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Home » Jack Nicklaus dedicates 2025 Memorial to wife, Barbara, in teary ode

Jack Nicklaus dedicates 2025 Memorial to wife, Barbara, in teary ode

Jack Nicklaus broke down during the Sunday broadcast of the Memorial Tournament as he announced that his wife, Barbara, will be the 2025 Memorial honoree.

Every year, the Memorial Tournament, hosted by Jack Nicklaus, honors a person for their contributions to golf. In a heartfelt moment, Nicklaus announced that the 2025 honoree would be his wife, Barbara. This announcement came during his annual visit to the CBS broadcast booth in the final round of the 2024 Memorial Tournament.

Given the honor by Jim Nantz, Nicklaus struggled to hold back tears as he revealed Barbara’s name. ‘I can’t get it out, Jim,’ he said before composing himself to announce, ‘It’s Barbara Nicklaus.’

The announcement was met with applause and cheers from the production crew behind the cameras, an unusual but fitting reaction. Both Jim Nantz and Trevor Immeleman expressed their admiration as Nicklaus spoke about Barbara’s contributions to the tournament. ‘Barbara has meant so much to this tournament,’ Nicklaus said. ‘Everybody has honored Jack Nicklaus, but Barbara Nicklaus has been right there through everything that’s happened.’ The decision to honor Barbara on the 50th running of the Memorial was seen as especially fitting given her longstanding support and involvement.

Since its founding by Nicklaus in 1976, the Memorial Tournament’s ‘Captains Club’ has selected honorees each year to acknowledge their achievements in the game of golf. Members of this club include famed golfers like Tom Watson and Gary Player, as well as influential figures such as Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley and former PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem. Barbara Nicklaus herself is a member of this prestigious club.

Nantz also highlighted the poetic symmetry of Jack being the honoree at the 25th Memorial in 2000, with Barbara now set to be honored at the 50th. Nicklaus interrupted Nantz’s comment about the significance of Barbara’s contributions, emphasizing, ‘She’s been honored by so many people. By the USGA. By the PGA of America. Ambassador to golf. So many things, but not here at Muirfield. And she’s been behind the scenes for everything that happens. It was a very emotional choice for me.’

Adding to the significance, the Nicklauses will celebrate their 64th wedding anniversary next month, making Barbara’s selection even more poignant as they approach 65 years of marriage in July 2025.

Barbara Nicklaus’s recognition as the 2025 Memorial honoree marks a deeply emotional and fitting tribute to her tireless support and contributions to the tournament over the years. The announcement, paired with the Nicklauses’ upcoming milestone anniversary, underscores the profound partnership and legacy they’ve built together in the world of golf.

Source: Golf ˙ Youtube ˙ Twitter


Paul Lewis is a lifelong golfing enthusiast who has dedicated his life to the game he loves. With a passion that has fueled his journey, Paul's unwavering commitment to golf has shaped him into a knowledgeable and experienced individual in the world of golf.

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