Wednesday, June 17, 2009
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — The Adams Tour van was packed and leaving the grounds. That is until Vijay Singh made a last-minute request. Singh, who already uses an Adams A3 19-degree hybrid, wanted to try 4- and 5-iron replacement hybrids.
So the van turned around and Adams Tour reps Jason Williams, Brian Beatty, and Dave “Sticky” Williams scrambled to unpack their equipment and build the clubs to Singh’s specifications: the most unusual request being steel shafts for the feel of an iron.
Singh sent his caddie and Sticky out to the range and started bashing shots at them. The two marked where the ball landed and checked the exact yardage with a laser. Singh alternated between the hybrids and his Cleveland irons, comparing both trajectory and distance. During the session, Singh hit one shot that bounced off Sticky’s belt buckle, another that his caddie barehanded, and one that cleared the fence and bounced into a satellite truck parked in an adjacent field.
At one point, Singh stopped, picked up his iPhone and called his caddie to ask his opinion. Beatty stood by Singh, listening for feedback. Singh also listened to Champions Tour veteran Jim Colbert, who took a break from his ESPN radio gig to observe Singh at work. Colbert suggested he make sure that they performed from the rough. So Singh moved the test session up 20 yards and continued his assault from the heavy junk. After Singh finished beating another dozen balls, Jason Williams turned to me and said, “I think he made up his mind. He’s switching to our hybrids.” He smiled the smile of victory.
We won’t know for sure whether Singh will make the change until he tees off tomorrow at 7:44 a.m. But it was a snapshot of the tireless work that the tour reps provide every week. A lot of the time their hustle doesn’t bear fruit. Every once in a while, there’s a chance it could make a “major” difference.