Jack Nicklaus Height
5ft 8in (173 cm)
Peak height was 5ft 11in (180 cm)
US Golfing Legend. In Columbus dispatch (30/5/08) he said "I used to be 5-11 3/4, and now I'm lucky if I'm 5-8 something"..."We just beat up our bodies," Nicklaus said, adding that X-rays of his lower back show disks mere millimeters apart
Add a Comment 31 comments
Spencer said on 28/May/16
I don't think he was ever much over 5'10 even at his peak. In photos I've seen he barely looks taller than Palmer looked a solid 5'9 in his prime. My guess is 5'10.25 maybe 5'10.5 tops at peak.
said on 15/Mar/16
Rob, does that quote from 1989 maybe suggest closer to 5ft10?
Editor Rob: he was 49 when he said that...did he lose height by then or was he being honest enough and basically more a 5ft 10.5 guy?
Hard to tell without looking at him in late 40's!
Vibram said on 22/May/14
He was never over a weak 5ft10 in his prime. The same height as his rival, Arnold Palmer.
Editor said on 5/Nov/13
Saw another quote from 1989, he said "I'm a full 5-foot-11 right when I get out of bed".
Corky said on 20/Jul/13
Jack is probably only 5 seven nowadays.
Editor Rob said on 4/Jun/13
He said recently "I'm about 5-8 now; I shrunk 4 inches. But they used to call me Big Jack. I was anywhere but big by the standard of the guys today"
LG69 said on 7/Oct/12
Correction to my previous comment, i meant to say "unlike wrestlers,basketball players, and football players."
LG69 said on 7/Oct/12
Golfers are not known for inflating their heights like wrestlers, basketball players, and even football players. That said, i don't think the "Golden Bear" was 5'11 3/4". I've been a fan of golf since the late 70's, and i can remember Nicklaus always being listed at 5'11". It could be that the 5'11 3/4" listing was with shoes??
Brad said on 28/Sep/12
He was never 5' 11" 3/4. I stood next to him 40 years ago and he was 5' 9.5".
Golfer92270 said on 26/Sep/12
Jack's definitely shrunk in his old age. I saw him in the 70s at various golf tournaments and estimated his height at 5'9.5 or 5'10 max. I was watching TV today he was standing next to Romney on stage at a campaign event, the two were alone shaking hands, Jack was at least 7 inches shorter.
Shaun said on 6/Sep/11
I was going to say. Saw him at St Andrews a few years back and nowadays looks no more than 5'8".
mart said on 5/Jul/11
i met him last week- i was three feet away. 5ft 7 tops, and i'm being generous. Unless he has shrunk immensely i doubt ever 5' 11.
said on 29/May/11
Rob what are the chances of 5ft11.75 peak?
[Editor Rob: I don't buy it]
James J. said on 14/May/11
I caddied for Nicklaus in a private event back in 1964. I am 6' tall and was a good three inches taller than Jack. But I could never hit the ball like he did!!
JackieTreehorn said on 20/Feb/11
I agree with Spence...saw him in 2001 close up and was definitely under 5-9 possibly barely 5-8.
Brad said on 4/Feb/11
Yes, he's shrinking. I had not seen him in 37 years and he was 2-3 inches shorter!
Terrible Ted said on 1/Feb/11
In 1983 I took the day off and followed Jack Nicklaus and Seve Ballesteros during the first round of the PGA chapionship held at Riviera. I never had seen big Jack before. The second tee is flat, was standing right next to Jack, and I was shocked, Jack was small, I mean 5-9 max. Watching the Senior Skins this weekend, Tom Watson who is 5-9 looks an inch taller than Jack. Funny how we build our heros to be larger than reality.
Pete said on 16/Mar/07
as most golfers hes always been a big sloucher
Viper said on 16/Mar/07
Im really not that good at golf.
Misha said on 14/Mar/07
Hey, Viper, what's your handicap?
Viper said on 11/Mar/07
Well, Ive seen these 2 guys in person before many times.
misha said on 10/Mar/07
Viper, I'm impressed with your knowledge of their heights (Jack & Arnie). I
think if you go down just a quarter of an inch and I go up a quarter, we're both dead on.
misha said on 8/Mar/07
Jackie is correct, though Arnie was always about an inch shorter than Nicklaus,
but very powerfully muscled - when he won the U.S. Open at Cherry Hills in 1960 he started by driving the green on the first hole - 426 yards.
In 1993 I and some other golfers spent almost an hour with Nicklaus on the 10th tee at Bel Air Country Club. He was trying out some new drivers, comparing them with each other, and once he found his range he was out there 285-290 every drive, with a few exceeding 300 yards. There were moments I spent talking to him when I was very close, three feet away, and well do I recall my girlfriend's exclamation as he approached us, need I say very quietly but with barely concealed amazement: "My God, he's so short!" At six feet I had a solid two and a half inches on him. I think he was nudging 5'11" in his prime and lost about 1.5 inches of height. Thus what he said per your quote, Rob, is exactly right, but this is in golf shoes, not a big difference really, as they usually have only about 3/4 of an inch of heel.
Golf height sightings are reliable if up close, because as some contributors have pointed out, lifts in golf shoes would destroy your rhythm and timing - your hips, knees, ankles and feet generate distance far more than the muscles in your arms and shoulders. If Brad Pitt attached spikes to the soles of his Frankenstein boots he'd have a hard time just getting the club face to contact the ball.
Jack brought Tiger Woods with him, who at seventeen was just exactly my height - he grew another 1.5 by the time he was 21, and is actually a little taller than his stated 6'1". I was standing facing him about eight feet away while he pounded 2-irons off the tee consistently in the 265-270 yard range, and I remember thinking to myself that I'd never seen anyone, not even the best players on the tour, hit a golf ball with the authority this high school kid was hitting it with. It didn't surprise me at all that within five years he was already beginning to be regarded by some as possibly the most gifted player of all time.
In general, the heights listed for the various current golf pros are extremely accurate - there's just nothing to be gained by trying to appear taller when it can adversely affect the hair-trigger timing so essential when playing the game at that level. A refreshing departure from the Hollywood height-crazed tricks and obsessions.
Viper said on 24/Feb/07
Well, looks like Im kinda right from that quote Rob.
Editor Rob said on 23/Feb/07
He said in 2005:
"I was once almost 6 feet tall ... now I am barely 5-10"
JackieTreehorn said on 24/Jan/07
I saw Jack and Arnie at 2001 US Senior Open. I was within 10 ft. of both and I seemed much taller than both. I just had someone measure me to be 180 cm barefoot but I might have been 181 back then. I would put both in the 5-8 to 5-9 range but I can't put an exact number on it. People seem to shrink with age I guess.
Viper652 said on 2/Oct/06
Jack is around 5-10 these days, but certaintly not as short as 5-9. This is one of the rare instances where Rob is shortchanging.
mlp said on 23/Jul/06
said 5'11 in golf monthly
Steve W said on 21/May/06
Viper652 has it right. Jack & Arnie were 5'11" & 5'10" respectively in their pga tour days - but - being a little older now they are both about an inch shorter. I stood in a gallery beside both of them about 6 years ago and Jack is a solid 5'10" - no shorter.
Viper652 said on 8/Feb/06
As I think about it more, I think you might be underlisting Jack's height Rob. I have a picture of Arnie and Jack in the sixties of Arnie wining the Masters, and Jack slipping his green coat on him. Jack looks an inch taller. I think they were 5-10 and 5-11 back in the day. Arnie is 5-9 today, and Jack is still an inch taller then Arnold. Id say Jack is a legit 5-10 today.
Viper652 said on 17/Jun/05
Ive seen Arnold Palmer many times in person and he looks about 5-9 to me. I dont know If he was ever 5-10 or If he has shrunk an inch. I have no idea on how accurate golfer heights are.