Jack Nicklaus' Holes-in-One: Total, First, PGA Tour and More

How many holes-in-one does an all-time great golfer like Jack Nicklaus make in his lifetime? Probably, but not necessarily, a lot. Even the all-time greats rely on a lot of luck for aces. In Nicklaus' case, his approach irons, combined with a little luck, have produced more than 20 career holes-in-one.

What is the number of aces Nicklaus has made in his life? The current number is 21. Those 21 aces span more than 60 years, from the mid-1950s to the mid-2010s, and take him from age 14 to age 75. Three of those holes-in-one happened on the PGA Tour and one on the Champions Tour, the rest occurred outside of official competitions.

Jack Nicklaus' First Hole-in-One

Nicklaus was 14 years old when he recorded his first hole-in-one. It happened during the 1954 Scioto Junior Championship at Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio. It was on the 17th hole, playing 154 yards.

Nicklaus' Aces on Tour

Nicklaus recorded three career holes-in-one on the PGA Tour:
  • 1963 Memphis Open Invitational: Jack's first hole-in-one on tour happened with a 6-iron on the 195-yard No. 3 hole. It was in the first round, and Nicklaus scored 67 for that round. He finished the tournament in 11th place.
  • 1971 Greater Jacksonville Open: On the 155-yard 12th hole in the final round, Nicklaus aced using a 7-iron. Nicklaus shot 69 for the round and finished this edition of the Greater Jacksonville Open in a tie for ninth place.
  • 1979 Bob Hope Desert Classic: In the final* round, Nicklaus aced the 146-yard No. 6 hole using an 8-iron. He had a 69 in that round. (*The Hope was five rounds long at the time.) He finished the tournament in a tie for 11th place.
He also recorded one ace on the Champions Tour:
  • 1995 U.S. Senior Open: This ace happened during a final-round 67 that moved Jack into a tie for second place behind the winner. He holed-out the tee shot on the 163-yard No. 7 hole, using a 7-iron. The newspaper stories at the time identified this as Nicklaus' 17th career ace.
So Nicklaus did not win any of the tournaments in which he aced, and only one of his 21 career aces happened in a major — none in a "regular" (meaning not senior) major. But Nicklaus did score holes-in-ones twice during practice rounds prior to major championships.

He aced during a practice round prior to the 1979 British Open. And he aced during a practice round prior to the 1980 PGA Championship. The PGA practice ace was on the 15th hole at Oak Hill Country Club, and he used a 4-iron from 178 yards.

Nicklaus appears not to have paid much attention at the time to holes-in-one made outside of competition, based on the newspaper articles about that PGA practice ace: He told reporters he wasn't sure if it was his 11th or 12th career ace because he couldn't clearly remember another hole-in-one that he thought he'd made earlier in the year!

"I got my 10th in the British Open (practice round) a year ago," Nicklaus told reporters, "and I think I got one earlier this year but I don't remember where. It doesn't mean much in a practice round, though. It might be important if it were during the tournament."

Jack's Most-Recent Hole-in-One

Of Nicklaus' 21 career aces, when did the last one (so far) happen? It happened at Augusta National Golf Club on April 8, 2015, and it was the first ace he ever made at the home of The Masters. But it didn't happened on the "big course," it happened on the Augusta National Par-3 Course, during the 2015 Masters Par-3 Contest. Nicklaus was 75 years old, playing with Gary Player and Ben Crenshaw, when he holed-out on the fourth hole.

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