Mike Nicklaus. the youngest son of Jack Nicklaus, brings a unique outlook to the golf course design table. His educational background in civil engineering, coupled with his father’s teachings and the influence of his three older brothers, have more than prepared him for the challenges of design. To Mike—who was in Downingtown, Pa., recently to help cut the ribbon at Applecross Country Club, visit with media, and play the golf course with a few members—design is more than just "family business." It is a fascination that has been a significant part of his life.
"Being the youngest has its advantages," said Mike, who has been involved with design projects from North Carolina to Southern Spain to Japan. "I have been able to take what my dad and brothers have taught me about their individual design styles and blend them with my own. They’ve shared their philosophies and strategies for taking undeveloped land and creating works of art that are not only enjoyable to play, but are aesthetically pleasing. This is a challenge that I have embraced. I hope people will see that manifested at Applecross."
A residential golf community featuring a broad array of first-class club amenities, Applecross Country Club is located less than 40 minutes from Philadelphia in Downingtown and now represents the Philly area’s first Nicklaus Design golf course. The golf course at Applecross weaves through the Chester County countryside providing a unique-to-the-area experience for golfers, blending magnificently into landscape that boasts breathtaking views of sparkling lakes and rolling countryside. Wetlands and water features grace the surroundings of 14 of the holes. The golf course features four sets of tees and plays to a par of 72 at anywhere from 5,212 yards (red) to 7,028 yards (black).
In addition to the golf course, Applecross features a wide array of club amenities including an all-season Recreation Center with an Olympic-size outdoor swimming pool, an indoor pool, a kids’ "splash zone," Jacuzzi and tennis courts. There is also a 10,000-square-foot Sports Pavilion outfitted with state-of-the-art cardio and weight-training equipment, areas for personal training and specialized exercise, and wellness classes such as yoga, Pilates and aerobics. Member dining is available at the clubhouse and garden pavilion overlooking the 18th hole. A wide array of social and golf events are offered year round to the club’s diverse membership.
The residential community features seven neighborhoods and more than 1,000 houses ranging from town homes to estate homes and active adult living villas designed by Pulte Homes. The entire process is slated to be completed by 2017.
The Nicklaus arrival at Applecross also kicked off an inviting Multi-Club Membership program now available offering championship golf by Nicklaus, Palmer and Jones. For the Chester County and Montgomery County area, this is a totally unique private club concept. At just 45 minutes apart, members enjoy two unrivaled club and golf experiences under one membership at a level of value and variety that is unmatched.
Along with Applecross Country Club (www.ApplecrossCC.com), Talamore Country Club was recently named Course-of-the-Year for the Pennsylvania East Chapter of the National Golf Course Owner’s Association (NGCOA). In addition, Applecross members have access to the 36-hole Talamore Golf Resort in Pinehurst, N.C., featuring the Talamore Resort Course by Rees Jones and the Mid South Club by Arnold Palmer.
An accomplished golfer and businessman in his own right, Mike Nicklaus earned a golf scholarship to play at Georgia Tech. After earning a degree in civil engineering, he immediately turned professional, and competed in a number of developmental tour events, including tournaments on the Golden Bear Tour and South Florida Tour. In recent years, he regained his amateur status and began to focus more on his business interests.
In 2003, Mike obtained his real-estate license, and helped launch family-owned Golden Bear Realty in North Palm Beach, Fla. He is currently managing partner of Golden Bear Realty and his vision is to expand the firm with national and perhaps international opportunities. A dedicated family man, Mike enjoys spending time with his wife, Traci, and children Michael, Vance, Frances "Frankie" and John Gray.