Play the Pro: Beat Jack Nicklaus's Best 18 at the 1972 U.S. Open
As a site for many of golf's most prestigious championships, Pebble Beach has seen some spectacular performances over the years, but on the windy shores of the Pacific, your fellow golfers aren't the only foe you have to face. Could you compete in one of the windiest tournaments in Pebble Beach history?
In 1972, Pebble Beach Golf Links hosted the U.S. Open for the first time in course history. Jack Nicklaus, one of the most dominant players in golf at the time, came into the tournament on the heels of a win at the Masters two months earlier.
However, Nicklaus faced a formidable slate of opponents at the '72 Open, including the legendary Arnold Palmer and then-reigning Open champion Lee Trevino.
After the first two rounds of competition, Nicklaus was locked in a six-way tie for first, and sitting on par at 144 strokes. However, he was able to breakaway and hold the lead by himself after the third day of competition by shooting a 72 and staying on par, with Trevino, Kermit Zarley, and Bruce Crampton all one stroke behind, and Palmer and Johnny Miller only two strokes over par.
The final round was played on June 18, 1972, an intensely windy day. Nicklaus managed to stay even par through the front nine, but after a double-bogey on the 10th, Palmer and Crampton were closing the gap. By the 14th hole, Palmer nearly tied the score, but missed a 10 foot birdie attempt.
Nicklaus held a three-stroke lead heading into the 17th, a par 3. In those heavy West Coast winds, he hit one of the most iconic shots in golf history. Teeing off with a 1-iron, his shot sailed directly at the pin, hopped just once, struck the flag, and landed just inches away from the hole.
His tap-in birdie sealed the deal, and Jack Nicklaus won the 1972 U.S. Open by three strokes over Crampton, with Palmer in third and Trevino tied for fourth.
The win wasn't just impressive given the conditions, it was also historic. It was his eleventh professional major victory, and counting his two U.S. Amateur wins, Nicklaus tied Bobby Jones with most all-time major wins at 13. He would go on to win seven more majors over the next fourteen years, and to this day holds the all-time record for most major championship wins.
Think you could've done better than Nicklaus against those brutal California winds? Now's your chance to find out... enter our latest Play the Pro tournament to go head-to-head against Jack's best 18 hole scores from that historic event, and see how you stack up. Overcome the high winds and defeat a legendary golfer's score to win signature rewards and—for the first time EVER—gain Course Mastery in a Play The Pro event!