I'm the one-club wonder, and it's true, I am not playing with a
full set. With a full bag of clubs I'm a scratch golfer, but
with my six-iron and my imagination, I've won the World One-Club
Championship four times. In the 1987 championship I birdied four
holes at 6,200-yard Lochmere Golf Club in Cary, N.C., and set
the Guinness Book of World Records one-club score, a
two-under-par 70. I took 31 putts, closing the face of the
six-iron to get the ball rolling.
People ask me if I use my talent to hustle people, but there are
other benefits of using only one club: You never need a caddie;
a round takes only three hours; and you keep more shots in the
fairway, a forgotten virtue with the latest biggest, baddest,
rocket-launching drivers. As Chi Chi Rodriguez says, the only
wood most amateurs should use is a pencil.
I hit the ball about 190 yards off the tee with my six-iron, but
I can launch it 235 using a nifty trick. I find an old divot or
clump of clover and put my ball in front of it. This keeps the
grooves from imparting spin, creating a knuckleball that rolls
forever. The toughest shot is from 100 yards, but for the little
50- to 60-yard shots I make my six-iron into a wedge by opening
Yes, my particular skill does get a few peculiar reactions. The
most common is that folks think I'm the one-armed golfer rather
than the one-club golfer. I give clinics and exhibitions at
charity events, and when I reach the tee, people are amazed at
how lifelike my fake limb is.
One-club golf isn't for everyone, but most people shoot within
10 strokes of their handicap, appreciate not having to lug
around a full set and really enjoy playing faster and without
the indecision that comes with picking clubs. You might just
discover, as I have, that less is more.
Thad Daber has shot 61, twice, with a full set of clubs.
COLOR PHOTO: JIM GUND