At some point in the next day or so, I'm expecting a phone call from my father. It isn't unusual, since we talk daily, but I'm sure the news will get to him that Elvis would be 75-years-old and Thursday marks Jack Nicklaus' 70th year on this Earth, and that will probably depress him. Two of his favorites, upwards of 7-0.
Nicklaus last won a major championship in 1986, his 18th victory in the big enchiladas, but he is still one of the most relevant faces in the golf world. If you have any respect for your golf game, you've played one of his Nicklaus design tracks. If you are a little older than me you probably had your hand on one of his golf clubs at some point in your life. And starting this year, he will be joining the ceremonial first tee shot at Augusta National.
The Golf Channel is running a little feature today on their website called, "70 things you don't know about Jack," that include fun little tidbits like, "he got his nickname from Australian sportswriter, Don Lawrence, who said in 1960 that Nicklaus looked like a big “cuddly, golden bear."
Also, I wrote a piece over at Yahoo! Sports about his near-win at the 1998 Masters, when he was 58-years-old and closed with a 68 to put himself in contention.
But alas, you can't talk about Nicklaus without the below video, which is non-negotiable as the greatest Sunday in major championship history. You can't argue it. It will not be topped. So, enjoy Jack at his finest, and remember him for all he has done for the golf world. He's a class act, and someone that enjoys golf more than a regular person should.
Happy birthday, Mr. Nicklaus, and thanks for the memories.