By BOB DELANEY
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Fifteen years ago, Barbara Nicklaus approached her husband, Jack, and declared that there was another “major” left to be won - to provide the best healthcare for children in South Florida.
The teamwork that had been a staple of one of golf’s most honored families ignited yet again. The byproduct is today’s Nicklaus Children’s Healthcare Foundation, and Barbara Nicklaus, its chair and co-founder, is a beacon of hope for the next generation in South Florida and across the country. One of golf’s most respected ambassadors, she has been the catalyst to raising more than $100 million in the past 15 years.
Nicklaus was the recipient of the 2019 PGA Distinguished Service Award, the PGA of America’s highest honor on Nov. 5. Nicklaus, 79, followed her famous husband, who was similarly honored in 2000, and became the first sole female recipient since Patty Berg in 1995. Since 1988, the PGA Distinguished Service Award has honored outstanding individuals who display leadership and humanitarian qualities, including integrity, sportsmanship and enthusiasm for the game of golf.
The award ceremony at the Palm Beach County Convention Center was held in conjunction with the PGA of America’s 103rd annual meeting. Prior to Nicklaus taking the stage, some of Nicklaus’s 22 grandchildren narrated a video presentation. That video also featured her daughter, Nan, along with patients aided by the Nicklaus Children’s Healthcare Foundation.
Barbara Nicklaus had indeed captured a “major” many times over.
“Golf has given Jack so much, most importantly it has been our vehicle to attempt to give back to the game he loved when I met him and the game that I now love, cherish and support,” said Nicklaus. “We always want to be successful, and I don’t mean as in only wealth and power, but in finding meaning in our lives, testing our capabilities and hopefully making the world a better place for having passed through it.
"Jack and I feel so blessed to be able to help others, particularly children. We pray that our life’s work has made a small difference as we have tried to give back through this phenomenal game even though we could never give back as much as we have been blessed to receive. But, we won’t keep trying,” she added.
In the audience, Jack Nicklaus II, 58, watched the screen as the video presentation rolled. Seated nearby was his son, Jack Nicklaus III, 29, a lead narrator.
“My mom and dad as a team are absolutely incredible and role models for myself and my kids,” said Jack II. “I don’t know that there’s anyone prouder than myself listening to my mom’s grandkids, my kids, kids talking about my mom. It says it all.”
Jack Nicklaus III said that he was proud of the opportunity to honor his grandmother in a special way.
“My whole life, I have the name. It provokes a certain response,” he said. “It’s impossible for that to happen without Barbara Nicklaus. She raised five kids that I think turned out dang good. She kept my grandpa’s career on the rails. By the time I came around he wasn’t playing golf anymore. She’s had her hand in raising 22 grandkids. She hears enough out of her kids. The children you see in the hospital are her extended family.”
In March 2015, the Nicklauses’ support of children’s hospitals was recognized when globally renowned Miami Children’s Hospital was rebranded as Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. In November 2017, the entire Miami Children’s Health System was renamed the Nicklaus Children’s Health System. This network now features 15 outpatient centers from Miami north to Vero Beach and west to Naples.
Born Barbara Jean Bash in Columbus, Ohio, she was the daughter of a public high school mathematics instructor and became a pre-nursing student at The Ohio State University, where she met her future husband.
While her husband went on to a legendary golf career, Barbara became the mother of five children, one of the most respected wives on the PGA TOUR and a prolific fundraiser for numerous charitable organizations.
Among the Nicklauses’ favorite charities is Nationwide Children’s Hospital. When it was known as Columbus Children’s Hospital, the facility provided the emergency care to nurse their only daughter, Nan, who contracted pneumonia before her first birthday after accidentally inhaling a portion of a crayon, which lodged in her windpipe.
Today, Nan is the mother of five children, including former NFL football tight end and Florida State All-American Nick O’Leary.
Nan, 54, said that she can only smile as the story of her near-tragic episode is repeated.
“I hear the story and I think, oh my gosh, not again,” said Nan. “But, it prompted my mom and dad to do what they do today. They have a whole another family at the hospital and they love them. It has been 15 years and we have made big strides from the beginning.”
