Vale Jack Newton OAM
Esteemed Member of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame
30/01/1950 – 15/04/2022
The Sport Australia Hall of Fame is mourning the passing of esteemed Member Jack Newton OAM who passed away on Friday, April 15, 2022 due to health complications after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2020. He was aged 72.
Across a lifetime in golf, Jack Newton 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 before a near fatal accident at Sydney Airport in 1983 in which he lost his right arm and eye meant his focus shifted to developing junior golfers, commentating, and designing golf courses. He also managed to assist young golfers and raise millions for both diabetes research and junior golf through his charitable work and the Jack Newton Golf Foundation and the annual Jack Newton Classic.
At 33 and at the peak of his golfing career, Newton’s on course ambitions changed forever when he collided with the propeller of an airplane he was boarding at Sydney Airport. Immediately after the accident, doctors gave Newton a 50-50 chance of surviving and he spent several days in a coma and eight weeks in intensive care, lost his right arm and eye due and suffered severe abdominal injuries.
After a long rehabilitation, he returned to public life and was determined to stay involved in the sport he loved. He embarked on a media career that included reporting for Australian newspapers and commentating on all major networks, including an exclusive 23-year run with Channel 7. Outside of his media commitments, Newton designed many gold courses and, perhaps most importantly, founded the Jack Newton Junior Golf Foundation in 1986, of which he was a long-serving Chairman. He also taught himself to play golf one-handed, swinging the club with his left hand in a right-handed stance and would typically score in the mid-80’s.
Sport Australia Hall of Fame Chair John Bertrand AO said; “Jack Newton was a giant of Australian golf and a charismatic man with a larrikin streak. Both on and off the course, his influence on the game across Australia through the Jack Newton Foundation which will tie him to the generations of golfers to come. He was, simply, a wonderful bloke.
Our deepest condolences are with his wife Jackie, daughter Kristie and son Clint and their families as well as the entire golfing community.”
Read Jack Newton’s full biography here.