Golf

He’s considered by many the greatest golfer ever, and he’s coming to the Grand Strand

Jack Nicklaus tips his cap to the sky in remembrance to his friend Arnold Palmer before the first round of the 2017 Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga. Nicklaus will be in the Myrtle Beach area next Monday.
Jack Nicklaus tips his cap to the sky in remembrance to his friend Arnold Palmer before the first round of the 2017 Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga. Nicklaus will be in the Myrtle Beach area next Monday. tdominick@thestate.com

Golf legend Jack Nicklaus is coming to the Grand Strand next week.

The man who many consider to be the greatest champion in the history of the sport will be in the area to recognize his second great career: golf course design.

Nicklaus will celebrate the 30th anniversaries of his two golf course designs in the Myrtle Beach golf market, Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island and Long Bay Club in Longs.

Both courses opened in 1988, and a celebration is being held Monday at Pawleys Plantation, which opened first.

Nicklaus will tour his design at Pawleys Plantation and meet with boys and girls from The First Tee of Coastal Carolinas as well as media. The visit is an invitation-only event.

Monday night, Nicklaus will be the guest of honor at a cocktail reception and dinner at the club and will take part in a question-and-answer session moderated by former PGA of America president and Grand Strand resident Gary Schaal.

A limited number of dinner tickets are available to the public through Alisa Smith with the Golf Tourism Solutions at Alisa.Smith@golftourismsolutions.com or 843-282-2665.

Pawleys Plantation is 7,031 yards from the back tees and has a Lowcountry look and feel with large moss-draped live oak trees and several holes along marsh. The course includes “Jack’s Tree,” a sprawling oak tree situated in the middle of the 14th fairway.

Long Bay Club is a challenging 7,025-yard layout featuring shallow greens that are well protected by bunkers and water hazards. The course is cut through maples, dogwoods and pines.

Both courses are among the 22 on the Grand Strand that are owned and operated by Founders Group International, a company owned by Chinese investors. Nicklaus’ visit is being coordinated by FGI and Golf Tourism Solutions, a marketing and technology agency that promotes the Myrtle Beach golf market.

Nicklaus, 78, has won 120 professional tournaments worldwide including a record 18 major championships, which is four more than Tiger Woods, with the last coming at the 1986 Masters Tournament.

He has 73 PGA Tour victories, which are nine fewer than Sam Snead’s record of 82 and seven behind Woods’ 80.

In majors, Nicklaus has 48 top-three finishes including 19 runner-ups.

Nicklaus’ design career is nearing its 50th year. Nicklaus and Nicklaus Design have created more than 415 courses in 45 countries and 39 U.S. states, beginning with his co-design with Pete Dye of Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island.

Nicklaus has designed, co-designed or redesigned over 300 courses, and he was named the 2017 Golf Course Architect of the Year at the World Golf Awards.

The Nicklaus Design company also designed the Reserve Club at St. James Plantation in Southport, N.C., which opened in 2006. Nicklaus’ youngest son, Michael, is largely credited with that design.

In addition to his unparalleled playing career and design accolades, Nicklaus has become a global golf ambassador and decorated philanthropist.

In June, he was presented the Lincoln Medal for his achievements and actions that exemplify the lasting legacy of President Abraham Lincoln.

Nicklaus is just the fourth person in history, and the first athlete, to be honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2005), the Congressional Gold Medal (2015) and the Lincoln Medal.

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