The golfing world is mourning the loss of 72 year old Jack Newton who passed away after a long illness. Following Jack’s passing, his family released a statement on Friday saying Jack had passed away overnight due to health complications. Jack had battled Alzheimer’s since being diagnosed in 2020.
Born in Cessnock on 30 January 1950, Jack rose to fame in the 1970’s and early 1980’s after winning his first professional tournament – the Dutch Open in 1972. His golfing career ended abruptly after a freak accident in 1983 that left Jack without his right arm and right eye. Given a 40 per cent chance of survival, Jack recalled in an interview that ‘I had a wife and two young kids and I have always maintained that you have two choices in those sorts of situations. You can sit in a corner and sulk for the rest of your life or you can get on with it’. After this incident, Jack moved into commentary, course design and launched the junior golf foundation at the PGA.
Supporters flocked to twitter to express their sadness at the death of the golfing great describing him as an ‘incredible character and golf legend’. The ‘once-in-a-generation character’ who was ‘larger than life’ will be sorely missed. The Sport Australia Hall of Fame has said their ‘thoughts are with Jack’s family and friends, the golfing community and all who knew him’.
Those in the media tweeted that they would never forget Jack’s ‘wicked sense of humour, his love of Newcastle, and his passion for golf’. There have been calls on social media for Jack to be given a state funeral for ‘all he did for Golf & charity’.
Jack leaves behind his wife, Jackie, daughter Kristie, son Clint, and 5 grandchildren. The family has asked for privacy at what is a very difficult time.
“On behalf of our family, it is with great sadness I announce that our courageous and loving husband, father, brother, grandfather, and mate, Jack Newton OAM has passed away overnight due to health complications. Dad was a fearless competitor and iconic Australian, blazing a formidable trail during his professional golfing career between 1971 and 1983 before his career tragically ended following an accident involving an aeroplane propeller at the age of 33. He fought back from tremendous adversity as only he could, and chose to selflessly invest his time, energy, and effort towards giving back to the community through his Jack Newton Junior Golf Foundation, sports commentary, golf course design, and raising significant funds for several charities, most notably, diabetes. His passion for sport and contributing to future generations of golfers and the Australian community demonstrates the character of our father, beloved husband, proud brother, adoring grandfather, and maverick mate. Dad’s legacy will live on through his wife Jackie, daughter Kristie, son Clint, grandchildren Matilda, Hope, Jessie, Noah, Paige, and Indie. In true Jack Newton style, we will celebrate his incredible life; however, for now, our family asks for privacy and we appreciate everyone’s love, support, and friendship throughout his life.”