Far Hills, N.J. - Jack Nicklaus won 73 times on the PGA Tour, including 18 major championships. He played in six Ryder Cups and two Walker Cups, with his teams going unde" />

MM: The 1960 World Amateur Team Championship

By Michael Trostel, USGA
November 2, 2010

Jack Nicklaus (above) believed some of his best golf occurred during the 1960 World Amateur Team Championship. (USGA Museum)

Far Hills, N.J. - Jack Nicklaus won 73 times on the PGA Tour, including 18 major championships. He played in six Ryder Cups and two Walker Cups, with his teams going undefeated.  So in Nicklaus’ opinion, what were what he called his “four best rounds ever?” There is certainly a lot to choose from. Was it the 1965 Masters when he won by nine strokes? Or maybe the 1967 U.S. Open when he closed with a 65 to defeat Arnold Palmer by four shots? How about his final major victory at the Masters in 1986 at the age of 46?     

 

Video: The Victorious 1960 WATC 

 Surprisingly, shockingly, no.    

It was in 1960, two years before Nicklaus’ first major title, at the World Amateur Team Championship (WATC) at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. Nicklaus towered above the international competition, shooting rounds of 66-67-68-68 to hold the lowest individual score by 13 strokes. Nicklaus’ total of 269 was 18 strokes better than Ben Hogan’s winning total in the 1950 U.S. Open, also at Merion. Nicklaus would later say that it was one of the rare occurrences when everything felt right. He told Herbert Warren Wind, “Every time I stepped to the ball I knew I was going to hit a good golf shot.”    

Though an amateur, Nicklaus was hardly an unknown at the time, having just finished runner-up to Arnold Palmer in the 1960 U.S. Open at Cherry Hills Country Club three months before. He had also won the 1959 U.S. Amateur and would add another Havemeyer Trophy to his collection in 1961 before turning professional later that year.    

The WATC was still in its infancy stage at that time, and a strong performance by the United States of America on its home soil helped validate and foster enthusiasm for the biennial competition. In 1958, Australia defeated the USA in a playoff to win the inaugural event at St. Andrews. But the American squad exacted revenge in 1960, winning by a record margin of 42 strokes. The team of Nickaus, Deane Beman, Robert Gardner and William Hyndman dominated the championship from the start, leading by nine strokes after the first day, 20 shots after day two, and 38 strokes after the third day. Apart from the players on the USA team, no player broke par in any round.    

Two days after its victory at Merion, the USA World Amateur Team, together with the Australian team, met with President Eisenhower at the White House.  

Michael Trostel is the curator/historian for the USGA Museum. E-mail him with questions or comments at MTrostel@usga.org. 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.


Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image