Jack Nicklaus says that he never broke a golf club ‘on purpose’ during competition

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DUBLIN, Ohio — The old line attributed to Jack Nicklaus is “I never missed a putt; somehow it just didn’t go in.”

Whether he actually said it, who knows? But now we have another witticism to ponder: “The Golden Bear never broke a golf club in anger; his golf bag broke it.”

During the Jack Nicklaus Award ceremony at Muirfield Village Golf Club, during which five college players were honored, the Memorial Tournament host noted that he never broke a club “on purpose” during competition.

“In play? Zero,” Nicklaus said. “How many times have I broken one accidentally? I had a 3-wood that I used since 1958 … and used until the (1989) PGA Championship in Chicago. I hit a shot (into the water), took my club and put it in the bag and (it) hit the side of the bag. I didn’t mean to hurt anything.”

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Nicklaus did not notice until the next day that the 3-wood was in two pieces.

The only other time Nicklaus broke a club during play was when his 3-wood snapped during a swing “and all the sudden it wrapped around my back. The shot went down the middle though.”