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Nicklaus’ Masters Golf Clubs

Nicklaus’ Masters Golf Clubs

Nicklaus’ Masters Golf Clubs

When April rolls around, a lot of us think Masters. And here in Minnesota, the Masters means the start of the golf season. After the winter of 2013-2014, most of us have had enough and are really ready to get grass under our feet.

And when it comes to the Masters, the first person I think of is Jack Nicklaus.

Masters

Nicklaus and his first Green Jacket after his 1966 Masters title. Can anyone ever catch him? He proved it wasn’t all about golf club tech, too.

It is hard to imagine that his record at Augusta National ever will be beaten. 

Nicklaus won 18 professional Majors with one-third of those Majors won at Augusta National. Nicklaus took the green jacket in 1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975  and 1986 — at the age of 46. (Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods have four Masters titles each.)

Interesting, and perhaps a testament to his once-in-a-generation skill or no-nonsense attitude and legendary work ethic: Nicklaus was well known for staying with the same clubs for a long time.

A club tinkerer he was not.

Three design experts worked on the Golden Bear’s clubs for years — Jack Wulkotte, Clay Long and Don White — the latter of whom is now with Scratch Golf.

For years, Nicklaus used a MacGregor 945 W Tommy Armour Super Eye-o-Matic driver and a MacGregor 693 3-wood.

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Jack Nicklaus used a driver like this MacGregor 945 W Tommy Armour Super Eye-o-Matic.

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This is the Golden Bear’s winning MacGregor 693 3-wood. He rarely played without it.

For a number of years, he also used the MacGregor VIP irons that he helped design in 1967. The VIP (for Very Important Players) was a beautiful iron made in a limited edition. Nicklaus was quoted as saying in a catalog, they came with “no tricks or gimmicks.”

The 1967 catalog also states the VIP irons were equipped with a shaft with “literally millions of steps so small that they could only be seen with a high-power microscope.”

The retail cost for eight clubs was a whopping $200 in 1967.

masters

Nicklaus won and won and won with set of irons that would run you $200 in the late ’60s.

 Nicklaus won the majority of his Majors with a blade putter produced in the late ’50s to early ’60s by the Sportsman Golf Corporation of Melrose Park, Ill. The putter was designed by George Low and was made under both the Sportsman and Bristol brands. The Wizard 600 model became famous and highly sought after by club collectors because Nicklaus won 15 of 18 of his Majors and 78 of his 100 titles with the Wizard 600.

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A 1962 catalog advertisement for the George Low Wizard clubs.

 Nicklaus used the Wizard 600 with both the Sportsman and Bristol name. The price circa 1960 for this putter was $15.50 and, of course, sold only through Pro Shops.

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This is perhaps the most iconic putter in the world, the Jack Nicklaus 1960 Geo Low Wizard 600 putter.

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The face of Nicklaus’ 960 Geo Low Wizard 600 putter.

Through his tremendous career, it also should be noted that Nicklaus came in second in Masters four times:

  • In 1964, he tied for second place with Dave Marr.
  • In 1971 tied for second place with Johnny Miller.
  • In 1977, another tie with Miller.
  • And finally, in 1981, one last tie with Miller.  

Interestingly, another former Buckeye golfer, Tom Weiskopf, also finished at Augusta National in second place four times. The great Ben Hogan came in second four times as well.


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