It was 6:01 p.m. local time at the Old Course at St. Andrews when Jack
Nicklaus’ final putt in British Open competition rolled toward the
hole. Almost as if it were preordained to do so, the putt of about 13
feet broke six inches to the right and dropped in for a spectacular
birdie. The attendance that day at The Open was 50,000, the biggest
one-day audience for a second round. It seemed like every spectator was
standing there with me along the 18th, watching a magical, fitting
moment in golf history.
The day before, I had stood in the long lines at The Royal Bank of
Scotland’s on-course facility at St.Andrews to collect my
limited-edition five-pound notes, which feature Jack’s Golden Bear
insignia on the front, along with his initials and the note’s serial
number. Jack is the only living person other than Queen Elizabeth to be
depicted on a Scottish bank note.
The reverse side of the bank note shows images of Jack holding the
Claret Jug (presented to the winner of The Open) and playing during his
1978 victory at St. Andrews. The legendary R&A clubhouse is depicted on
the top left-hand portion of the note; and in the bottom left, Jack's
winning scores at St. Andrews in 1970 (when he won an 18-hole playoff
with Doug Sanders) and 1978. On the bottom right-hand portion of the
note, the tee at the 18th hole can be seen, along with the historic
Swilcan Bridge. A scorecard of the course for the 2005 Open is also
Click on the image for a larger view
As I was approaching the teller window, someone cut in line. The woman ahead of me was going to admonish the intruder when I intervened and told her it was really ok. The interloper was none other than Todd Hamilton, winner of the 2004 Open. She instead asked him for, and was granted, an autograph. Given the enormous popularity of Jack Nicklaus and the uniqueness of the currency bearing his image, even the defending Open champion was eager to get a souvenir. Now, you can, too!
Jack Nicklaus raised his putter in triumph as he birdied his final hole
at St. Andrews in The Open of 2005. The gallery in the background
erupted into an emotional scene reminiscent of a Rockwell painting. Don
Kohlbauer Photography, in cooperation with Golden Bear International,
has issued 225 framed editions of “Jack’s Last Putt.” The exclusive
collectible features an 8x10 photograph of the historic event and one
of the limited-edition five-pound notes that were issued by the Royal
Bank of Scotland to commemorate the occasion. Each is numbered and
signed by the photographer and is complete with a numbered Golden Bear
Hologram as your assurance of its authenticity. To order yours, please
contact me via e-mail at:
or call 619-742-7559. You
can also order online vis this Web site. The framed print sets are $280
each, plus $30 shipping for a total cost of $310.
Click on the image for a larger view!
About the Photographer
Don Kohlbauer has worked as a U.S. Navy photographer and photojournalist
since 1974. His work has appeared in magazines and
newspapers in the US and Europe, including LIFE magazine.
He has produced travel stories from Asia, Europe and Africa.
During his 24 years at the San Diego Union Tribune, he
has covered several political conventions, numerous large sporting
events and military operations both in the US and oversees.
His nature and fine art photography has been hung
in restaurants and galleries around the world.