Woods, Palmer, and Nicklaus: The Golf Triad

15 September, 2020
The gold triad is made up of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Tiger Woods. The latter unseated Gary Player.

For many years, the Big Three in golf were Nicklaus, Palmer, and Player, until a boy by the name of Tiger Woods came along and took the latter’s place. That’s why today Woods, Palmer, and Nicklaus are the protagonists of the golf triad. We’ll tell you all about them in the following article.

The golf triad: Jack Nicklaus

Born in Ohio in 1940, Nicklaus is known by golf fans as the best player in history. This is due, in part, to the fact that he is the golfer who has won the most major tournaments—18 to be exact.

He got the nickname the Golden Bear because of his robust appearance and hair color. He won his first professional tournament at the US Open in 1962. The 1970s were undoubtedly the most successful time of his career, achieving nine majors. The last, an Augusta Masters, was achieved in 1986 at the age of 46. So far, he’s the oldest winner.

Jack Nicklaus
Image: Liveabout.com

Nicklaus retired from the golf courses in the year 2000, although he made an appearance in 2005. He hosts his own PGA Tour tournament called the Memorial Tournament. He also writes books on playing technique. Additionally, he has his own brand of golf equipment and designs courses to practice the sport.


The golf triad: Arnold Palmer

The second member of this triad has the honor of being one of the top tournament winners since 1955. This is when he won his first tour in Canada, at a very young age. He took seven majors in his career: four Augusta Masters (1958, 1960, 1962, and 1964), one US Open (1960), and two British Open (1961 and 1962).

Arnold Palmer
Image: Mundiario.

Without a doubt, his most prolific years were in the sixties, when in addition to the big tournaments, he took 24 PGA tours. He was also a television star in the 1950s. Along with Nicklaus and Player, he made golf popular around the world.

Tiger Woods, the newest member

No one can deny that Tiger Woods is the most famous golfer of all time, and he is still playing. So far, he has 15 majors and is only three short of matching the best, Nicklaus.

Tiger Woods began his career at a very young age. At just 20 years of age, he won several amateur tournaments. A year later, in 1996, he went professional and won two tournaments in only three months.

The surprise—the first of many—would come in 1997, when he won the first major of his career: the Augusta Masters. He did this at 21, which is the youngest in history. He would go on to take this title again, four more times: 2001, 2002, 2005, and 2019.

Tiger Woods

The other major wins were: three US Opens (2000, 2002, and 2008), three British Opens (2000, 2005, and 2006), and four PGA Championships (1999, 2000, 2006, and 2007).

Even though he confirmed his retirement in 2009 after several personal problems, he made a return to tournaments in 2012 and continues to show that his technique and his effectiveness are still valid.

The golf triad: what happened to Gary Player?

In the sixties and seventies, the Big Three were Nicklaus, Palmer, and Player. However, the latter was ousted by Woods at the beginning of the new Millenium.

This South African golfer, born in 1935, has nine majors to his credit: three Augusta Masters (1961, 1974, and 1978), one US Open (1965), three British Opens (1959, 1968, and 1974), and two PGA Championships (1962 and 1972).

Gary Player
Image: Golf Digest.

The “Black Knight” kept on playing after 50 years in the Champions Tour, and won no less than 19 titles—the last was in 1998.

Ultimately, many believe that this golf triad of Woods, Palmer, and Nicklaus should include, or reinclude, Gary Player. So you could say that they’re the best-golfing quartet!

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  • El País. Tres reyes como no habrá otros. Abril 2012. https://elpais.com/deportes/2012/04/05/actualidad/1333634281_662456.html