Jack Nicklaus receives Corporal Brock Bucklin Patriot Award

This Memorial Day, Jack Nicklaus received a special honor when he was given the Corporal Brock Bucklin Patriot Award presented by the Folds of Honor Foundation. Each year an outstanding individual, committed to serving our men and women in uniform, is presented with the Corporal Brock Bucklin Patriot Award. Past recipients include President George W. Bush, Corey Pavin and Vince Gill.

The Corporal Brock Bucklin Patriot Award is presented to an individual who displays unwavering, meritorious and extraordinary qualities of leadership, service and dedication to advancing genuine patriotism in America. Corporal Bucklin sacrificed his life in defense of America’s freedoms. His sacrifice is memorialized in this award. The recipient of this award recognizes such sacrifices, and supports those who have made them. The characteristics of this prestigious award are in keeping with the best traditions of the United States of America, its founders and its defenders. Bucklin’s son, Jacob Green, was the first scholarship recipient from the Folds of Honor Foundation.

The Folds of Honor Foundation was founded in 2007 by Major Dan Rooney, a former F-16 pilot, golf course owner, PGA Professional and USGA member. A Major in the Air National Guard and a decorated military aviator, Rooney has served three combat tours in Iraq. After returning from his second tour, Major Rooney witnessed a profound situation that drove him to create the Folds of Honor Foundation, which today provides educational scholarships for the dependents and spouses of members of the military who have been disabled or killed in service to our great country.

“Corporal Brock Bucklin and his family are the inspiration for everything we do and this is the most prestigious award given by our foundation,” said Rooney. “Jack Nicklaus is not only the greatest golfer to ever live, but more importantly he is one of the greatest people I’ve met. With the support he gives to charities across the country, including many military-related organizations, he is truly deserving of this honor.”

Nicklaus was named recipient of the award at the Patriot Cup Gala in Oklahoma, an annual event that serves as the closing ceremony for the Patriot Cup. Although his obligations as Host and Founder of the Memorial Tournament kept Nicklaus from physically being there, the Golden Bear recorded a heartfelt video message for the crowd.

“We have an unwavering and unyielding love for those who have sacrificed for our country,” said Nicklaus in the video message. “One of Major Dan’s favorite lines, and now one of mine, is ‘There is nothing free about freedom.’ We have all witnessed the unselfish acts and sacrifice and heroism, from the men and women who define that freedom. The price they pay is often tragic, whether it is loss of limb or loss of life. There is never too much we can do for them and their families.”

“I never had the privilege to serve for our country, but I am very proud to be an American. I have such a deep-rooted appreciation for the men and women who have. For what these men and women have given to us and for us, I consider it an honor and privilege to be involved in any efforts to support them. I also consider it an honor and privilege to accept the Brock Bucklin Patriot Award.”

Major Dan Rooney, founder of the Folds of Honor Foundation, with Jack Nicklaus

Major Dan Rooney, founder of the Folds of Honor Foundation, with Jack Nicklaus

Nicklaus is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame and a renowned golf course designer. He won 120 tournaments as a professional including 73 on the PGA Tour and a record 18 major championships, including four U.S. Opens. On the Champions Tour, he claimed another 10 tournaments including a record eight majors (two U.S. Senior Opens). He played on the U.S. Ryder Cup team six times, was twice named Captain of the U.S. squad and was a two-time member of the Walker Cup team. He is the chief designer of nearly 290 courses around the world and his company, Nicklaus Design, has designed more than 365 courses in 34 countries. He has been heavily involved with The First Tee programs, has been a passionate supporter of several growth-of-the-game initiatives, and has contributed greatly to pediatric health care in Florida and nationally through the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation.