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Jack Nicklaus, nicknamed “Ohio Fats” when he turned pro in 1960 and challenged the reigning king of golf Arnold Palmer, is 70 years old today. He won’t officially celebrate until tomorrow though as he’s on Christmas Island on a fishing trip and to save you looking it up, Christmas Island is in the Indian Ocean south of Jakarta, Indonesia.

His nickname soon morphed to the “Golden Bear” or now days even the “Olden Bear” but his accomplishments in tournament golf have never been matched and without question Nicklaus was the most dominant player of his era; maybe even of all time.

This won’t be a recital of his tournament wins, although as a refresher his first was the 1962 U.S. Open and his last the 1986 Masters, but a couple of other pertinent facts. He will join his long time friend and competitor Palmer as honorary starter at the Masters in April, a fitting sentimental gesture for the millions of golf fans who will watch in person or on TV.

Secondly Nicklaus and his wife Barbara celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in July. He always has made no secret of the fact to him family would be first before golf or for that matter his global business interests. Without becoming too maudlin this says as much about the man and his character as anything possibly could.

So from someone who has admired you and had a couple of cracking good interviews with you, thanks and Happy Birthday Jack.

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