Cynicism about all this bliss-zapping circulates among Hipp's fellow coaches. They smelled a rat in Hipp's use of aromatherapy. Maharishi promotes a line of fragrant, mood-altering remedies made from the oil of herbs such as rose, sandalwood and jasmine. Hipp would give each of the Pioneers an oil-soaked cotton ball. When stressed or nervous, they would pull the balls out of their pockets and take a whiff. During the 1994 state sectionals, a rival coach asked Hipp, "What are your guys smelling?"
"Is that a performance enhancer?"
"Yeah, but it's completely natural. It's made from flowers."
The coach protested to the Iowa Athletic Association, which found Maharishi's flower power to be pungent but legal. Since then Hipp has had his Pioneers dab the unguents directly onto their shirts. In one recent match Duveyoung lined up a putt, sniffed one shoulder, eyed the lie, stepped back and then sniffed his other shoulder. "I always know it's a tough shot when it's a double smell," Hipp says.
Team meetings are held in Hipp's "lodge"—a converted garage in back of his house. Practicing their swings with phantom clubs, the Pioneers seem to be drifting through a series of ghost moves, blissed out in self-forgetfulness.
Hipp's most harmonious lodge meeting convened before this year's state finals. "We spent two hours here, clarifying our intentions," he says. Hipp recorded those intentions on a large white pad:
"I want to finish in the top five."
"I want to place first."
"I want to shoot a 69."