William Nichols

William Nichols

One of if not the first golf professional in the state of Oklahoma was also one of the most accomplished.

William Nichols arrived in New York on May 24, 1908, after sailing from Glasgow on the SS Caledonia. He was a pro from North Berwick and a frequent foursomes partner of Fred McLeod, the ‘08 U.S. Open champion.

Nichols made his way to Oklahoma, which had just achieved statehood in 1907, and began introducing the game. He laid out the original nine-hole course at Tulsa Country Club in ‘08 and also helped open Muskogee Country Club that same year.

In 1910, he helped organize and competed in the first Oklahoma Open at TCC, winning it that year and also in ‘11, ‘14, ‘16 and ‘20. He competed in the Western Open in ‘12 and ‘14 and the U.S. Open in ‘14. His career took him to clubs in Dallas in ‘15 and ‘16 before retiring from pro golf in ‘17, regaining his amateur status and returning to Muskogee.

As an amateur, Nichols won the OGA State Amateur in 1925 and 1927 and the OGA Senior Amateur in 1939 and 1946. He was a founding member of the OGA and helped created the bylaws, servicing as president 1930-33 and again in 1942.

Nichols remained involved with all aspects of golf, helping Perry Maxwell with the re-design of Muskogee Country Club in 1931. He and wife Margaret lived in Muskogee until his death in 1972 at the age of 89.