Golf is a game that attracts people from all walks of life. It seems no matter who you are or what you do, golf can have a way of captivating you – if you let it.
And once bitten by the golf bug, normally rational people seem to go to no end to get their golf fix, and along the way, to try and find the “Secret” to improving their game.
I’ll give you an example. I was talking with my dad once, and he mentioned there is a guy in eastern Washington (state) who claims if you have your clubs cryogenically frozen, you’ll be able to hit the ball 25 yards farther.
Now I hadn’t heard anything about this, but then I don’t always pay much heed to these claims, just because of all the gimmicks I’ve seen and heard of through the years. But when the topic came up during a round he was playing, one of his golf buddies in the group couldn’t hardly finish his round because he was so eager to see what it was all about.
Last I heard, this local veterinarian took a couple of days off work to head east of the mountains. By the looks of Snoqualmie Pass, he could have saved himself a lot of money by just leaving his clubs outside in the cold for a couple of days.
Just take a look at any golf magazine and you’ll see what I mean. There are golf clubs that will cure your slice or cure your hook. And every company has a new driver made out of twelve different types of material that will give you that “extra distance you need to reach those 600 yard par 5s in two.”
Different brands of golf balls will make you be able to “spin it like the pros,” or help you “gain incredible distance,” even though the U.S.G.A. (United States Golf Association) has limits on how juiced up the manufacturers are allowed to make the balls.
One company had a ball called the “straight distance,” which not only helps your shots go farther, but also guarantees it will go straighter than any other golf ball.
I’ve got to pick on my brother (Andy Perdue) a little bit at this point. Ever heard of the “Condor” golf ball? It’s a ball that’s guaranteed to go 20 yards farther, or your money back! The ball actually will go farther, but only because it’s slightly smaller than a regulation golf ball, which makes it illegal to use.
But that doesn’t matter to the golfer who wants to pound the ball past everyone in the group.
Well, somehow my brother got hold of one of these balls and just couldn’t wait to show off his newfound distance. After everyone had hit their tee shots on the first hole, he swaggered up to the tee with a certain air of cockiness about him.
“Feeling good today,” he said, as he flexed his arms and waggled his driver around. “Anyone want to have a long drive contest?”
Lucky for him there were no takers, and although he did hit one of the longest drives I’d ever seen him hit, nobody will ever know exactly how far it went. Unlike the ball mentioned in the previous paragraph, there was no guarantee on how straight the Condor would go.
I still giggle when I think of the disheartened look on his face when he lost that ball on the first swing.
The search for mastering this game doesn’t end with golf equipment. Just looking around in my library is proof of that. Lining my shelves are titles like “5 Days to Golfing Excellence” and “How To Hit a Golf Ball Straight” (which, by the way, I offered to loan to my brother after the Condor incident. Funny how he could make that book fly back at me straighter than he could a golf ball!).
Two of my favorite’s are “Golf Lessons with Mr. X” and “More Golf Lessons with Mr. X.” What’s classic about the two of these books is that nobody is allowed to know who Mr. X is. Favorable reviews are given by two famous golf writer’s on the front jacket of the book, and a picture of the mystery author is shown on the inside of the back sleeve, but the picture is from a distance, so he’s unrecognizable.
All the reader is allowed to know about Mr. X is that he is a retired London businessman who is over 70, who only took up the game in his late 40’s. Through observations confirmed by a visit to a physiotherapist (now there’s a word to grab a golfer’s attention!), he found a way in only eight weeks to lower his handicap to zero, even though he was more than 50 years old at the time.
If Mr. X was any good in marketing he probably made millions of dollars on these two books, because there isn’t a golfer alive who would be able to resist finding out his “secret” to mastering this game.
Although I didn’t find anything different in Mr. X’s book than in any of the other hundred’s of golf books I own, there is a secret to mastering golf. It’s been around for years and years, and while it hasn’t been accepted by everyone who teaches golf, it’s been proven over and over again to work.
All the time.
And it’ll make a great column for next time.