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- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
I want to scream out, "No, you fools! I'm a graduate of the Ben Sutton Golf School!" But I don't want to anger the swing doctor. Besides, this is a three-day Golf Digest Instruction School, and my Ben Sutton diploma doesn't carry much weight here.
So I grip the club, take my stance and try swatting the ball...and I blade it about 50 yards.
Igor tees up another ball, and I try again: a toe hook, maybe 70 yards. I swear under my breath. I try a third time—don't ask me what kind of swing I put on it—and the ball jumps off the club face, rises majestically, draws back toward the target, and lands in the green valley below, 200 yards away. Igor whoops and spins like a dervish.
I turn to the swing doctor and say, "Can this thing be worn under a sweater, does it come with a warranty, and how long can I leave it on before gangrene sets in?"
A normal person, you say, doesn't go to two different golf schools in a month's time.
A normal person, I respond, doesn't go to a golf school at all.
When I told friends that I planned to attend a couple of golf schools for a magazine story, half of them (golfers) said they envied me. The other half (nongolfers) gave me patronizing looks, as if I had announced my intention to matriculate at the Klip 'n' Kurl School of Hairdressing.
So don't talk to me about normal.
Take Toby Lyons. If he has a golf theory, it is "Mama don't 'low no pedagogy 'round here." His first objective, always, is to demystify a technique.
"It's the easiest shot in golf, boys," Lyons said on Day 2 of the Sutton school. He then dropped a ball in a sand bunker, dug in his feet and splashed the ball out with a swing no longer than a summer sausage. The ball stopped a foot from the pin.