Then again, going cross-handed while swinging away is a different story.
Say hello to Josh Broadaway. He grips and swings the club cross-handed ' ALL the clubs. A 24-year-old Hooters Tour graduate from Albany, Ga., he has passed the first two legs of the PGA Tours qualifying school and is on his way to California for the finals.
It gets a lot of looks, said Broadaway with a grin. A lot of guys will laugh at me on the range. Then they see me later in the week and theyre like, Man, thats that guy whos gripping it wrong. And hes teeing off later than I am!
Broadaway has been playing cross-handed since he first picked up a club and swung it rather unsteadily at the ball on the ground. Fortunately, he sees the humor in the situation, just as does almost everyone who sees him.
It gets comical on the range, but I started playing that way because I am naturally left-handed, said Broadaway. I didnt have any left-handed clubs when I was young, and I just started playing that way from batting left-handed in baseball. Thats the grip that felt comfortable to me.
The plan was for him to continue playing left-hand low just for awhile, until he got old enough to effect a change.
My grandpa said, Yeah, thats fine for now, well wait until you get a little older and then well switch you, Broadaway said. When I was about 13 or 14, I tried to switch ' I couldnt hit it a hair (by hitting with a normal grip).
He (his grandfather)would come out and practice with me and Id hit it standard and I couldnt hit it 20 yards. And when he would leave, Id go back cross-handed and I could hit it decent enough to get it around.
'I finally said, You know what? Im not switching ' Im sticking with it. And he was always, Well youre never going to be any good if you dont switch.
But you know, its paid off ' its paid off a little bit.
He was kidding, of course. 'It' has paid off a lot, starting in high school in Albany, advancing to college at Troy (Ala.) State, and finally playing the Hooters Tour.
Brother Drew Broadaway caddied for him on the Hooters. He can still recall the expressions of disbelief when Josh started to warm up.
Its pretty funny when we walk up on the range, and theyre all looking and going, Whats this guy doing? Who is he? said Drew. And then they see him hit a few shots and they say, Man, this guy is pretty good! Then they look on the scoreboard a couple of days later and theyre like, Hey ' maybe this guy CAN play like this!
Fellow Hooters Tour alumni Zack Johnson was one of the gawkers when Broadaway first showed up, but Johnson is now a believer. He watched Broadaway grip the club - '10-fingered, but cross-handed, he recalls. And then he saw Broadaway give the ball a ride which would make Federal Express proud.
Im not the longest guy, but I can get it out there a little ways. He just bombs it past me, marvels Johnson.
Despite a stellar record in high school, the opportunities for Broadaway were few and far between out of high school. Fortunately, one gentleman gave him the shot he needed. Troy State would take him, he was told.
Coach Burnett - he was actually the only coach who gave me the chance, said Josh. I didnt really have many people looking at me out of high school, and I had a pretty good junior career.
He said, You know what? You want to come here at Troy and play, come on and well let you play. Well see what you can do. He said, I wont mess with you.
The first qualifier we had, I won it by about 14 or 15 shots. He said, Well, if you want me to help you with something, you can ask. But dont look for any answers. He goes, Im just going to let you do your thing.
Well, Josh HAS done his thing quite well on the Hooters Tour in 2002, but he has had some help along the way.
My brothers on the bag ' Drew, said Josh. Hes gonna go out there with me, and its gonna be a fun trip. My goal at the start of this year was to win a Hooters event ' which we did; to have a good year and finish in the top 10 on the money list ' which we did; and to go to Q-School and get to the finals ' and weve done that.
Now our goal is to finish in the top 35 and get to the Big Show.
And when he goes, brother Drew will be beside him, in spirit if not in actual fact.
Were very close ' as close as brothers can be, I guess, said Drew. Out on the road, he calls me two or three times a week when Im not with him. Weve got a great relationship. Id venture to say that if he does get through, Id be out there in some capacity. I dont know if Id be on the bag fulltime, but Id be out there a good bit.
Many of Joshs peers think that he has the skills and, without question, the flair to be a star on the PGA Tour.
He's an unbelievable talent and when he gets out there ' its in due time, I think - hes going to be a crowd favorite, said Johnson. Hes got that personality, but hes very professional about it, too ' hell go out there and play hard and, you know, (take care of) business. Outside that, hes great to sit down and talk to. Hes just a good Southern boy.
Josh certainly knows the task at hand will not be an easy one. But hes aware of the perks.
Everybody I talk to says, Man ' you play cross-handed; you get on tour, youre an instant millionaire, he said.
So its hard not to think about it, you know. Its hard to fathom. My family worked hard for everything theyve got - my grandfather and father. Im lucky to be out here doing this ' I really am.