Nicklaus Vows To Shake Winner's Hand - "I’m Not Going To Give Them Covid-19"

Jack Nicklaus hosts the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village this week in Ohio

Nicklaus Vows To Shake Winner's Hand
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jack Nicklaus hosts the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village this week, where he traditionally shakes the winner's hand immediately after play

Nicklaus Vows To Shake Winner's Hand - "I’m Not Going To Give Them Covid-19"

Jack Nicklaus is prepared to go against guidelines and shake the winner's hand at the Memorial Tournament this week.

The 18-time Major winner owns Muirfield Village and the Memorial is his tournament, hence why he always shakes the winner's hand and congratulates them immediately after winning.

However, he might not be able to do that this week as the PGA Tour have instructed there to be “no shaking hands and contact of any kind" in its Health and Safety Plan.

Despite what the PGA Tour say, and many governments and health bodies too, Nicklaus says he is going to shake the winner's hand as he is "not going to give them Covid-19."

The 80-year-old will have tested negative for Covid-19 to be allowed on-site as he'll be part of the PGA Tour's bubble this week.

Despite saying that he will shake the winner's hand, he said he'll give them a fist bump or elbow bump if they don't want to shake hands.

“I’m going to shake their hand,” he said.

“I’m going to walk right out there and shake their hand.

"If they don’t want to shake my hand, that’s fine. I’ll give them a fist bump or an elbow bump, but I’m not going to give them Covid-19.

"I wouldn’t want to put anybody in that position. I wouldn’t do that, and if I was in danger of doing that, I wouldn’t shake the hands.

"Incidentally, I like shaking their hand, too. I think it’s a great tradition, but it’s as much fun for me as I hope it is for them.”

Related: Memorial Tournament Golf Betting Tips

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Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-6. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x