Jack Newton dies, aged 72: Tributes flow for Australian golfing legend

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Apr 15, 2022, 02:43

Tributes are pouring in for Australian golfing legend Jack Newton after he died, aged 72, overnight due to “health complications”.

His family issued a statement on Friday morning to say they would celebrate the extraordinary life of the Cessnock-born member of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame who won the 1979 Australian Open.

Newton’s professional career ended in 1983 when he was involved in a near-fatal accident when he walked into the propeller of an aeroplane. After spending several days in a coma, he lost his right arm and eye, but survived after weeks in intensive care.

After retiring from the professional circuit, he became a renowned golf course designer and set up the Jack Newton Junior Golf Foundation to foster the younger generations of players.

He was unlucky not to win a major during his career, finishing runner-up at the US Masters in 1980 and at the British Open five years earlier.

Newton was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease two years ago.

“(He) was a fearless competitor and iconic Australian, blazing a formidable trail during his professional golfing career between 1971 and 1983,” his family said in a statement on Friday.

“He fought back from tremendous adversity as only he could.

“(He) 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.

“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.”

Newton is survived by his wife Jackie, daughter Kristie and son Clint. He has six grandchildren.

He was a long-time supporter of the Newcastle Knights and Clint played for them in the NRL before finishing his career with stints at Melbourne and Penrith, then becoming CEO of the Rugby League Players’ Association.


We're left with the question of what could have been for an obviously richly talented and skillful golfer.

RIP Jack......so very unfortunate and sad.

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