The legendary golfer known as the Golden Bear has a golden heart when it comes to charitable contributions to children.
Continue Reading Below
Jack Nicklaus, alongside his wife Barbara, is raising money through the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation which provides families access to world-class pediatric health services.
They shared their personal story that led them to their generous efforts to benefit children on the FOX Business Network’s Varney & Co.
“When Jack and I were first married and we had three small children, we had a little incident with our daughter who was then 11 months old and she kept choking,” Barbara told host Stuart Varney. “To make a long story short, they finally did an x-ray, found a shadow in her lung and had to do a bronchoscopy.”
A bronchoscopy, which at the time was only performed on adults, is procedure that allows a doctor to look inside your airways through a thin viewing device called a bronchoscope. The result came back with the Nicklaus’ daughter having inhaled a blue crayon.
Barbara said while their daughter spent a week in intensive care, “We kind of looked at each other as young parents and said you know if we ever in a position to help others, we wanted it to be children.”
Jack, an 18-time PGA major champion, discussed the health of golf and how the future of the sport is driven by the new Big Three, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy.
“Today, these three guys are really really very good but there are so many good ones behind them that golf is very healthy right now,” Jack said.
Jack said when he reflects on his playing days, the game of golf was surrounded by a collection of great players of their time with the likes of Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Johnny Miller, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson.
The game of golf is known for its decorum among players and spectators. However, the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale elicits some of the biggest roars and is known as golf’s biggest party.
Jack says the rowdiness from Scottsdale’s infamous hole is part of the game and helps grow the game of golf.
“Scottsdale is a horse of a different color and actually I don’t mind it at all. And actually if everybody was yelling and screaming and jumping and bell like a football game all the time, we get used to it just likely we do at Scottsdale,” Jack said.
Jack and Barbara Nicklaus host various golf tournaments to raise funds for their foundation. The first lady of golf recently teamed up with daughter Nan O’Leary to publish Well Done!, a cookbook that celebrates memories made around the Nicklaus’ kitchen table. The proceeds from the new book will go to raising money for the foundation.