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The Nicklaus Family Nine Figure Foundation
Jack and Barbara Nicklaus have raised $165 million for their foundation.
Every Monday, I write a newsletter breaking down the business in golf. Welcome to the 50 new Perfect Putt members who have joined us since our last newsletter. Join 6,816 intelligent and curious golfers by subscribing below.
Today At A Glance:
Jack Nicklaus made $5.7 million in career earnings on the PGA Tour. His foundation has raised 30 times the money he earned playing golf. Today’s newsletter breaks down the origin and the details behind the Nicklaus Children’s Healthcare Foundation.
Read Time: 4 minutes.
Today’s newsletter is powered by JohnWallStreet.
JohnWallStreet broke down the PDC as it made its second visit to New York City. Here’s a quick excerpt from the piece. Click the button to read the full breakdown below.
While the 2023 tournament will feature eight of the world’s top darts players alongside eight of North America’s top players, the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) is marketing the event as ‘Sport’s Biggest Party’.
“[The star power and stakes are] the second line,” Matthew Porter (CEO, Professional Darts Corporation) said. “We need to get your attention first.”
The U.S. is a relatively new market for professional darts and marketing the party experience associated with the event enables PDC to standout in a crowded sports and entertainment landscape.
Hey Golfers —
Jack Nicklaus made $5.7 million during his career on the PGA Tour. The biggest paycheck he deposited in his bank was $144,000 after his 1986 Masters win.
Eleven PGA Tour golfers have made over $5.7 million this year alone. Of course, Mr. Nicklaus played in a different era — a gallon of gas cost $.93, and a stamp cost $.22 in 1986.
Jack won his first major in 1962 at the U.S. Open, making $17,500. Adjusted for inflation — that is $175,000 today.
According to Sportico — Mr. Nicklaus has made $870 million throughout his career. Adjusted for inflation, Jack has made over $1.6 billion in his career. Ranking him the fourth-highest athlete of all time.
Turning $5.7 million into $870 million is an incredible accomplishment.
In a favorable financial position Mr. Nicklaus and his wife, Barbara, started a foundation in 2004. But the story begins many years before that. Jack and Barbara’s daughter became sick at eleven months old, and they credit Columbus Children’s Hospital for saving her life. At that moment, they told themselves if they were ever in a position to help children — they would.
So Nicklaus Children’s Healthcare Foundation was born.
In 2015 — the Nicklaus Children’s Healthcare Foundation pledged $60 million to the Miami Children’s Hospital. And recognizing the pledge — Miami Children’s Hospital changed its name to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. Jack and Barbara visit the hospital frequently — meeting with patients and physicians.
Nicklaus Children’s Hospital has over 600 physicians in the nearly 300-bed facility — it is the only licensed children’s hospital in South Florida.
Since 2004 — the foundation has raised over $165 million, and Nicklaus Children’s Hospital has served children from 119 countries.
Two of the most significant Nicklaus Children’s Healthcare Foundation fundraising events are The Jake — a two-day golf event that raises seven figures. And The Golden Heart Luncheon raises around half a million dollars.
The foundation has consistently donated millions of dollars every year to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, Florida. In 2019 — the foundation donated $5 million to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
While the foundation listed 18 voting members on its most recent financial documents — only one was reported to have received compensation. And it wasn’t Jack or Barbara — it was its CEO.
So why the yellow at the Memorial Tournament?
In the late 1960s — Jack befriended a ten-year-old boy, Craig Smith, who had been diagnosed with cancer. Talking with Jack after one of his victories, Craig told Jack he won because he wore his lucky yellow shirt. This inspired Jack to wear yellow on Sundays to recognize Craig’s battle. Unfortunately, Craig passed away a few years later. But his legacy lives on with a three-way partnership between the Nicklaus family, the PGA Tour, and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals called Play Yellow. Play Yellow is a campaign to raise $100 million.
The Memorial Tournament has been played since 1976. It has raised nearly $50 million for charity in its lifetime. Over $30 million has been donated to Nationwide Children’s Hospital since 1976. And the tournament raised a record $4.9 million for charity last year.
Several professional golfers have foundations today. Tiger Woods’ foundation donated $7.5 million in 2019, and Jordan Spieth’s foundation donated over $1 million in 2021.
Golf is just a game — it’s the best game on the planet. But it pales in comparison to the importance of the foundations golfers and professional athletes have created to push forward their mission of making the world a better place.
And maybe I have a soft spot for foundations. My dad was diagnosed with MS over ten years ago — and I have seen its positive impact on research and improving the lives of people with the disease.
Jack and Barbara have spearheaded hundreds of millions of dollars for children worldwide. Pretty remarkable.
Have yourself a great Monday. Talk to you next week!
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