BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. ' Baseball Hall of Famer Al Kaline, a member at Oakland Hills since the mid-1970s, hit better than .300 nine different times. The most money he ever made in a single season?
103,000 dollars, he recalled. And at the time six figures was a milestone.
Thats not the only are you kidding me? number attached to Mr. Tiger. He played his entire career ' 22 years ' with one team. One team! I had the urge to ask him his thoughts on Manny Ramirez, but didnt want to make him nauseous before lunch.
While baseball passed through the Twilight Zone into another dimension, Oakland Hills, even with a few yards and a few tweaks, remains as it was when Kaline first joined the venerable club: Tough.
And as long as were talking baseball, its Ty Cobb tough.
Here I was on a Monday morning with no wind and no pressure and Id take par on every hole I played, said former PGA champion David Toms.
The first six holes I played I couldnt believe the slopes on the greens, added Michael Campbell, who won the 2005 U.S. Open on a famous Donald Ross course, Pinehurst.
Toms pointed out that for a guy like me hitting longer clubs into these greens makes it even harder to get it on the right tier.
Im going to practice my 30- and 40-footers, added Campbell.
Finding the correct quadrant on the green becomes paramount, and that puts a premium on finding fairways. You absolutely have to drive it straight, said Kenny Perry, set to play his first major in 2008.
Like every major, it asks you to answer every possible question, offered Open Championship winner Padraig Harrington.
Cue the tape. Its a major. Its hard. So whats new, you ask?
Try this, even if it happened in 1951. In his epic final round 67 in the U.S. Open, Ben Hogan hit his 1-iron four times ' on his approaches to the par-4 fourth and par-4 11th, and to a pair of par-3, the ninth and 17th. Each time he hit the green and two-putted for par.
The Hawk vanquished The Monster. With a 1-iron! Like that $103,000 salary, a relic from another dimension ' cue Rod Serling ' known as The Twilight Zone.
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