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‘First lady of golf’ Barbara Nicklaus 2025 Memorial Tournament honoree

‘First lady of golf’ Barbara Nicklaus 2025 Memorial Tournament honoree

DUBLIN, Ohio — The first lady of golf has been named the 2025 Memorial Tournament honoree for the 50th playing of the event at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

Barbara Nicklaus, wife of Jack Nicklaus, will be honored with the annual Captains Club award at next year’s tournament. She is the first non-golfer among 84 prior recipients.

“This honor is so incredibly special to me, and I can’t thank the Captains Club enough for thinking of me,” Barbara said in a statement, adding that she was overcome with emotion when receiving the news.

“The Memorial Tournament has held such a special place in our family’s life,” she said. “It’s been wonderful to walk side-by-side with Jack and to watch his dream become our reality over the years. Looking back at the list of those who have been honored since 1976, I can’t express how humbled I am to join this elite group that I have looked up to and respected for so long.”

The Nicklaus’ will have been married 64 years in July, since both attended Ohio State. Barbara is from Columbus and her husband from Upper Arlington.

The Golden Bear praised Barbara, who is the same age as him (84), for being the behind-the-scenes rock through 50 Memorials.

“It’s an emotional moment for me,” Jack said, fighting back tears on the CBS broadcast.

“I am so delighted and so happy and so proud of her,” he said. “She’s done so much for so many, and for 50 years here at Muirfield Village Golf Club she has contributed so much and has had very little recognition. It’s been hogged by her husband. So to have this happen, I mean, when it happened the tears just ran down my face.”

Born Barbara Jean Bash, she graduated from North High in 1957 and studied nursing at OSU. She met Jack during their first week on campus as freshmen and were married July 23, 1960. Five years later the couple moved to North Palm Beach, Florida, where they raised five children: Jack II, Steve, Nan, Gary and Michael. They have 24 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Among other honors, Barbara has received the 2015 Bob Jones Award, given by the United States Golf Association, and the 2019 PGA of America Distinguished Service Award.


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