I fell thirteen feet when a ladder broke, severely injuring my back and causing a lifetime of challenges. I was eighteen at the time and had been an avid golfer. A 4-handicap, I broke par three days in a row for the first time, and then a week later I broke my back. I wanted to play again – badly – but each return to the game stopped as the back deteriorated.
After the accident I took up T’ai Chi and it helped a lot. I learned to twist or to bend – but I could not do both.
I was watching an LPGA tournament and a very young and very tiny pro used a long driver, standing up virtually straight, and won the tournament. I wondered if we could make a golf club long enough for me where I could swing without bending.
We could, we did, and launched me on a path of discovery through circus giants, family stories, inspirational humanity, the inner workings of the USGA and Royal and Ancient, and the joy of stealing a few extra years of playing this great game.
Same length clubs have become popular now due to the success of U.S. Amateur and NCAA champion Bryson DeChambeau. Not all the clubs in his bag are the same length. Irons and woods are different lengths. In my case, because I couldn’t bend and have relatively short arms, all my clubs, from woods to wedges, are all the same length – 51.5 inches. These are some of the extra-long, all the same length clubs Callaway and Cobra made for me between 1997 and 2005 next to the standard length clubs: