The Loop

GCAA to honor Golden Bear

January 06, 2009

Having similarly honored Arnold Palmer a year ago, the Golf Coaches Association of America will give Jack Nicklaus its lifetime achievement award later this month at its annual Hall of Fame Reception and Awards Banquet in Orlando. Nicklaus played two seasons of college golf at Ohio State, winning the Big Ten and NCAA individual titles in 1961 before turning pro later that year and going on to have his historic career. Only last month I advocated that if the GCAA ever started a college players wing to its Hall of Fame, Nicklaus should be in the inaugural class.


"I have always embraced and respected collegiate golf for its purity and competitiveness," Nicklaus said in a press release. "My college experience was something I still cherish to this day, so to be recognized by college coaches across America is a very special and humbling honor for me."

The GCAA's national-player-of-the-year awards in Divisions I, II and III and NAIA are named after Nicklaus, with the four winners honored as his guests each year during the final round of the PGA Tour's Memorial tournament.

Nicklaus will be the fourth person to receive the GCAA lifetime achievement award, joining Karsten Solheim,Byron Nelson and Palmer. Also being honored on Jan. 26 are Hall of Fame inductee Randy Lein and Honor Award winner Lowell Lukas.

Photo credit: George Silk/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images