The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, founded in 1976 and hosted by Jack and Barbara Nicklaus at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, has benefited Nationwide Children’s Hospital since its inaugural year. The Memorial has raised more than $36 million for Central Ohio charities, including over $20 million to support the programs and services at Nationwide Children’s.
Barbara Nicklaus, who was previously honored by the PGA in 1998 as the inaugural First Lady of Golf, gave the audience another reason why she has made giving back part of her DNA.
“As C.S. Lewis said, you are never too old to set another goal or to make a new dream,” she said. “So, I will continue to dream and to set new goals and I promise that I will try very hard to make you proud that you have chosen me for this phenomenal honor.”
SOURCE: PGA of America
Latest Golf News
By BOB DELANEY
By BOB DENNEY
AUSTIN, TEXAS - Team golf, whether conducted on a televised global stage or in the cozy confines of the Fazio Foothills of Austin, Texas, is the sport’s minute-by-minute drama series.
The inaugural Women’s PGA Cup had its share of compelling vignettes Saturday as a five-member United States team dug deep to hold off Canada and capture a sparkling silver trophy by four strokes, 671-675, at the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa.
The 54-hole competition, the first international event for women PGA Professionals, opened with the U.S. owning a 10-stroke advantage only to see that cushion trimmed twice to four. The day closed on a sun-splashed tableau of rolling terrain with Canada and the U.S. dueling on the Foothills’ renowned final four holes.
The Canadians had played the demanding stretch well all week – just a pair of bogeys. So, any celebration for the Americans was on hold until the final fivesome had finished.
“Coming down the stretch, these players fought so hard,” said U.S. Captain Suzy Whaley, president of the PGA of America. “They came out a little slow, but hung in there. They did their jobs. Each one of them had to stay in the process and control only what they could control. They came out victorious, but today was a win for women’s golf.”
Great Britain & Ireland finished third at 698, followed by Australia (715) and Sweden (725).
Brittany Kelly of Indianapolis, Indiana, was the anchor for the U.S., finishing the three days at 2-over-par 218 and earning her team’s collective water spray affection at the 18th green.
Canada was led by Christine Wong (222), while Alison Curdt of Reseda, California (223) provided the necessary “glue” to keep the U.S. in position to win a cup.
“We all needed to stick to our game plan and forget the first two days,” said Kelly, the reigning Indiana Women’s Open Champion. “I had my moments. I always like to keep it interesting. I knew my teammates had my back. This was amazing to represent your country and play with best players in the country. I think that this will grow and would love to see more countries compete.”
The U.S. Team included Seul-Ki Park of Billerica, Massachusetts, and reigning Women’s PGA Stroke Play Champion Joanna Coe of Lutherville-Timonium, Maryland. The PGA Assistant PGA Professional at Winchester (Massachusetts) Country Club, Park will be getting married next Sunday in Rowley, Massachusetts, had a 75, and Coe a 77.
The Women’s PGA Cup will be renewed in 2021, with the site to be announced.
SOURCE: PGA of America
Ryan Quinn has come a long way since his early golfing days in Galesville, about a 30-minute drive north of La Crosse.
There was a stellar amateur career, outstanding college career and a promising stint on the professional circuit.
It’s all led to a family trip to Wauwatosa, Wis., in early October, where he, his wife of 14 years, Meghan, and their twin sons, Jack and Robert, will attend the annual Wisconsin State Golf Association Hall of Fame banquet at Blue Mound Golf & Country Club.
The left-handed Quinn, Rich Tock and Ben Walter are the newest members being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
"It means a lot having a plaque on that wall with Don Iverson and all the other great names in the state," Quinn said earlier this week.
"I guess it's some kind of validation that I was a decent golfer back in the day," he added with a laugh.
But make no mistake, Quinn is thrilled by the honor.
“Really, I’m just kind of blown away, to be honest with you,” he said. “I always thought it might be a possibility, but getting that phone call and it being a reality just means a lot."
