I’ve been watching the brilliant television series “The Wire” lately, and one of the key elements of its genius is that it revels in the particular and peculiar dialects and jargon of its various groups of characters, from the police to street-corner drug dealers to stevedores to newspaper journalists. This shows respect not just for the subject matter but the audience as well. As a reward for paying attention, the viewer comes away not just entertained but educated.
So it is with the above video I recently watched from TaylorMade, where Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day practice their short games and discuss aspects of each of their chipping, pitching and bunker techniques. The presence of a TaylorMade rep acting as a moderator/interviewer and the occasional well-placed bits of praise for the company’s wedges (Jason Day is particularly adept at this) remind the listener that this 35-minute piece is part marketing, but only a small part overall. The overwhelming majority of the video is absolute catnip for any golf nerd. Woods’ observations on the difference between his feel-based approach and that of McIlroy and Day highlights some of their generation gap. So does the clear admiration both younger players exhibit for the 15-time major champion.
At another moment, McIlroy compliments Day by admitting that he likes to emulate the Aussie’s technique on certain short shots. It’s a reminder of just how congenial a game golf is, even at its highest and most competitive level. As you watch the Masters this weekend, you’ll see a great deal of the discussion from this video put into practice. It might even enrich your own game, too. Just don’t blame me if you skull a wedge into a lamp in your living room.