the "Big Three"), he is credited with turning golf into the major spectator sport it has become. While Palmer brought golf into the television era, it was the developing Nicklaus-Palmer-Player rivalry that drove subsequent interest.

Early Life and Career
Nicklaus was born in Columbus, Ohio. He was raised in the suburb of Upper Arlington, and attended Upper Arlington High School, where he earned his nickname "The Golden Bear", as that was the school's mascot. Overcoming a mild case of polio as a child, he took up golf at the age of ten, shooting 51 for his first nine holes. At 13, he broke 70. He won the first of five straight Ohio State Junior titles at the age of twelve. He won the Ohio State Open in 1956 at age 16, competing against professionals. While attending The Ohio State University, he won the U.S. Amateur title twice (1959, 1961), and an NCAA Championship (1961). At the 1960 U.S. Open, he shot a 282, finishing second by two strokes to Arnold Palmer, who won the tournament with a final round 65. This score remains the lowest ever made by an amateur player in the U.S. Open.

He represented the United States, against Great Britain and Ireland, on winning Walker Cup teams in both 1959 and 1961, winning both of his matches in each contest. He was also a member of the victorious 1960 U.S. Eisenhower Trophy team, winning the unofficial individual title with a four-round score of 269, a record which still stands.

Professional breakthrough
Nicklaus began his professional career in 1962. His first professional win came in the same year, defeating the heavily favored Arnold Palmer in a Monday playoff at Oakmont for the 1962 U.S. Open. By the end of the year Nicklaus had picked up two more wins, those being the Seattle Open and the Portland Open back-to-back. He completed 1962 with over $60,000 prize-money, placed third on the tour money list, and was named Rookie of the Year.

In 1963 Nicklaus won two of the four major championships - the Masters and the PGA Championship. Along with three other wins including the Tournament of Champions, he rose to second on the tour money list with just over $100,000. Despite winning no majors in 1964, Nicklaus placed first on the tour money list for the first time in his career with a margin of $81.13 over Palmer. At the British Open at St Andrews, Nicklaus set a new record for the lowest score in the final 36 holes with 66-68. This was not enough, however to win the event; as Nicklaus came second to Tony Lema.

Nicklaus won the Masters in 1965 and 1966, becoming the first consecutive winner of this event. He set a tournament record of 271 in the 1965 Masters, which lasted until Tiger Woods shot 270 in 1997. In 1966, he also won the British Open at Muirfield in Scotland, which was the only major he had failed to win up to this time. This win made him the youngest player, age 26, and the only one after Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, and Gary Player (until Tiger Woods at age 24) to win all four major championships, now known as the Career Slam. Jack Nicklaus eventually accomplished the triple career slam in 1978, winning all four majors three times. Until Tiger Woods, no other golfer had won every major more than once. In 1967 Nicklaus won his second U.S. Open title at Baltusrol, breaking Hogan's 72-hole record with a 275.

Off-the-course Activities
Nicklaus devotes much of his time to golf course design and operates one of the largest golf design practices in the world. His first design, Harbour Town Golf Links, was opened for play in 1969. For the first few years all of his projects were co-designs with either Pete Dye or Desmond Muirhead, who were two of the leading golf course architects of that era. His first solo design, Glen Abbey Golf Course in Oakville, Canada, opened for play in 1976; this course served as the host site for the Canadian Open for many years from 1977.

He is now in partnership with his four sons and his son-in-law through Nicklaus Design. The company had 299 courses open for play at the end of 2005, which was nearly 1% of all the courses in the world. There are Nicklaus Design courses in more than thirty U.S. states and more than twenty-five countries around the world. Jack Nicklaus is personally responsible for over 200 golf course designs. These include Muirfield Village, Shoal Creek, Porta Cima, Castle Pines, Red Ledges, and the PGA Centenary Course at the Gleneagles Hotel.

In the Murcia region Jack Nicklaus is creating a unique golf experience. The legend began 3 years ago when the greatest golfer of all time recognised a golden opportunity in the warm and sunny Region of Murcia. He saw this was the ideal place for his most ambitious project yet, The Nicklaus Golf Trail, a circuit which will boast 9 courses within a radius of 25 km and the best golf experience in Europe and the only one of its kind in the world.

When Jack Nicklaus isn't personally overseeing his golf course design, he continues to manage the Memorial Tournament he created in his home state of Ohio, which is played on a course he designed and is one of the more prestigious events on the PGA Tour. His other interests are varied and many, and include a golf equipment company and golf academies.

Summary of major championship performances
Starts - 163
Wins - 18
2nd place finishes - 19
Top 3 finishes - 46
Top 5 finishes - 57
Top 10 finishes - 73
Longest streak of top-10s in majors - 13

Images courtesy of Polaris World

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