DUBLIN, Ohio – On his first trip to Muirfield Village Golf Club for his maiden start in The Memorial in 2019, Joel Dahmen knew exactly what he had to do first.
It wasn’t to hit golf balls or check out the course. Wasn’t to go search for host Jack Nicklaus to shake his hand. Wasn’t to go and putt. Wasn’t even to unpack.
Instead, the first thing Dahmen did when he got on property – well, the first thing he did after he parked his car – was to head to a special bar in the clubhouse.
And get a milkshake.
“I had watched this tournament for 15, 20 years and you’d hear about the milkshakes. And when you get here that’s what you’re supposed to do, go and get a milkshake,” said Dahmen, who went and got a milkshake shortly after talking about them earlier this week. “Since my first one, the trick is how many are you going to have. Do you limit yourself to like one a day? Do you get multiple a day? Do you not have one too late in the evening?
“There are some tough decisions to be made. And then your wife asks for one, your caddie asks for one, and then you’re having a bunch of them.”
A lot of players have a bunch of them. To listen to them, you think the milkshakes are the nectar of the golf gods. The famous concoctions of milk, ice cream and an assortment of delectable flavorings rank right up there with other highlights of Nicklaus’ no-stone-unturned approach to welcoming the players to the ultimate PGA Tour destination, from the top-flight golf course and practice facilities, the 5-star player dining, his treatment of the players and their family and the caddies.
It’s not a surprise that Nicklaus started rolling out the milkshakes long ago. He’s well known for his sweet tooth and he has his own line of ice cream.
“I don’t remember the first one but I remember the last one. Chocolate and peanut butter, the Buckeye. And I can’t wait to finish my day to have another one,” Joaquin Niemann said earlier this week. “They’re the best. If I had to choose a place to get a milkshake, it would have to be here.
“There are no better milkshakes anywhere in the world.
“And they’re free.”
And they’re not exactly light on the calories. The 16-ounce liquid gems pack on 1,100 to 1,200 calories per serving. According to Michael Moore, who was working the milkshake bar, they take three minutes to make.
The single-day record for most shakes made sits around 600; the field is 120 players, but add on the wives and caddies and friends, and boom, it’s 600.
The milkshakes have their own menu, which features 14 flavors and can highlight the taste of a Butterfinger, Snickers, M&Ms, Twix, Oreos and Reese’s, in addition to chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and banana. You can dream up any combination you want, too.
Michael Moore of Columbus makes a Buckeye milkshake, one of 14 available flavors, in the player’s dining room during a practice round of the 2022 Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. (Photo: Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch)
The Buckeye, consisting of creamy peanut butter, chocolate syrup, vanilla ice cream and a splash of milk, is by far the top go-to for those who indulge.
“Typically, I never really get them because I’m a member of the club here and I get them the weeks that I’m here practicing and playing,” Jason Day said. “Someone told me about the milkshakes here. I remember playing The International (at Castle Pines in Colorado) way back in the day. And I remember, we’re playing at altitude, and having a milkshake there and I almost felt like I was going to die because they were so thick. And they were so good you couldn’t stop drinking them.
“And then I had my first one here and it was actually thicker than the one I had at The International. The Buckeye is usually what I get. They are unbelievable. I don’t know what they do, if they put some special thing in them, but they are unbelievable. I’m good for one or two or those this week.”
Michael Moore of Columbus pours a Buckeye-flavored milkshake in the player’s dining room during a practice round of the 2022 Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. (Photo: Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch)
Not all kneel at the altar of the Mighty Muirfield Milkshake.
“I guess I don’t want to get in trouble here, but like I – like the milkshakes are good. I’ve had milkshakes that are just as good elsewhere,” Rory McIlroy said. “Maybe because it’s Muirfield Village, they taste better, I don’t know.
“I’m happy with having one or two a week. I’m certainly not one of the guys that’s standing there getting two a day.”
But McIlroy is an outliner.
Jon Rahm, the 2020 Memorial champion, gets three at the most during the week.
“I know a lot of people are going to look like oh, he’s definitely drinking two or three a day. I’m not. I would like to,” he said. “I think the first one was an Oreo milkshake, and then I remember, I forgot what year it was, I posted it on social media, like, oh, what milkshake should I get, and I posted the menu. And everybody was mentioning the Buckeye.”
Rahm said he had no idea what a Buckeye was. He found out when he, Tony Finau, Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter played nine holes for charity on Wednesday ahead of the 2020 Workday Charity Open.
“They brought us Buckeyes on 18 and that was the first time I’ve tried it and I don’t think I’ve changed from the Buckeye since,” he said. “They’re extremely good. I mean, they do a really good job, right. Obviously, it’s not like a chain, so they do a couple for the players that are asking and they can take their time and they are really, really good. I mean, some of the best out there.
“If you see me walking out with a couple, which it could happen, remember my wife is pregnant, right. So it’s not always for me.”
We’ll take Rahm at his word.