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A Publication of the National Golf Foundation

Questions, Answers and Insights for Everyone Interested in the Business of Golf


Nicklaus Companies


Corporate Headquarters

West Palm Beach, Florida


Key Employees

Jack Nicklaus, Co-Chairman
Howard Milstein,  Executive Chairman
John Reese, Chief Executive Officer, Nicklaus Companies
William Staudt, Director, Nicklaus Companies
Jack Nicklaus II, President, Nicklaus Design


For almost 50 years, Jack Nicklaus has brought the same passion, experience and excellence to the Nicklaus Companies that he did during his competitive career, when he won a record 18 major titles and was named by Sports Illustrated as the “Individual Male Athlete of the 20th century.”

The Nicklaus Companies encompasses a wide variety of services dedicated to golf, but that also transcend the game. This ranges from course design to partnering on the development of world-class communities to apparel, equipment, instruction, and the licensing of lifestyle products, including a Jack Nicklaus-branded ice cream.

Nicklaus has designed more than 400 courses worldwide.

Nicklaus Design has created more than 415 golf courses in 45 countries around the world and Jack Nicklaus II, the oldest of five Nicklaus children, is the president of the course design division.

Nicklaus Companies also markets and licenses golf products and services, from golf balls to golf academies and custom putting greens. In addition, the Jack Nicklaus and Golden Bear-branded lifestyle collection of products includes ice cream, restaurants, beverages, wine, drinkware, home appliances, pens, flooring, cabinets, apparel and footwear.

The company was originally started as Golden Bear International in 1970. As it expanded, the company repositioned and rebranded in 2000 to the Nicklaus Companies.

In 2007, Howard Milstein, the chairman of New York Private Bank & Trust, partnered with Nicklaus to realize the full potential of the brands, becoming co-chairman of Nicklaus Companies. Over the past decade, Milstein has helped Nicklaus more than double the value of his business, with new investments ranging from technology to equipment.

NGF Takeaways

Nicklaus set the standard for golf greatness during his playing days and has also raised the bar as a businessman, philanthropist, and ambassador for the sport.

His company is dedicated to promoting excellence in golf, preserving its great traditions and growing the game; it’s why after more than 50 years, the Nicklaus name remains so prevalent in and out of golf, whether in course design or as a recognizable global brand.

The PGA TOUR’s latest schedule includes six tournaments to be played on layouts designed by Jack Nicklaus and Nicklaus Design – more than any other designer or firm. Nicklaus Design has also had more courses (over 150) host professional tournaments worldwide (over 1,000) than any other design company.

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