Newton was born in Cessnock, New South Wales. He was one of Australia's most successful golfers in the 1970s and early 1980s. He turned professional in 1971 and won his first professional tournament – the Dutch Open – in 1972. Newton notched up 13 victories over the next decade as he won titles such as the Benson & Hedges International Open, the British Matchplay, the Buick-Goodwrench Open, and the Australian Open Championship. He lost the 1975 British Open at Carnoustie to Tom Watson, who holed a 20-footer for a birdie on the 72nd hole to equal Newton. Watson defeated Newton by one stroke (71-72) in the 18-hole playoff.
Newton won the PGA Tour of Australia's Order of Merit in 1979. He finished tied for second at the 1980 Masters Tournament.
On 24 July 1983, during the height of his professional career, Newton had a near-fatal accident when he walked into the spinning propeller of a Cessna aeroplane he was about to board at Sydney Airport following a Sydney Swans AFL game. He lost his right arm and eye and sustained severe abdominal injuries. A severe rainstorm was in progress at the time, and in addition, safety aspects near the plane were deficient.
After a prolonged rehabilitation from his injuries, Newton returned to public life as a television and radio golf commentator, newspaper reporter, golf course designer, public speaker and Chairman of the Jack Newton Junior Golf Foundation. He taught himself to play golf one-handed, swinging the club with his left hand in a right-handed stance. He typically scores in the mid-80s.
In 2003 Newton was diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis, and was rushed to hospital. He suffered no further permanent injuries.
Newton married wife Jackie in 1974, and they have two children, Kristie and Clint. Clint Newton plays rugby league for Hull Kingston Rovers, while Kristie is also a professional golfer.
On June 11 2007 Price was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to golf, particularly through a range of executive, youth development and fundraising roles.