Scioto Country Club was instrumental in young Jack’s development as a golfer. It’s where he crafted his game and met his swing coach, Jack Grout. So how did the Nicklaus family become club members?
A Scioto member named Al Johnson was suffering a horrible toothache and needed to find a dentist. He drove up and down High Street when he spotted a pharmacy — the one owned by Charlie Nicklaus. He went in and asked if Charlie knew of a local dentist. Charlie hooked him up and the toothache went away.
Charlie Nicklaus at his pharmacy in Columbus.
The next day, Johnson returned to the pharmacy to offer his thanks to Charlie. The conversation eventually turned to golf.
“Do you play?” Johnson asked.
“Yes, I play over at Ohio State,” responded Charlie.
“Well, you ought to go over to Scioto,” Johnson said.
Charlie then mentioned he’d love to belong to Scioto — a critically acclaimed Donald Ross course that had hosted the 1926 U.S. Open won by Bobby Jones — and followed up with several inquiries.
“Within a few days, Charlie Nicklaus was a member of the Scioto Country Club,” said Greg Wolf, the current Scioto general manager who tells the story. “The rest is history. Had [the toothache] not happened … Jack Nicklaus may not have ever played at Scioto Country Club.”