The PGA TOUR has released the full 2017-18 season schedule and it includes six tournaments to be contested on layouts designed by Jack Nicklaus and Nicklaus Design – more than any other designer or firm. Since beginning his golf course design career in 1969, the Golden Bear has taken great pride in creating memorable, playable and fun layouts, which with their emphasis on strategy and shot values, can also test the world’s finest players. Annually, Nicklaus Design has more courses hosting professional tournaments worldwide than any other design firm, and to date, the number of courses on Tour is more than 145, and the total tally of tournaments staged exceeds 900.
Nicklaus Design has created over 410 golf courses, spread across 44 countries and 39 states. Of those, Jack Nicklaus has personally been involved in the design of nearly 300 courses open for play.
Here are some notable notes from the just-released 2017-18 PGA TOUR season schedule:
The 2017-18 season is made up of 49 FedExCup tournaments, and the first to be played at a Nicklaus Design course is just two weeks into the New Year, when the CareerBuilder Challenge tees off from Jan. 15 to 21 at PGA West’s Nicklaus Tournament Course. The tournament was first played in 1960. It moved to PGA West for the first time in 1987-the same year the Nicklaus Tournament Course opened for play. Nicklaus won the event in 1963, formerly called the Palm Springs Golf Classic early in the event’s history.
The Honda Classic tees off from Feb. 19 to 25 on the Champion Course at PGA National Resort & Spa as part of the TOUR’s Florida Swing. In 1990, Nicklaus redesigned the layout, now known for the daunting stretch of Holes 15, 16, and 17 called “The Bear Trap.” The Golden Bear’s layout isn’t his only connection to one of the TOUR’s most fan-friendly events, which set an attendance record in 2017 with 203,815 spectators. When The Honda Classic was moved to Palm Beach Gardens in 2007, it began to support the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. The 2017 winner, Rickie Fowler, will try to join the Golden Bear, who was the first of only four players to win the event twice (1977 and ‘78).
The RBC Heritage takes place just one week after the Masters Tournament in April at Harbour Town Golf Links, located in Hilton Head Island, S.C., and the first golf course to be designed by Jack Nicklaus. The Golden Bear collaborated with Pete Dye and the course opened in 1969. In 2018, the event will be played for a banner 50th time-making the RBC Heritage one of the longest-running events on TOUR. That’s not all that distinguishes the RBC Heritage. Included on its list of past winners are major champions Jack Nicklaus (1975), Arnold Palmer, Hale Irwin, Greg Norman, Johnny Miller, Payne Stewart, and Tom Watson. Plus, Harbour Town Golf Links-known for the iconic candy cane-striped lighthouse visible from its 18th hole-was recently included on GOLF Magazine’s biennial list of the Top-100 golf courses in the United States.
The TOUR makes its way to Muirfield Village Golf Club May 28 to June 3, with the 43rd playing of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide. Founded and hosted by Jack Nicklaus-with Jack Nicklaus II as Chairman, Steve Nicklaus as President, and Barbara Nicklaus a member of the Captains Club-the Nicklaus family works year-round to make sure the Memorial is a can’t-miss event for the best players on TOUR. Muirfield Village Golf Club, located in Dublin, Ohio, just outside Nicklaus’ hometown of Columbus, opened for play in 1974 as a collaboration between the Golden Bear and the late Desmond Muirhead. It is consistently ranked as one of the Top-100 golf courses in the world. Fans love the event at Muirfield Village for its excellent hospitality, as well as for its support of charities, including Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. There’s also the great competition. Jack Nicklaus won the event in 1977 and 1984, and the roster of past winners totals a staggering 68 major championships won. Other past winners include Ernie Els, Matt Kuchar, Hideki Matsuyama, Tiger Woods, and Jason Dufner, whose victory in 2017 snapped a streak of three consecutive Memorial Tournaments decided in a playoff.
The PGA TOUR heads to its only event in Canada from July 23 to 29 for the Canadian Open, which has been played at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario 28 times-more than any other course in the event’s history, which dates back to 1904. Glen Abbey, which opened for play in 1976, represents Nicklaus’ first solo golf course design. Glen Abbey and Muirfield Village Golf Club are credited as the first examples of courses designed with tournament galleries in mind. Nicklaus was on-hand for the 2017 event, speaking at the opening ceremonies, where he was presented with a hockey jersey to hit a ceremonial slapshot.
The Barracuda Championship is played at Montrêux Golf and Country Club from July 30th to August 5th. Chief among its list of distinguishing factors-the Barracuda is the only PGA TOUR event played with a Modified Stableford format, meaning rather than counting the total number of strokes taken, as in typical stroke play, points are scored based on the number of strokes taken at each hole. Good play earns points and poor play takes away points, and unlike conventional tournament golf, the objective is to have the highest score. Montrêux Golf and Country Club opened for play in Reno, Nev., in 1997, and Golf Digest named it among the 10 Best New Private Courses for that year.
In 2017 alone, Nicklaus Design courses hosted a total of 17 sanctioned events on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, Web.com Tour, and LPGA Tour. For more information on Nicklaus Design, please visit nicklaus.com/design. Visit pgatour.com for the full 2017-2018 PGA TOUR schedule.
About the Nicklaus Companies: The Nicklaus Companies is dedicated to promoting excellence in the game of golf, preserving its great traditions, and growing the game. For nearly 50 years, the mission of the Nicklaus Companies has been to enhance the golf experience, and to bring to the national and international consumer, golf-related businesses and services that mirror the high standards established in the career and life of record 18-time major champion and golf course designer Jack Nicklaus.
In 2007, Jack Nicklaus partnered with Howard Milstein to help further the growth of the company and to realize the full potential of the brands and branded businesses. Howard Milstein is Chairman of New York Private Bank & Trust and is actively involved in the Nicklaus Companies serving as Co-Chairman along with Jack.
Products and services include golf-course design, development of golf and real estate communities, and the marketing and licensing of golf products and services. Nicklaus-branded products have been marketed worldwide since 1962. The Jack Nicklaus and Golden Bear-branded lifestyle collection of products include: ice cream; restaurants; beverages and beverageware; wine; golf academies; home appliances; flooring; cabinets; apparel; footwear; and golf equipment.
For more information on the Nicklaus Companies, please visit Nicklaus.com.
About PGA TOUR: The PGA TOUR is the leading global platform in professional golf, showcasing the highest expression of excellence, both on and off the course. The PGA TOUR’s mission is to entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, generate significant charitable and economic impact in the communities in which it plays, grow and protect the game of golf and provide financial opportunities for TOUR players.
The PGA TOUR co-sanctions more than 130 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, Web.com Tour, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR China. Its members represent the world’s best players, hailing from 24 countries (89 members are from outside the United States). Worldwide, PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to more than 1.1 billion households in 227 countries and territories in 23 languages. Virtually all tournaments are organized as non-profit organizations in order to maximize charitable giving. In 2016, tournaments across all Tours generated a record of more than $166 million for local and national charitable organizations, bringing the all-time total to $2.46 billion.
The PGA TOUR’s web site is PGATOUR.COM, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.