The Jack Nicklaus & Arnold Palmer Rivalry | Vintage Golf’s Hottest Young Guns


The beautiful weather today has me itching for a friendly round of golf (and refreshments) with a buddy– if only my game was good enough to keep me from embarrassing myself out there.  I’ve got  a crazy “baseball swing” for a drive– my short game is a little better, but not much.

I wonder (like the rest of us, surely) how Tiger Woods’ career would fare if he had a true master rival? Don’t get me wrong– Tiger is incredible, but he hasn’t really been tested against talent anywhere equal to his own.  Not at all like the days of the Nicklaus/Palmer rivalry.

It was also a time when the sport had a lot more style and flair–  the shirts fit actually fit like a shirt should, and smoking a butt on the course was no big deal.  Arnold Palmer was easily the coolest cat on the green.  His good looks and easy, devilish grin (matched with his skills) made him the one to watch.


Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus check their driver clubs before teeing off for a tie breaking playoff  in the 1962 US Open-- Oakmont Country Club, Pennsylvania.

Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus check their driver clubs before teeing off for a tie breaking playoff in the 1962 US Open-- Oakmont Country Club, Pennsylvania.


Coming into the 1962 U.S. Open at Oakmont, there was no doubt which player was the fan favorite. Arnold Palmer had won his third Masters the previous April and had notched 30 tournament titles over the previous seven years. In 1953, he was a mere 23-year-old amateur when he competed at Oakmont, but now he was the charismatic, go-for-broke swashbuckler. Palmer’s connection to the masses was remarkable. And the Open being played in his backyard created even more appeal. He was a western Pennsylvania native and Oakmont was this region’s signature championship layout.


Arnold Palmer

Squinty-eyed Palmer had style, charm, looks and skill. Jack Nicklaus more than made up for his personality and presentation deficits with an amazing game and heart that became legendary, and is still unmatched to this day.


Jack Nicklaus was the anti-Palmer. Some people referred to him as “Fat Jack” because of the 22-year-old’s physique. But he arrived at his first Open as a professional with plenty of fire. The former Ohio State University All-American had won the 1959 and ’61 U.S. Amateur titles, and in between, he nearly took the 1960 U.S. Open, falling two strokes short of Palmer – although as play began at the ’62 Open Nicklaus was still searching for his first victory as a pro.


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The Robert Redd “Charles” knit shirt.

The Robert Redd "Charles" shirt.

My taste in a knit shirt leans toward the classic cut-and-sewn collar polo, and no logo if you please.  The right fit, fabric and details definitely have to be there too, and the Robert Redd “Charles” shirt delivers.  Robert Redd is also known and appreciated for their incredible color range, available in solids and classic feeder stripes. This is not your Father’s golf shirt, and it’s not your kid brother’s trendy polo either.  It’s the real deal.  People that wear Robert Redd knits tend to be die-hard followers.  Nobody owns just one Redd, so stock up and wear them well.  Most importantly remember to wash the stew out of your Redd.  They get softer and better with age, like me.    

Here are the “Charles” shirt details-

  • 100% Peruvian Pima Cotton lightweight Jersey
  • Self Fabric Collar and Open Sleeve
  • Signature 5-point Chest Pocket
  • Classic Three Button Placket
  • Available in Classic Fit or Slim Fit


Redd like a tomato, get it?


Link to Robert Redd Charles Shirt