“He whispers, ‘Hello?’” Monahan said at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. “I said, ‘I need your help.’ I walked him through the whole scenario. I said, ‘I need you to make some phone calls and write some letters. We need to go full bore on this thing.’”

Nicklaus whispered because he was in a field in upstate New York. He told the commissioner he’d get started when he got back to Florida.

Monahan said Nicklaus wrote letters and called senators. Meanwhile, Davis Love III went up to Washington a week after having hip surgery and helped arrange for meetings with members of the Senate Finance Committee.

Golf Digest reported in December that PGA of America chief executive Pete Bevacqua said he contacted his political contacts. Ultimately, the provision was not in the final version of the Senate bill.

“It’s pretty amazing that Jack Nicklaus and Davis Love III were reaching out to their congressmen and women,” Monahan said.

If the provision had remained in the bill, it could have required the PGA Tour to change its structure in a way that would reduce tax incentives to attract corporate support that makes charitable giving possible. All net proceeds from PGA Tour events go to local charities, and corporate support helps pay bills from prize money to operational costs.

Monahan said the US$180 million that PGA Tour events generated last year broke last year’s record by about US$14 million. That includes donations from tournaments on all six of its tours — PGA, Champions, Web.com, Canada, Latin America and China.

PGA Tour events have raised US$2.65 billion dating to a US$10,000 donation from the Palm Beach Invitational in 1938.

“It’s a big part of who we are,” Monahan said. “We like to think we do it better than anyone else. It’s our scorecard, if you will.”