First Lady of Golf
- Chair & Co-Founder, Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation
- Board Member, Children’s Healthcare Charities - Non-profit arm of the Honda Classic
- Board Member, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
- Board Member, Nicklaus Children’s Health System
- Member, Captains Club - The Memorial Tournament
- Member, Sanford International Board
- Board Member, Stop! Children’s Cancer of Palm Beach County
Barbara Jean Bash was the product of a home where hard work and giving to others were a staple. The daughter of a public high school mathematics teacher, Barbara was a pre-nursing student at The Ohio State University, where she met future husband, Jack Nicklaus.
While her husband went on to become the greatest champion in the game’s history, Barbara became a mother of five children, one of the most respected wives on the PGA TOUR, and someone who has helped raise hundreds of millions of dollars for myriad charitable organizations.
Among the Nicklauses’ favorite charities is Nationwide Children’s Hospital, which, when it was known as Columbus Children’s Hospital, provided the emergency care to nurse their only daughter, Nan, back to health. Nan had been stricken with pneumonia before her first birthday, after accidentally inhaling a crayon, which lodged in her windpipe. Today, Nan is married and the mother of five children.
The annual Memorial Tournament, founded and hosted by Barbara and Jack Nicklaus at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, benefits Nationwide Children’s Hospital and has since the inaugural year of 1976. The Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation was founded in 2004 by Jack and Barbara to support numerous pediatric health-care services not only in South Florida but across the United States. Barbara is chair of the Foundation, which has raised more than $100 million in over 15 years.
In March of 2015, the Nicklauses’ support of children's hospitals was highly recognized when globally renowned Miami Children's Hospital was rebranded to Nicklaus Children's Hospital. In November 2017, the entire Miami Children’s Health System was rebranded to Nicklaus Children’s Health System. This includes 17 outpatient centers from Miami to Vero Beach, and west to Naples.
Decades prior, the Barbara and Jack Nicklaus Junior Golf Endowment Fund was established to assist junior golf programs across the country to create opportunities for children.
- 1985 Golf Family of the Year–National Golf Foundation
- 1990 Ambassador of Golf Award - PGA TOUR
- 1992 (with Jack Nicklaus) Palm Beach County Golf Association Hall of Fame, inaugural class
- 1998 Inaugural recipient, PGA First Lady of Golf
- 2000 Inaugural Winnie Palmer Award - Met Golf Writers Association
- 2004 “Women of Distinction Award - presented by Palm Beach Atlantic University
- 2007 Humanitarian Award - African-American Golfers Hall of Fame
- 2007 (with Jack Nicklaus) The Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizens Award
- 2007 (with Jack Nicklaus) Francis Ouimet Lifelong Contributions to Golf Award
- 2009 (with Jack Nicklaus) Pathfinder Award, presented by the Indiana Sports and Indiana Black Expo, in recognition of individuals who have exhibited significant contributions and dedication to our youth
- 2010 (with Jack Nicklaus) The Buoniconti Fund/Miami Project to Cure Paralysis Inspiration Award
- 2010 (with Jack Nicklaus) Ambassador David M. Walter International Pediatric Hall of Fame, presented by Nicklaus Children’s Hospital
- 2015 (with Jack Nicklaus) Gaeta Chairman’s Award of Excellence, presented by the Northern Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce
- 2015 Bob Jones Award - USGA
- 2016 Dave Marr Award
- 2016 Recipient, Key to the City of Palm Beach Gardens - for improving access to pediatric healthcare in the community
- 2017 (with Jack Nicklaus) Florida State Golf Association Hall of Fame
- 2018 First Family of Golf - presented by Nationwide
- 2018 (with Jack Nicklaus) Outstanding Public Service Award, presented by The Forum Club of the Palm Beaches
- 2019 PGA of America Distinguished Service Award