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Jack William Nicklaus (born January 21, 1940), nicknamed The Golden Bear, is an American retired professional golfer. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest golfers of all time. Over a quarter-century, he won a record 18 major championships, three more than second-placed Tiger Woods. Nicklaus focused on the major championships—Masters Tournament, U.S. Open, Open Championship and PGA Championship—and played a selective schedule of regular PGA Tour events. He competed in 164 major tournaments, more than any other player, and finished with 73 PGA Tour victories, third behind Sam Snead (82) and Woods (82).
Nicklaus won the U.S. Amateur in 1959 and 1961 and finished second in the 1960 U.S. Open, two shots behind Arnold Palmer. Nicklaus turned professional at age 21 toward the end of 1961. He earned his first professional victory at the 1962 U.S. Open, defeating Palmer by three shots in a next-day 18-hole playoff and launching a rivalry between golf superstars. In 1966, Nicklaus became the first player to win the Masters Tournament two years running; he also won The Open Championship, becoming at age 26 the youngest player to win all four golf majors. He won another Open Championship in 1970.
Between 1971 and 1980, he won nine more major championships, overtook Bobby Jones‘ record of 13 majors, and became the first player to complete double and triple career grand slams. He won the 1986 Masters, his 18th and final major championship at age 46, the tournament’s oldest winner. Nicklaus joined the Senior PGA Tour (now known as the PGA Tour Champions) when he became eligible in January 1990, and by April 1996 had won 10 tournaments, including eight major championships despite playing a very limited schedule. He continued to play at least some of the four regular Tour majors until 2005, when he made his final appearances at the Masters Tournament and The Open Championship.
Today Nicklaus heads one of the world’s largest golf course design companies. Among his courses is Harbour Town Golf Links. He is a member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects. Nicklaus runs an event on the PGA Tour, the Memorial Tournament.
Nicklaus’ books vary from instructional to autobiographical, with his Golf My Way considered one of the best instructional golf books of all time; the video of the same name is the best-selling golf instructional to date
Arnold Daniel Palmer (September 10, 1929 – September 25, 2016) was an American professional golfer who is generally regarded as one of the greatest and most charismatic players in the sport’s history. Dating back to 1955, he won numerous events on both the PGA Tour and the circuit now known as PGA Tour Champions. Nicknamed The King, he was one of golf’s most popular stars and seen as a trailblazer, the first superstar of the sport’s television age, which began in the 1950s.
Palmer’s social impact on behalf of golf was perhaps unrivaled among fellow professionals; his humble background and plain-spoken popularity helped change the perception of golf from an elite, upper-class pastime (private clubs) to a more populist sport accessible to middle and working classes (public courses). Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player were “The Big Three” in golf during the 1960s; they are widely credited with popularizing and commercializing the sport around the world.
In a career spanning more than six decades, he won 62 PGA Tour titles from 1955 to 1973. He is fifth on the Tour’s all-time victory list, trailing only Tiger Woods, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, and Ben Hogan. He won seven major titles in a six-plus-year domination from the 1958 Masters to the 1964 Masters. He also won the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998, and in 1974 was one of the 13 original inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Gary Player DMS, OIG (born 1 November 1935) is a South African retired professional golfer who is widely considered to be one of the greatest golfers ever. During his career, Player won nine major championships on the regular tour and nine major championships on the Champions Tour. At the age of 29, Player won the 1965 U.S. Open and became the only non-American to win all four majors in a career, known as the career Grand Slam. At the time, he was the youngest player to do this, though Jack Nicklaus (26) and Tiger Woods (24) subsequently broke this record. Player became only the third golfer in history to win the Career Grand Slam, following Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen, and only Nicklaus and Woods have performed the feat since. Player has won 163 tournaments on six continents over seven decades and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.
Nicknamed the Black Knight, Mr. Fitness, and the International Ambassador of Golf, Player is also a renowned golf course architect with more than 400 design projects on five continents throughout the world. He has also authored or co-written 36 golf books.
His business interests are exclusively represented by Black Knight International, which includes Gary Player Design, Player Real Estate, The Player Foundation, Gary Player Academies, and Black Knight Enterprises, aspects of which include licensing, events, publishing, wine, apparel and memorabilia.
GPG operates The Player Foundation, which has a primary objective of promoting underprivileged education around the world. In 1983, The Player Foundation established the Blair Atholl Schools in Johannesburg, South Africa, which has educational facilities for more than 500 students from kindergarten through eighth grade. In 2013 it celebrated its 30th Anniversary with charity golf events in London, Palm Beach, Shanghai and Cape Town, bringing its total of funds raised to over US$60 million.