Iverson, from La Crosse, is pleased Quinn is being recognized.
"It's a nice honor for Ryan. Not too many of us from around here are in it," said the affable Iverson, a former two-time winner on the PGA Tour and 1966 State Amateur champion. "Ryan's very deserving of the award. It's real nice."
Quinn, 41, had an incredible six-year run in the State Amateur Golf Championship from 1998 to 2003.
During that span, he never finished lower than 11th place in the State Am and won title in 2001 and 2002 – the first and still only back-to-back winner since the tournament changed to stroke play in 1971.
He nearly won a third consecutive State Am in 2003, finishing runner-up to Brian Brodell at Blue Mound Golf & Country Club.
“I guess one of the things I’m probably most proud about my WSGA career is my record in the State Am,” Quinn said. “I feel like that was a tournament I always tried to peak at.”
Quinn was a three-time U.S. Amateur qualifier, advancing to the round of 16 in 2003.
He also was a top collegiate golfer at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, finishing second in the 1999 NCAA Division III Championship and fourth two years later. In all, he won 11 college tournaments.
Quinn might be most remembered in the La Crosse area as a five-time winner of La Crosse County Amateur Golf Championships. He played in eight straight County Amateurs, from 1996 through 2003.
The then 18-year-old Quinn lost to 43-year-old Eric Haug by one stroke in 1996, when Haug sank a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole.
Quinn collected his first 36-hole County Am title in 1997, nipping Joe Loomis and Jay Peterson by one stroke when the final nine holes were rained out.
"I was 19 when I won my first County Am and I think it's still my most memorable," he said. "I made a 6- to 7-footer to beat Joe. I remember that because we became real good friends."
Quinn finished fifth behind winner Brian Banasik in 1998, before coasting to a five-stroke victory over his uncle, Paul Williamson, and Tom Knothe in 1999. Quinn tied for fourth in 2000. He started a string of three in a row in 2001, winning by three strokes over Michael Drugan. The next year he defeated Drugan in a sudden death playoff. Quinn made it a three-peat in his last County Am in 2003, winning by four strokes over Williamson, who incidentally is the all-time County Am champion with seven titles. Iverson collected six County Am titles in the 1960s, while Quinn and Rich Jungen are tied for third with five titles apiece.
"There were always two events I circled on my calendar every year that I really wanted to play my best golf. They were the County Am and the State Am," Quinn said.
Quinn, who acquired his pro card in January of 2004 at the age of 26, attended six PGA Tour Qualifying Schools.
The first one, in La Quinta, Calif., he remembers all too well.
"The first year was a struggle, but it made me appreciate the game more," he said.
Quinn improved, gained experience and eventually qualified for the second stage of Q-School twice, but missed moving on to the final stage - once by one shot and once by three strokes.
Quinn said he played professionally three or four summers on the Dakotas Tour, one year on the Canadian Tour, three to four years on the Hooters Tour and at least two years of his pro career on the Adams Tour.
"I enjoyed the Adams Tour the most because the courses were the best," Quinn said, adding that the Hooters Tour had the most prize money. However, he had his greatest success on the Dakotas Tour, winning three events. His biggest winner's check was $7,500.
As far as his professional winnings, Quinn estimates he was close to $60,000 one year and "probably pretty close" to $100,000 for his career before he called it quits in August of 2010.
According to a story authored by WSGA Hall of Fame writer Gary D'Amato, Quinn was playing in a Dakotas Tour event in Rapid City, S.D., when Meghan sent him a video of one of their twin sons crawling for the first time.
“I was like, ‘I’m done,’” Quinn told D'Amato. “That was my last pro tournament. I had lost the desire. It had gotten to the point where people around me wanted me to succeed more than I did.”
And just like that, Quinn walked away from what many believed to be a promising career.
Quinn is now an injury claims representative for State Farm Insurance. Meghan is director of underwriting risk and compliance for the same company.
Now Quinn is looking forward to the WSGA Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Oct. 5, with Meghan, his sons, other family members, relatives and friends.
