Nicklaus Recalls Strangest Rules Controversy

Jack Nicklaus has always been very close to the game and to the Rules of Golf, but like many things, he was ahead of his time before he even knew it.

Writing for Golf Magazine, Nicklaus shared his most bizarre rules run-in, which ironically deals with one of the recently-amended bylaws that were established at the beginning of 2019.

Nicklaus, the winner of 18 major championships and 73 PGA Tour events, probably should have had 74 Tour wins if it wasn’t for some incredibly bad luck during the 1962 at the Houston Classic at Memorial Park Golf Course.

“My caddie was a fellow named Robert Ford, and we were playing the par-3 7th hole, last round,” Nicklaus wrote. “I had about a 20-foot putt, and he was holding the pin. I hit the putt dead center, but he couldn’t get the pin out! He lifted it and pulled the entire cup halfway out of the hole.

“My ball hit the cup dead-on and bounced away, so I putted it back in for five instead of two. I ended the tournament tied, and lost in a playoff. In today’s game, I could have just putted with the pin in.”

Bobby Nichols would be the answer to the trivia question of who beat Jack in that playoff. It was the second of 12 eventual PGA Tour victories for Nichols.

Nicklaus’ Muirfield Village Golf Club will host the game’s best players this week at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide.