Courtesy of Memorial Tourney website:
Jack Nicklaus always said that the Columbus and Dublin areas represent the confluence of his personal and professional life. Columbus is where he was born and raised, where he started his own family, and where a legendary golf game got its start and was nurtured.
For years, it was Jack’s vision to create a golf club that embodied his personal and professional life, and would forever stand as a representation of his love and respect for the game of golf. It was also his vision to create a golf tournament that would long represent his passion for tournament golf, and would give back to a community that has embraced him and the game.
One man’s dreams became a community reality in May of 1976, with the first playing of the Memorial Tournament. This came two years to the day after the doors were opened and the first shots played at Muirfield Village Golf Club. The canvas on which all of this was created is where you stand today – on land once walked by Jack when he was a small boy.
Jack saw this site as the perfect backdrop for his dreams to play out.
First and foremost, Jack wanted to design a golf course that would challenge the world’s best players, but at the same time, provide a local, national, and international membership years of enjoyment in a truly spectacular setting.
Jack then became a pioneer, designing the first course in the world, from its inception, that was created with the spectator in mind. His creative use of “mounds” and “amphitheaters” became a model for tournament courses around the globe.
When Jack turned his attention to the tournament that would call Muirfield Village Golf Club its home, he had in mind what many have called Jack’s second home – Augusta National Golf Club. During Masters Week in 1966, Jack spoke of his desire to create a tournament that, like the Masters, had a global interest, but was inspired by the history and traditions of the game of golf.
Jack’s tournament would embrace all that was special about this great game.
Finally, it was Jack’s desire to create a tournament that would remember and honor the great golfers of the past, and those individuals who built the foundation to a game that today is played and enjoyed by millions around the world. He wanted this tournament to “give back” in the form of charitable contributions to organizations benefiting needy adults and children throughout Columbus and Ohio. This would complete Jack’s vision.
Thus, the Memorial Tournament was born.