A New York judge has ruled Jack Nicklaus, who is currently being sued by Jack Nicklaus Companies, is allowed to use his own name for design work.
A lawsuit was filed against the 82-year-old in May, accusing Nicklaus of engaging in “repeated acts in bad faith against the best interests of the company, including acts to intentionally and maliciously undermine the company”.
The complaint alleges Nicklaus received a cash payment for promoting an event in Belgium, his involvement developing a video game, and negotiating with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund over a role with LIV Golf. Nicklaus, who sold his company in 2007, has countered the claims were untrue while acknowledging a personal fallout with the company’s owner.
“Our relationship has been a difficult one, at best,” Nicklaus said. “I have little doubt about the outcome, but I don’t intend to make this a public spectacle, if it can be avoided.”
After a three-day hearing in late November, a New York supreme court judge has allowed Nicklaus to compete against his former company for golf course architecture work and other business, except commercial endorsements. Nicklaus has announced he will be providing his design services through a new firm, named 1-JN.
Nicklaus has designed more than 300 courses around the world, highlighted by Muirfield Village in Columbus, host to Nicklaus’ annual Memorial tournament on the PGA Tour.
“I have been blessed in my long life to have more than one successful career – first playing the game and then designing courses for where this great game is played,” Nicklaus said in a statement. “It has been more than 50 years since my first course, but I am even more passionate than ever about golf course design. I strongly believe that my ideas and creativity are even better now than they have ever been, and I am inspired to continue producing memorable and sustainable golf experiences that can be enjoyed for years to come.
“You might say I have nothing to prove, but I have a lot left to give.”