Nick Price: A Biography of the Pro Golfer

Nick Price in 1994
Nick Price was a 3-time major championship winner. Gary Newkirk/Getty Images

Nick Price was one of the top golfers of the early 1990s with multiple major victories, and a consistent performer over his career. He was particularly noted for his strong iron game. Hitting greens and making putts was Price's path to victory and, eventually, into the Hall of Fame.

Price was born on Jan. 28, 1957, in Durban, South Africa. To friends, he is "Nicky."

Tour Wins for Nick Price

Price has victories on multiple major world tours, most notably 18 career wins on the PGA Tour. (His tournament victories are listed at the end of this bio.) Price posted five wins on the European Tour, nine on the Sunshine Tour in South Africa, and one on the Japan Tour. Since reaching his 50s, Price has four wins on the Champions Tour.

In the major championships, Price recorded three victories: the 1992 PGA Championship, 1994 British Open and 1994 PGA Championship.

Awards and Honors for Price

  • Member, World Golf Hall of Fame
  • PGA Tour money leader, 1993, 1994
  • PGA Tour Vardon Trophy (scoring) winner, 1993, 1997
  • PGA Tour Player of the Year, 1993, 1994
  • Member, International team, Presidents Cup, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003
  • Captain, International team, Presidents Cup, 2013, 2015, 2017

Biography of Nick Price

Nick Price was born in South Africa to English parents who moved the family to Rhodesia when Price was very young. Price would become a citizen, even serving in the Rhodesian Army during that country's civil war (from which it emerged as Zimbabwe).

An older brother introduced Price to golf, and Price ran with the new game. As a junior, he dominated in his native country. At age 17, Price traveled to San Diego, Calif., where he won the Junior World Championship.

Price turned pro at the age of 20 in 1977. He played the European Tour in those early years, claiming his first victory at the 1980 Swiss Open. He finished 14th on the European Order of Merit that year, and also won a couple times on the Sunshine Tour over the next few years.

Price's first brush with major championship glory was at the 1982 British Open where, after seven holes of his final round, he held a three-stroke lead. He eventually finished runner-up to Tom Watson, but the showing helped make clear that Price was ready for a bigger stage.

He joined the U.S. PGA Tour in 1983, and enjoyed immediate success: He won the 1983 World Series of Golf tournament. And who did he beat to do it? The runner-up was Jack Nicklaus.

It was eight years before Price won again on the PGA Tour, but when he did, he emerged as one of the best players in the world in the early 1990s.

Price won the 1992 British Open for his first major. In 1993, he won four times in the U.S., led the PGA Tour in money and won the Vardon Trophy for low scoring average. Price followed that season by winning two majors in the same year, the 1994 British Open and 1994 PGA Championship.

Price was a short hitter off the tee, but his fabulous iron play and clutch short game kept him at or near the top of the golf world for several more years. In 1997, he won his second Vardon Trophy on the PGA Tour.

Price represented the International team at the Presidents Cup in each staging of that event from 1994 to 2003, and served as Team International's captain three consecutive times, 2013-15-17. He joined the Champions Tour in 2007 and won his first senior circuit tournament in 2009, but won only three more times on that tour.

Price is a pilot and flies his own jet plane to and from golf tournaments. In 1997, Price published the instructional book, The Swing: Mastering the Principles of the Game. He also has a golf course design business.

Nick Price was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2003.

Price's 'Good Guy' Awards

Price is one of those golfers about whom television broadcasters are prone to say, "He's one of the nice guys in the game." Price's reputation as a nice guy and for respecting the game's traditions and his fellow-competitors is evidenced in some of the awards he's received.

In 2002, Price was given the Payne Stewart Award by the PGA Tour to recognize golfers of high character and good sportsmanship.

In 2005, Price was given the Bob Jones Award by the USGA. That award is given "in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf," according to the USGA, which calls the award its highest honor.

And in 2011, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America gave Price the Old Tom Morris Award. That award is given annually to a golfer who "through a continuing lifetime commitment to the game of golf has helped to mold the welfare of the game in a manner and style exemplified by Old Tom Morris."

Quote, Unquote

A selection of things Price has said about golf and playing golf:

  • "If you have a good short game you have a powerful ally."
  • "Everybody has a different way to putt, and I don't believe there is one golden rule."
  • "Putting is probably the most important thing in the game. You can hit the ball great, but if you can't make anything, it's so deflating. The psychological aspect is huge. Putting is the source of where you really go in a round."
  • "To me, the ultimate art of golf is in controlling the ball."
  • "There is an ideal grip that will make your life easier, but there is also more than one way to hug your children or hold your glass of wine."

Nick Price Trivia

  • Nick Price had one of the best-known caddies on the PGA Tour, Jeff "Squeaky" Medlin. Medlin caddied for Price for years and carried his bag during Price's 1994 majors. Medlin first gained fame on John Daly's bag during Daly's come-from-nowhere win at the 1991 PGA. Medlin died of leukemia in 1997.
  • The 1986 Masters is best known for Jack Nicklaus' win. But in the first round, it was Nick Price who set a Masters scoring record by shooting the first 63 in tournament history.

Tour Wins By Nick Price

These are the pro tournaments won by Price on the major tours:

PGA Tour

  • 1983 World Series of Golf
  • 1991 GTE Byron Nelson Classic
  • 1991 Canadian Open
  • 1992 PGA Championship
  • 1992 Texas Open
  • 1993 The Players Championship
  • 1993 Canon Greater Hartford Open
  • 1993 Sprint Western Open
  • 1993 Federal Express St. Jude Classic
  • 1994 Honda Classic
  • 1994 Southwestern Bell Colonial
  • 1994 Motorola Western Open
  • 1994 The Open Championship
  • 1994 PGA Championship
  • 1994 Bell Canadian Open
  • 1997 MCI Classic
  • 1998 FedEx St. Jude Classic
  • 2002 MasterCard Colonial

European Tour
Price's British Open victory counts as a European Tour win. His other four on the Euro Tour are:

  • 1980 Swiss Open
  • 1985 Lancome Trophy
  • 1997 Dimension Data Pro-Am
  • 1997 Alfred Dunhill South African PGA Championship

Price also had one win on the Japan Tour (1999 Suntory Open), plus nine wins on South Africa's Sunshine Tour.

Champions Tour

  • 2009 Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am
  • 2010 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf (partnered with Mark O'Meara)
  • 2010 Principal Charity Classic
  • 2011 Toshiba Classic