Roger Clemens and Jack Nicklaus shared this 1 key trait

Roger Clemens tees off during the Drive Fore Kids charity golf event at Falmouth Country Club Saturday, June 24, 2023

Roger Clemens hits a shot at the 2023 Drive Fore Kids charity event.

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Like many professional athletes, Roger Clemens — an 11-time MLB All-Star and a two-time World Series champion — is golf-obsessed, and at age 61, “Rocket” is a darn good stick too, with a current USGA handicap index of 5.2.

“I probably hover between a 5 and a 7,” Clemens told hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz on this week’s episode of Subpar. “And I really don’t want to get any lower ’cause then these other dudes I’m givin’ shots to will be beatin’ me to death.”

As a pitcher, Clemens was used to the spotlight, and he made a name for himself as an intimidator on the mound. Turns out, the key to his intimidation was held in common by none other than the Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus, which Clemens shared with Knost and Stoltz.

“I do a thing every year with Jack, the great Jack Nicklaus,” Clemens began, “and after about four or five questions about, ‘Hey, you’re intimidating,’ ‘This intimidating,’ ‘Jack, you’re intimidating,’ [Nicklaus] leaned over and he said, ‘Rock, you know why we’re intimidating?’ I go, ‘No, sir.’ He goes, ‘Because we win.'”

Former MLB pitcher Roger Clemens hits a shot on the seventh hole during the first round of the Invited Celebrity Classic at Las Colinas Country Club on April 21, 2023 in Irving, Texas.
This MLB team prohibited Roger Clemens from playing golf on the road
By: Josh Berhow

Clemens and Nicklaus certainly did their fair share of winning in their respective heydays. But Clemens said that his personal brand of intimidation included not only his own his talent on the mound, but also trying to pry into his opponent’s confidence by depleting it in any way he could.

“You can throw 100 miles an hour. If you don’t throw strikes, you get beat around,” Clemens said. “And really, guys in the big leagues can put wood on a bullet. So it doesn’t matter how hard you throw. We’ve always said that pitching is like buying property or a house: location, location, location. And I locate. Even when I don’t have my plus-plus fastball, I’m still gonna figure out a way, how to get you out.

“I know what’s your best thing that you do, and I want to take that away immediately in that game if I can do it.”

For more from Clemens, including his thoughts on the celebrity golf circuit and what it was like playing golf on the road during the MLB season, check out the full Subpar episode below. Editor

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on