As we get deeper into the golf season, sports legends of the Ville takes a look back at one of the true icons of golf and a man that was proudly a native of the river city, Bobby Nichols.
A graduate of St. X high school, Nichols came to prominence in the 1960’s joining the PGA tour as, at the time, one of the young guns of the game. A decade riddled with great golfers Nichols was certainly a standout. It was in 1962 that talk began in the golf world regarding Nichols when he tied for third in the U.S. open with Phil Rodgers.
The young golfer’s abilities were proven unquestionably, when in 1964 Nichols edged out annual favorites Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus to become the PGA champion. Winning 11 PGA tournaments in his storied career and a team championship with George Archer, it’s easy to see the impact that Nichols had on the golf world.
Several years following his 1964 victory he came up just short in 1967 when he finished second in the Masters behind Gay Brewer, a fellow Kentuckian who was raised in Lexington.
An all-around golfer Nichols showed his tenacity in golf moving into the senior PGA tour this highlighted when in 1989 he hoisted the trophy for the Southwestern Bell Classic.
After his official retirement Nichols devoted much of his time to charity work beginning the Bobby Nichols Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation, a celebrity pro-am tournament which in its nine years of existence has donated thousands of dollars to children’s charities.
Not to mention the Bobby Nichols Golf Course, a nine hole course in the Waverly Park area, which boasts a family style environment and some of the most welcoming greens in the city.
When one looks at the impact that Bobby Nichols has had on the golfing and sporting world one would have to say that without question he is a sports legend of the Ville.
Image courtesy of the Bobby Nichols-Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation