Tuesday, April 10

Gary Player Adjusts Driver for Masters Tee Shot

Gary Player (Allison)
THE GREATS ARE COMPETITIVE FOREVER, looking for any possible edge, more distance, more anything. Just ask Gary Player.

The Black Knight fiddled with his driver in anticipation of last Thursday’s ceremonial tee shot alongside fellow Masters winners and Hall of Famers Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. Gary wanted to put his best hit forward to open the 2012 Masters. Maybe he could rifle his drive on “Tea Olive” past the Golden Bear.

Jack, of course, used a Nicklaus driver. Arnie and Gary wielded Callaway Razr Fit drivers. The South African was looking for more distance, so he worked with the Callaway people early during Masters week to perfect his driver setup. The end result was a setup with more loft to hit the ball higher and also included tweaks to the clubhead that would allow him to turn it over a bit and get some extra roll down the lush 1st fairway.

Apparently, Gary was pleased.

“Player’s caddy came to the truck Wednesday to confirm that the Black Knight was getting longer distance and wanted to get a Razr Fit 3-wood to match the driver,” said a Callaway spokesperson.

On Thursday morning, with Masters Chairman Billy Payne serving as master of ceremonies, Palmer stepped up first and knocked one down the middle. Player was next, and cracked a drive that had a nice little draw. Then Jack belted one that also found the fairway, making it three for three.

The Big 3 had come through once more.

(Visor tip: The Tour Van)


Charles Prokop said...

I really enjoyed Jack's comments at the press conference after the opening ceremonies. A reporter asked if they looked to see who hit the longest drive, and Jack said "I don't think any of us can see that far." That got a good laugh, and Jack followed it up with "But we all heard them hit the ground."
They seemed to take the competition seriously, what with Player's driver adjustments and Jack warming up on the practice tee in advance. I wonder who did hit the longest one?

The Armchair Golfer said...

They really did have fun with it, didn't they? And I can remember Jack saying he'd never be one of the honorary hitters. I'm glad he changed his mind. Like you, I wondered who hit the longest drive. I'm pretty certain it had to be Jack or Gary, but no one reported that, as far as I know. That would be un-Masters-like.

Brian Kuehn said...

I believe Gary Player said he would have to double his work outs if he was invited to be an honorary starter so he could out drive Arnie and Jack. I am sure, despite his smile at his "joke", Gary was dead serious.

Bo said...

It is always a joy to see these 3 play golf together. Yes, we know of Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, and Sam Snead but these three helped make golf the popular sport it is today.

I always love to watch classic golf tournaments that feature the Golden Bear, the Black Knight, and the King together. I can't help but fathom how competitive those tournaments were back in the 60's and 70's.

I don't think there could ever be a better group of honorary starters for the Masters than these 3. It's good to see that they still have the competitive spirit.