Jack Nicklaus steps away from day-to-day operations at Nicklaus Companies

Chris Condon/PGA Tour

Jack Nicklaus steps away from day-to-day operations at Nicklaus Companies

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Jack Nicklaus steps away from day-to-day operations at Nicklaus Companies

Jack Nicklaus announced Thursday that he is stepping away from the day-to-day operations of Nicklaus Companies.

The 78-year-old golfing legend will remain co-chairman of Nicklaus Companies, but company investor Howard Milstein will become executive chairman.

Nicklaus explained in a statement that he’s making the move in order to focus more on charity work, with an emphasis on efforts focused on children’s healthcare, and his family.

“I am 78 years old, and while my health is excellent, and I have a great deal of energy and enthusiasm, it became apparent by last fall that it was time for me to spend more time on these other activities,” Nicklaus said. “I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, and there is no reason for me to do so, because I will continue to support the Nicklaus Companies, and I want the company to be successful. However, my life has changed and I wish to support my wife, as well as other family members, in any endeavor they are involved.”

The company was founded in 1962, with Milstein buying 49 percent of it in 2007 for $145 million.

Nicklaus Companies is responsible for more than 400 golf course designs around the world and includes Nicklaus-branded products  such as golf balls, wine, ice cream, restaurants, beverages, footwear and apparel.

The announcement does not mean Nicklaus is moving away from design work. According to Golf Digest, Nicklaus plans to remain active in current projects and might entertain future ones.

The 18-time major champion may be reducing his role, but clearly his name continues to make an impact.

“Everywhere you turn, Jack Nicklaus has left his imprint on the game of golf,” Millstein said. “(He) has basically spent a lifetime building a successful company and brand that is viewed as the strongest in golf, and we embrace the opportunity and responsibility to make certain this great brand – one that represents excellence – continues to grow in global prominence.”

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