Tiger Woods turned pro back in 1996 with a short and sweet, "Hello, world." Jack Nicklaus revealed how he turned pro 55 years ago on Monday. He did it with a typewriter-produced letter announcing his intention to enter the professional golf ranks.
"It is with mixed emotions and considerable thought that I am writing this letter to you of my intentions to apply for membership in the Professional Golf Association," Nicklaus wrote.
He also noted that he had "many regrets," most notably giving up his ability to defend his 1961 U.S. Amateur title he won at Pebble Beach. It turned out to be a pretty wise decision, though, as Nicklaus went on to win 77 PGA Tour events, including 18 major championships.
Turned pro 55 years ago today! pic.twitter.com/TISrHgJyvJ— Jack Nicklaus (@jacknicklaus) November 7, 2016
In fact, the very next year after writing this letter, Nicklaus won his first major. The 1962 U.S. Open at Oakmont. His string of top 10s and wins from when he turned pro at the end of 1961 through the 1980 season is one of the more impressive visuals we have in all of sports.
Look at the 1970s!
It is really fun to look back at all the paths Nicklaus and his pal Arnold Palmer took back before golf was the mammoth entity it is now. I'm guessing Justin Thomas and Cody Gribble did not announce their forays into professional golf using a typewriter and some insurance letterhead.
So you should definitely enjoy the present. Golf is better than it has ever been from a talent standpoint. But don't forget to appreciate the past. It wouldn't be where it's at without golfers like Nicklaus pushing it forward.