Jack Nicklaus sued by Nicklaus Companies after Saudi bid

Jack Nicklaus is being sued by his own company.

Nicklaus Companies filed a lawsuit against the Golf Hall of Fame earlier this month, claiming Nicklaus actively worked directly against the company on multiple occasions after it struck an exclusive $145 million deal with the ‘business, .

Nicklaus Companies was originally founded in 1970 and works on golf course design, apparel, eyewear, art and more. is currently led by Executive Chairman Howard Milstein. Nicklaus’ son, Jack Nicklaus II, is the company’s vice president. Milstein is also behind Golf.com, Golf Magazine and more.

According to the report, Nicklaus Companies paid Nicklaus $145 million in 2007 to provide proprietary services and goods. Over time, according to the lawsuit, Nicklaus failed to honor that agreement or worked against the company.

The complaint provided three specific examples, according to the report, including when Nicklaus received a cash payment to promote a DP World Tour event this year, aided with a video game being developed by The Masters and the PGA Tour and a wrongful conduct regarding negotiations with the PIF. Saudi Investment Fund. This fund is behind the controversial new LIV Golf Invitational series, which – although he refused them.

According to the lawsuit, it was actually the Nicklaus companies that prevented Nicklaus from agreeing to this deal.

“The company essentially saved Mr. Nicklaus from himself by removing him from a controversial project that could not only have tarnished his legacy and reputation, but also seriously damaged the name, brands and business of the Nicklaus companies,” said the lawsuit, . “Through the intervention of Nicklaus Companies, the company was able to minimize the fallout from the situation and protect the goodwill and reputation of the company and Mr. Nicklaus.

“The potential irreparable harm that Nicklaus Companies faced had Mr. Nicklaus’ unauthorized activities not been discontinued was evidenced by the ongoing statements made by the PGA Tour and various key Tour stakeholders and media coverage. substantial negative criticizing Phil Mickelson’s involvement as a paid endorser of the Saudi-backed golf league. But for the efforts of the Nicklaus Companies, Mr. Nicklaus could have been pilloried in the media for accepting payment for what could be called a betrayal of the PGA Tour.”

Greg Norman eventually became the face of the new Saudi-backed league, although he faced a lot of criticism and fallout, as did Mickelson, who hasn’t played competitive golf in months.

“We have great admiration and immense respect for Jack and his legacy and have tried everything to avoid taking this step,” Nicklaus Companies said in a statement. . “We ask the court to settle the legal responsibilities of the parties so that there is no confusion or misunderstanding in the future.

“We are saddened to be put in a situation that now requires court intervention, but we have a responsibility to Nicklaus Companies and its employees, and to our customers and partners, to ensure that nothing disrupts the company’s ongoing activities. We are confident that by working together, we can resolve this issue quickly and amicably.

Nicklaus, of course, is one of the greatest golfers in the history of the sport. He won 73 victories during his career and holds a record of 18 major championship wins. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1974.

Nicklaus, 82, denied the charges against him in a small statement.

“Howard Milstein’s claims are false,” he said. . “Our relationship has been rocky, at best. I have little doubt about the outcome, but I have no intention of making a public spectacle of it, if it can be avoided.

Nicklaus Companies claims to have ‘saved Mr Nicklaus from himself’ by preventing him from taking money from the Saudi-backed golf league. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)