Jack and Barbara Nicklaus returned to the Mid-Atlantic for a series of fundraising events, media opportunities, and site visits—first heading to Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, NC, where Jack Nicklaus hadn’t hit a golf shot since his last Greater Greensboro Open appearance there in 1964. The Nicklauses were on tap as honorary co-chairs of the inaugural A. Darrell Harris Memorial Golf Tournament to honor their friend and Furnitureland South founder in the A. Darrell Harris Memorial Golf Tournament.
Through their participation in the event, Jack and Barbara helped raise more than $250,000 for Brenner Children’s Hospital in Winston-Salem, N.C., and the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation.
“It’s a whole different life for me,” Nicklaus said. “All my life I’ve played golf or been involved with the golfing scene. Now I’m involved with the charity aspect, supporting my wife’s interests. But also developing a brand and a legacy that’s here beyond my lifetime,” Nicklaus said.
Jeff Harris, president of Furnitureland South, tried to describe how the star power changed the golf tournament.
“Are you kidding?” Harris said. “The short answer is we’re just so humbled—my brother, Jason, and me—to have Jack and Barbara both here. It’s something you dream about, having the greatest golfer of all time and the first lady of golf here to help us honor our father’s life and legacy.”
They left Greensboro for Chapel Hill to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course at Governors Club. As part of his visit, Jack toured all 27 holes.
“Twenty-five years goes pretty fast,” Nicklaus said. “It wasn’t that long ago that we were here. The trees have gotten a little bit bigger as they always do, and the course has matured… I remembered every hole as we went around.”
“I didn’t know what I was going to find. I go to a lot of my golf courses after 10 or 15 years and find that they need a little help, but after 25 years here, the golf course is in good shape,” Nicklaus said.
Governors Club was recently named a “Distinguished Emerald Club of the World” by Boardroom Magazine, putting them in the top five percent of private clubs worldwide. It was also included in Links Magazine’s list of the Best Golf Course for Convenience to City Life in the 2015 Real Estate Issue, and is frequently included in lists of the best golf courses in North Carolina.
After spending time with some of the members and their children, meeting with local media, and entertaining a packed room during a Q&A moderated by Golf Channel’s Gary Williams, it was off to another Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course recognized by Links Magazine for its convenience to city life, Creighton Farms, in Aldie, Va., outside of Washington, D.C.
The fourth Creighton Farms Invitational hosted by Jack Nicklaus was its most successful yet. The event raised a record $825,000 with a gala dinner hosted by Salamander Resort in Middleburg, Va., and a round played at award-winning Creighton Farms. The field included celebrities such as Jack, pitching legend Roger Clemens, hockey greats Rod Langway and Peter Bondra, and a host of past LPGA stars, including Jan Stephenson, Kris Tschetter, Michelle McGann, Val Skinner and Rosie Jones.
In addition to supporting the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, funds raised at the Creighton Farms Invitational benefitted the local Inova Loudon Hospital Pediatric ER. The Nicklauses own a house in the community, named one of the 10 most admired golf developments in the United States by Golf Inc. in 2015—and they are dedicated to being where the children are.