"Meghan is proud of me and happy for me," he said. "We have talked about what an honor this event will be and I'm told the WSGA puts on a great event. It's going to be a lot of fun."
Quinn, who regained his amateur status in 2011, said he probably wouldn't have lasted as long as he did as a professional, had it not been for his wife.
"Meghan has always been such a positive influence on my golfing career even when I was down in the dumps," he said.
TREMPEALEAU, WI - Katie Johnson, owner/broker Assist2Sell, and Eric Wilber, owner/operator Trempealeau Mountain Golf Club, are pleased to announce an upcoming change in ownership.
The course will be sold to a family run organization from Pennsylvania, which has ties to the La Crosse area.
Chad and Amy Landis of Holmen, will oversee all operations beginning Oct. 21.
Their goal is to carry on the legacy of Harold and Linda Wilber, who nearly 25 years ago dreamed of a golf course on the gorgeous rolling farm fields just outside of Trempealeau. They brought to life a stunning, professionally-designed, 18-hole links style golf course.
Under their faithful stewardship, Trempealeau Mountain Golf Club has become a treasure to the local Coulee Region community and to golfers from throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota. The new ownership team consists of business, hospitality and tourism and golf course management professionals as well as passionate and experienced golfers committed to your enjoyment.
“As new owners, we hope to make Trempealeau Mountain Golf Club a destination golf course for golfers throughout the Midwest for years to come," said Chad Landis. "As avid golfers ourselves, we know people patronize courses to have fun and put the stress of their busy lives to the side for a few hours.
"Our mission is to provide a fun, customer-friendly and service-oriented environment. We want our guests to enjoy the course and facilities both before, during and after their round," Chad Landis added.
Golfers of all skill levels will find ways to improve their game whether on the range or out on the course. You will see a lot of changes to the golf course and facilities during the 2020 season," he said.
Chad and Amy Landis welcome your suggestions as they build on the wonderful foundation at Trempealeau Mountain Golf Club.
“Our ownership and management team is friendly, accessible and professional, and we look forward to getting to know you in the very near future,” said Amy Landis.
Eric Wilber, owner of Trempealeau Mountain Golf Club is filled with joy and gratitude for the community and the continuation of his mother and father’s legacy.
“This is an answer to my unending prayers the past few months and I could not have asked for a greater gift from God," he said. "I truly appreciate the unending support and commitment I received from my agent Katie Johnson, Assist2Sell, for without her I’m certain the golf course would have been doomed.
There will be a “Meet and Greet” on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the Trempealeau Mountain clubhouse from 6 p.m.-9 p.m., catered by Blue Moon in Onalaska. All community members are invited and encouraged to join the event and meet the new owners.
SOURCE: Katie Johnson, Assist2Sell
Wisconsin Golf Hall of Fame
The Wisconsin State Golf Association established a Wisconsin Golf Hall of Fame in 1964 to honor distinguished amateurs for their significant contributions to the game of golf in Wisconsin.
The five charter members of this elite group, all legends who made their mark in Wisconsin amateur golf circles, were E.P. "Ned" Allis, Dick Cavanagh, Lynford Lardner, Billy Sixty, Sr., and Wilford Wehrle.
In 1975, the WSGA Hall of Fame Committee changed the induction policies to allow professionals, women and public Links players to be considered for the Hall of Fame. The first female to be inducted was Joyce Ziske Malison. In 1980, Archie Dadian of Whitnall Park Golf Course became the first public links player to be elected to the Hall of Fame.
At present, plaques of all inductees, which outline their achievements along with an engraved likeness, are on display at Golf House of Wisconsin in West Allis.
The WSGA Hall of Fame Committee is comprised of WSGA directors, golf professionals, women representatives, public links players and media delegates, who meet annually to review candidates. Candidate consideration is extended to individuals with outstanding golf records, and to those who have made exceptional contributions to the game of golf. All candidates must be at least 40 years of age and must receive at least 75% of the committee's votes.
WSGA Hall of Fame Members
1964 - E.P. “NED” ALLIS
1964 - BILLY SIXTY, SR.
1964 - WILFORD WERHLE
1964 - LYNFORD LARDNER, JR.
1964 - R.P. “DICK” CAVANAGH
1965 - MARUE CARROLL
1965 - DR. ADOLPH C. “BUSTER” BOCK
1965 - BERNARD “BEN” GLEISSNER
1966 - WALTER H. GAEDKE
1966 - DANIEL P. STEINBERG, JR.
1966 - DR. ERNEST MILLER
1966 - JAMES R. ANDERSON
1967 - STEVE CARAVELLO
1967 - RAY BILLOWS
1967 - GORDON KUMMER
1968 - FRANK WOODSIDE
1968 - ROBERT CRICHTON
1968 - HARRY SIMONSON
1969 - MAX SHIMON
1969 - CARL E. DIETZE
1969 - ROBERT A. HIPKE
1970 - BOWDEN DAVIS
1970 - BURLEIGH JACOBS, JR.
1970 - EDWARD J. WALSH
1975 - MANUEL DE LA TORRE
1975 - FRANCIS GALLETT
1975 - JOYCE ZISKE MALISON
1975 - JOHNNY REVOLTA
1976 - ALVIN R. "BUTCH" KRUEGER
1977 - WALTER LEUENBERGER
1977 - JAMES "JIMMY" MILWARD
1978 - ROBERT A. "BOBBY" BRUE
1979 - JAMES R. LOVE, JR.
1979 - THOMAS "TOMMY" VEECH
1980 - ARCHIE DADIAN
1981 - GOLDIE BATESON
1981 - MIKE BENCRISCUTTO
1982 - BURNS O. "BLACKIE" NELTHORPE
1982 - GORDON WATSON
1983 - CAROL SORENSON FLENNIKEN
1983 - STEVE BULL
1984 - PAULA (CLAUDER) GARZOTTO
1985 - OYVIND JUUL "O.J." NOER
1986 - RICHARD J. "DICK" SUCHER
1988 - DON IVERSON
1989 - DENNIS TIZIANI
1990 - MARY MCMILLIN FOSSUM
1990 - ANDY NORTH
1991 - GENE HAAS
1991 - MARK BEMOWSKI
1992 - ALEX ANTONIO
1992 - JOHN M. HAYES
1993 - KATIE (AHERN) FALK
1993 - MARILYN (KLUMB) WILLIAMS
1994 - MARY BETH NIENHAUS
1994 - JEFFREY RADDER
1995 - MARTHA NAUSE
1997 - JOHN PALLIN
1999 - CAROL JEAN SORENSON TEMPLIN
2000 - LOU WAROBICK
2001 - GEORGE HANSEN
2001 - BERNICE WALL
2002 - RALPH "BUTCH" SCHLICHT
2002 - BILL BRODELL
2003 - MARY HAFEMAN
2003 - EDDIE TERASA
2004 - HERBERT V. KOHLER, JR.
2004 - BOB GREGORSKI
2004 - SHERRI STEINHAUER
2005 - GARY MENZEL
2005 - MONROE MILLER
2006 - JOHN PATRICK "J.P." HAYES
2006 - DAVID U. COOKSON
2006 - JULES "SKIP" KENDALL
2007 - STEVE STRICKER
2007 - JERRY KELLY
2008 - DON JOHNSON
2009 - LARRY TIZIANI
2009 - JIM SCHUMAN
2010 - PAT BOYLE
2011 - TOM SCHMIDT
2011 - ARNOLD WALKER
2012 - DAVID MILEY
2012 - SYDNEY WELLS
2013 - TOM STRONG
2014 - GREG DICK
2015 - MARK WILSON
2015 - JOELLYN CROOKS
2016 - SUE GINTER
2016 - DAVID ROESCH
2017 - GARY D'AMATO
2017 - RYAN HELMINEN
2017 - MAGGIE LEEF
2019 - RYAN QUINN
2019 - RICH TOCK
2019 - BEN WALTER