The Jack Nicklaus Museum

Nicklaus Museum 2355 Olentangy River Rd

The Best Museums in Columbus/The Jack Nicklaus Museum
VAMONDE Columbus
Written By VAMONDE Columbus

The Jack Nicklaus Museum

The Athletics Complex on the Ohio State University campus features a small, but popular, museum dedicated to its most famous alum - Columbus native and golf legend Jack Nicklaus. Many consider Nicklaus the greatest golfer of all time, with 18 PGA championships (Tiger Woods has 15). It’s a must-see for golf fans but has received some rave reviews from non-fans as well. As one online reviewer put it, “I'm not a golf enthusiast. This place is all about Jack. Every inch of it. From beginning to end. Surprisingly, it's interesting because Jack is interesting.”

A Glimpse of Jack's Story

Nicklaus was born in Columbus and grew up in nearby Upper Arlington. He began playing golf at age 10 at the Scioto Country Club, and won 27 tournaments in the Columbus area by age 17. He enrolled at OSU in the late 1950s, planning to pursue a career selling insurance while continuing to play golf as an amateur. In 1961, after getting married and having his first child, he decided to go pro and began an extremely successful PGA career that would continue into the 1990s. He is now a designer of golf courses and founder of the Memorial Tournament, a PGA tournament held on a course he designed in nearby Dublin, Ohio.

The Jack Nicklaus Museum is made up of 12,000 square feet of photos and memorabilia. It includes exhibits on the history of golf, the Nicklaus family, Nicklaus’s championships, the Memorial Tournament and Nicklaus’s course designs, and the OSU golf tradition. There’s also a theatre with a three-screen presentation about Nicklaus’s life, narrated by Sean Connery.

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Cover image: cough93, CC BY-ND 2.0 via Flickr.

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