Originally created 10/10/01

Club welcomes Nicklaus

Jack Nicklaus already has the custom-tailored, single-breasted green jacket and a locker with his name on it at the Augusta National Golf Club.

The six-time Masters champion, however, has a new title at Augusta National - club member.

Augusta National, which opens its remodeled course for the season Thursday, invited Mr. Nicklaus to join the prestigious membership ranks. Mr. Nicklaus accepted the offer from Masters Chairman Hootie Johnson, joining four-time champion Arnold Palmer as the only Masters winners with regular membership status.

Mr. Palmer became a club member in 1999.

"When Hootie Johnson informed me that Augusta National wanted to offer me a regular membership to the golf club, I was obviously excited and thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of a golf club I have admired and respected since I first stepped foot on its grounds in 1959," Mr. Nicklaus said Monday. "When you begin to think of the names that make up Augusta National's tradition, gentlemen like Bob Jones and Clifford Roberts, this is a golf club steeped in history. So it is truly an honor to be invited to be a part of the club's future."

Mr. Nicklaus has played in 42 Masters Tournaments since his first visit in 1959, winning a record six times. He became the youngest champion (23) at the time when he edged out Tony Lema for the title in 1963, and 23 years later became the oldest champion (46) when he rallied to defeat Greg Norman and Tom Kite in 1986.

Reach Scott Michaux at (706) 823-3219.


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