We've seen how well Tiger Woods can bounce a ball on his sand wedge, but did you know that Chi Chi Rodriguez has hit two balls and made them collide in midair? Or that Paul Azinger can hit shots that go more than 100 yards but never get more than five feet off the ground? Here are some of the top tricks and trick-shot artists you might see at a tour event.
Believe it or not, the phlegmatic Ed Dougherty was Woods's trick-shot inspiration. While attending the L.A. Open as a teen, Woods noticed that Dougherty not only could dribble a ball on his Bulls Eye putter but also could spin it. "That really impressed me," says Woods.
Know what happens if you bet Tom Jenkins, a Senior tour player, that he can't bounce a ball with his wedge at least 1,000 times without a miss? You lose.
The master at hitting from his knees, Seve Ballesteros has another specialty: a lofted, spinning sand shot with a two-iron.
Dead Hands Dick
You might see Tom Kite try this one in a tournament. He takes a slow but full swing with a 61�-degree wedge, never breaking his wrists. The ball goes about four feet up and four feet forward, then drops straight down without a bit of spin.
Everyone agrees that Phil Mickelson is the father of the flop shot. One of his favorite tricks is having a fellow pro stand five feet in front of him with his back turned and his hand out. Mickelson flops the ball over the player's shoulder and into his hand. Another Mickelson favorite is putting a ball on an extreme uphill lie, then flopping it backward over his head. His most impressive bit, though, is when he takes a full swing with his L-wedge, then reaches out with his right hand and snags the ball on its way up.
Using only his left arm, Johnny Miller can hit full shots that fly nearly as far as those he hits with both hands on the club. Miller's secret? He's a natural southpaw.
Like Miller, Stuart Appleby plays righthanded, yet he likes to turn over his three-iron, switch to the port side, toss a ball into the air and hit it just as it touches the ground, like a dropkick. The ball soars high and goes 125 yards.
Paul Azinger can choke down on a two-iron and punch darts that go 100 yards without ever getting more than five feet off the ground.
Up Against the Wall
When he was on the Senior tour, Bob Brue would put a ball two feet from a wall, then stand sideways with his right foot touching the wall's base. From that position he would lift a four-iron straight up, cock his wrists and hit a 150-yard shot.