The man with more major championship titles than any other golfer in history offered a wistful chuckle when asked what part of the game he misses most on the eve of his 75th birthday.
“I miss my golf game,” Jack Nicklaus said forlornly.
It will be a decade this year since the last time Nicklaus teed it up in a major.
“Golf was my vehicle to competition,” he continued. “I mean, I dearly love the game of golf and I love playing the game of golf, but when you lose your vehicle to competition and the competition is what really excited you more than anything else, then really, you lose your enthusiasm.”
The 18-time major winner admittedly doesn’t play much anymore, though he did have a tee time set with friends for Wednesday afternoon.
“You know, we have a good competition, but that's certainly not the U.S. Open or Masters or PGA Championship. It's going out and I give them eight shots, and we get down to the end of the day and one guy hands the other one 20 bucks, and that's not exactly what is my idea of a U.S. Open.”
Nicklaus will turn 75 next Wednesday. As for the celebration for reaching the three-quarter century mark, don’t expect anything too outlandish.
“Quietly, I hope,” Nicklaus laughed. “I've got a granddaughter that's born on my birthday, and I've got a manager's daughter at the Bear's Club, Lori Wesselman, is the same day, and we're all three having our birthday party together at the Bear's Club.”