The IX: Golf Thursday with Carly Grenfell, November 7, 2019

PGA Annual Meeting — Interview with Barbara Nicklaus — Must-click links in women's golf

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PGA Annual Meeting

Hello, friends! It’s Annual Meeting week in my corner of the world, which means our Members from across the country traveled to West Palm Beach to hear from our executives and senior leaders on our strategic plans that will drive the association into decade, hear from Hall of Fame Members and annual award winners, definitely play some golf and a whole lot more. This was my first Annual Meeting experience—so I’ve just been taking it all in and learning even more about our 29,000 PGA Members.

Some highlights to share with you all that stand out from the week so far.

  • Annika Sorenstam and Shirley Spork were inducted into the PGA of America Hall of Fame.

  • Jack Nicklaus and Annika’s son had a cute moment before pictures. Jack jokingly asked him if we was going to comb his hair for the big night! See Instagram post below—he was definitely looking sharp and adorable.

  • Barbara Nicklaus was named the Distinguished Service Award Winner.

  • All three women got a standing ovation when they were recognized!

  • Jack and Barbara enjoyed a nice dance together following the ceremony. Relationship goals for real.

  • Shirley Spork told us she’s 92 and still gets out to play golf. No excuses, people.

It was a really cool night that made me realize the awesome things that happen when you use a platform like professional golf to make the world a better place. It’s safe to say all three of the women we recognized did and still continue to do that. Whether it’s helping/saving children and giving money to children’s hospitals, starting a foundation to teach young girls how to play and give them opportunities they otherwise would not have had or sacrificing so much to bring the LPGA to life, all three of them have moved the needle in some way.

Barbara Nicklaus only missed one of Jack’s golf events and that was because she was in the hospital about to have a baby! But she didn’t just follow her husband around on tour. She saw it as an opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. Now that Jack isn’t on the road as much, she mentions in her interview how he gets to visit the hospitals with her more now and it’s been fun to see him enjoy it as much as she does.

Definitely watch the tribute video that I link to below and check out more of her interview. They are the ultimate power couple and those kind of people you just think to yourself is this real life? They are THAT nice and generous and thoughtful? It really puts things into perspective and was special getting to be apart of recognizing them.

This Week in Women’s Golf

Reminder: First, the underlined words are the links. Second. CLICK these, even if you’ve already read them. Clicks = Attention from editors, producers and webmasters. Third, if you want to push out stuff you’ve written or read, email me!

Check out my podcast with the PGA, Fairway Tales.

Annika Sorenstam inducted into the PGA of America Hall of Fame.

Barbara Nicklaus, wife of Jack Nicklaus, inducted into PGA of America Hall of Fame.

LPGA founder Shirley Spork inducted into the PGA of America Hall of Fame.

Lucy Li turns pro at age 17, but you won’t see her on the LPGA next year. Here’s why.

Controversy at Q-school! Christina Kim reports a rules violation, many not happy.

Another interesting response to the rules controversy at Q-school.

Two players hit with penalties at Q-school after not knowing the rules.

Nelly Korda defends her title in Taiwan and credits her caddy—the runner-ups fiance.

There’s plenty on the line in Japan, the final stop for the LPGA on the Asia swing.

Once bullied Haley Moore among 19 rookies to earn LPGA status.

Inspirational Amy Bockerstette family forms the “I Got This” Foundation.

Tweet of the Week

Five at The IX: Barbara Nicklaus

This was a really special night honoring all of our Hall of Fame inductees along with Barbara Nicklaus, the 2019 Distinguished Service Award recipient. If you have time, I highly encourage you to watch the tribute video she was surprised with that’s narrated by nearly all of Jack and Barbara’s grandkids and children. She has done some amazing work and it was evident throughout her speech and interview with Jimmy Roberts the award meant the world to her.

Q: Do you remember the first time you and Jack met, where you were?

A: Well you know, I’m going to tell you Jimmy that I looked it up because I seem to be brain dead every time someone asks me this. It was out in front of the lab on the Ohio State University campus—right Jack!? I had just looked up the steps and I knew the girl from high school, we both had our little sororities in high school so I stopped to say hello to her. She happened to be talking to Jack. And she had to go to class, so Jack walked me back to the department where I was working to pay my way through school and he called me up that night.

Q: So much good has been done—$100 million dollars to the Nicklaus Children’s healthcare foundation, thousands of children have been helped. What made the light go on?

A: I’m not really sure. I think actually that single world “children” is probably the best thing going for us. How can you ever say no to a child and how can you ever not want to save a child’s life or make life easier for them. It just ballooned. We have so much support with our family. I can’t really answer that… it’s just been a miracle.

Q: You have a big and loving family but also a second family that’s been a bi-product over the years. How rewarding is that?

A: Every one of those words means so much. It’s kind of funny because, like they all said, Jack really didn’t have time to get involved when he was so busy on the golf course. And now that he’s traveling less, he’s really gotten into this. It’s been more fun for me seeing how much he’s enjoyed this; visiting the kids and seeing how they’ve been helped. We keep joking with the woman who runs our foundation that we are going to have to raise his salary! We’ve gone from 0 to double 0 to triple 0. People are so generous and I think children is the big word.

Q: Is there one story that sticks out because of the work you’ve done?

A: There are so many but I think one that Jack and I always fall back on is about a little twin named Teagan. Teagan and Riley were born in Minnesota a little over four years ago. Teagan was born with one lung and half a heart in backwards and she was sent home with a hospice nurse to die. They said take your pictures, love her, she won’t be alive for long. Well, 10 weeks later, Teagan was still alive. So Cassie, the mom, got on the internet to find children’s hospitals and nobody would return the call. Well fortunately, one of our angel doctors at Nicklaus Children’s Redmond Burke got all her papers and he said I want you to bring that baby down here. Inoperable is not in my vocabulary. So six months later and several operations later and told Cassie— you take Teagan home to grow up with her twin sister. That has caught our hearts.

Q: So many young golfers look up to Jack but that’s not the totality of the Nicklaus family. Young wives really look up to you. When you were younger, who did you look up to?

A: I would say Winnie Palmer was probably my best friend on tour. We first really got together at the 1962 U.S. Open when Jack and Arnold were in a playoff. We walked every hole together. She was just fantastic and Jack loves this story—I asked Winnie how she handles getting mad at Arnold. And she said well when I get mad at him on a Tuesday or Wednesday I don’t want to upset him before he plays golf but if I wait until Sunday I’ll have forgotten what I was mad about! I thought that was pretty good.

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By Stephanie Livaudais, @Livaudais
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal High Post Hoops
Thursdays: Golf
By Carly Grenfell, @Carlygren
Fridays: Hockey
By: Erica Ayala, @ELindsay08 NWHL Broadcaster

Written by The IX Team