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Date Inducted: 13 Oct 2016
Sport: Administration - Golf
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Jack Newton OAM - Administration - Golf

Jack Newton OAM was Inducted into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame on Thursday 13, October 2016 as a General Member for Golf. 

In a lifetime in golf, Jack Newton has left an indelible mark.  From his first professional win in 1972 to Australian Open and British match play titles, and runner up finishes at the British Open and US Masters, on course he was one of the world’s best.  Following a near fatal accident he turned his attention to developing junior talent, commentating and designing golf courses and has raised millions for both diabetes research and junior golf through his charitable work.

Jack Newton was one of Australia’s most successful golfers in the 1970’s and early 1980’s.

Turning professional in 1971 Newton won his first title at the Dutch Open in 1972 and went back to back at the Benson & Hedges, the following week. He went on to record victories worldwide including wins on the USPGA Tour, the British Match Play and Australian Open crowns.

Newton came agonisingly close to winning a major title – on two occasions – falling by just one shot in an 18 hole playoff to Tom Watson at the 1975 British Open at Carnoustie and at the US Masters in 1980 where he finished tied for second behind Seve Ballesteros.

However Newton’s on course ambitions changed forever when in 1983, at just 33 and at the peak of his career, he had a near fatal accident when he collided with a propeller of a plane he was about to board at Sydney airport.  He lost his right arm and eye and spent several days in a coma and eight weeks in intensive care.

After a long rehabilitation, Newton determined to take a new path.  Commencing a long and popular post as a television commentator on all networks, but exclusively for Channel Seven for 23 years, as a newspaper reporter, golf course designer and perhaps most importantly as founder of the Jack Newton Junior Golf Foundation and has been chairman ever since.

The Jack Newton Junior Golf Foundation was established in 1986 to introduce young boys and girls to the game of golf. With programs from introductory golf in schools to elite level tournaments, along with programs with indigenous and disabled young people, the foundation provides junior golfers of all abilities to opportunity to enjoy the game.

Through events such as the Jack Newton Celebrity Classic and other events, Newton continues to be a tireless fundraiser for diabetes and junior golf, having raised millions of dollars for both causes which are close to his heart.

In 2007, Newton was awarded an OAM for services to golf.

 

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When considering the stature of an athlete or for that matter any person, I set great store in certain qualities which I believe to be essential in addition to skill. They are that the person conducts his of her life with dignity, with integrity, courage, and perhaps most of all, with modesty. These virtues are totally compatible with pride, ambition, and competitiveness.