St Andrews celebrates golfing greats

Tuesday 12 July 2022
Jack Nicklaus in the public procession through St Andrews

The town of St Andrews and its ancient university honoured legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus alongside some of the world’s best-loved golfers today (Tuesday 12 July) in a packed ceremony in the Younger Hall.

From left: Sandy Lyle, Lee Trevino, Martin Passmore (Deputy Provost of St Andrews), Jack Nicklaus, Professor Dame Sally Mapstone DBE FRSE, Sir Bob Charles, Lord-Lieutenant of Fife Mr Robert Balfour, José María Olazábal, Catriona Matthew

Jack Nicklaus was made an Honorary Citizen of St Andrews by The Royal Burgh of St Andrews Community Council at today’s major public ceremony. He is one of only three US citizens to receive this honour, the others being fellow golfer Bobby Jones, and Benjamin Franklin in 1759.

Golfing greats Lee Trevino, José María Olazábal, Catriona Matthew, Sir Bob Charles and Sandy Lyle received honorary degrees from the University of St Andrews in recognition of their achievements and outstanding service to the game of golf.

Speaking about the honour at today’s ceremony Dr Nicklaus said: “In 1978, the people of St Andrews welcomed us with open arms, from the rooftops, hanging out the windows as we finished. I’ll never forget that reception we received – it was unbelievable.

“When I returned  in 1984 I was bestowed an Honorary Degree: you humbled me then just as you are humbling me again today. It remains one of my proudest moments, as a golfer and as a person.

Jack and Barbara Nicklaus

“I am now 82 years old, and 44 years removed from my last win. As Grantland Rice wrote, ‘they rarely remember as quickly as they forget’. So, allow me to simply say thank you for remembering and not forgetting me and, most important, thank you for allowing me to be what I often felt I was for many decades – one of you. Thank you, St Andrews.”

Dr Nicklaus, who is already an honorary graduate of the University of St Andrews, is the first person to be made an Honorary Citizen of St Andrews (the equivalent of the Freedom of the City) since Bobby Jones was made a Freeman of St Andrews in a ceremony in the Younger Hall in 1958.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

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