Nicklaus: The Masters and Augusta are one

Jack Nicklaus competed in 45 US Masters from 1959 through to 2005.

Nicklaus also teed-up at Augusta National in an unbroken 40-year run from 1959 to 1998.

In that time, ‘The Golden Bear’ won six times including back-to-back Augusta National titles in 1965 and 1966.

Jack Nicklaus Nicklaus: The Masters and Augusta National go hand-in-hand

Nicklaus’ last competitive appearance at the Masters was six years in 2005 when he missed the cut with a second round 76.

Strangely, it had been a first day 76 that Nicklaus shot on debut 46 years earlier.

And Nicklaus competed more in the Masters than any other Major Championship.

So naturally, Augusta National holds a very special place in the heart of Nicklaus, and it’s why the Masters is so special to Nicklaus, and why he could never bear to have to two separated.

“The first time I drove down Magnolia Lane, I was a wide-eyed 19-year-old who knew only a bit about the history behind the walls of Augusta National,” Nicklaus recalls.

“Yet I will never forget that rush through my body as I drove down Magnolia Lane, with the unmistakable realisation that something special awaited at the end of the tree-lined stretch of Georgia asphalt.”

“Even now, the drive down Magnolia Lane sends a tingle through me as if I were 19 all over again.”

“It is because the Masters is Augusta National and Augusta National is the Masters.”

“The two are as synonymous as they are inseparable. To have one without the other is impossible.”

“I have played other golf courses line Pine Valley, Pinehurst No.2 and East Lake, and they’re some of my favourite courses in the world. All are wonderful designs, rich in history, and each a strenuous test of golf.”

“But they’re not Augusta National.”

“The Masters is less about a golf course than it is about an overall experience, heavy with tradition and golf history.”

“It is Bobby Jones and the Butler Cabin. It is the Crow’s Nest and eating $2 steaks with Phil Rodgers when we were teenagers.”

“It is the azaleas in bloom and the boom of the gallery in Amen Corner.”

“It is the brilliant green fairways back-dropped by a pearl-white clubhouse.”

“It is the unmatched feeling of slipping on a green jacket, whether it’s the first or the sixth. The other three Major Championships rotate site to site, yet the Masters call only Augusta home.”

“To me, the championship is defined by its home club and course.”

“Certainly, the Masters could be played on another golf course, but it would not truly be the Masters without Augusta National Golf Club.”