My sum total of golf involvement over the past six weeks has been a 25-minute trip to the range. It was the usual jumbled mess of a few brainless wedges before working all the way down to the 6-iron which lessened the chance of any confidence-sapping pipes with anything longer.
Before too long, around eight minutes, I was down to the solitary bit of heavy artillery and the remaining 17 minutes of my little trip out were spent hypothesising over whether my new/old 5-wood might be more efficient if someone skilled was able to cut half an inch off it?
And, should that happen, would that make it a little bit more explosive?
And how would it affect the swing weight?
At one point I wasted 20 seconds of my life looking at the shaft to see what its kick-point components were.
I then concluded that the old girl definitely needs a re-grip so the rest of my time was spent looking at my hands and weighing up the merits of one layer to no layer.
The main reason I like the 5-wood is that it’s not adjustable so it keeps things simple in my head.
It’s nothing short of an illness and I don’t help myself by surrounding myself with similarly-minded cretins who think that by tweaking their strong hybrid by half a degree everything’s going to suddenly click into place.
Ladies, gentlemen and all fellow tinkerers, may I introduce to you Mr Cody Blick. The 25-year-old is everybody’s hero this week after playing one of the rounds of the year.
On Sunday morning Blick was getting ready to go to the course for the final round of the Web.com Tour Q School from his Airbnb accommodation when his coach’s fiancée asked where his clubs were? The garage door was open and his clubs were gone, it was 8.30am and they were due to head off to Whirlwind GC for one of the biggest days of his golfing life having turned pro in 2016.
Forget all the usual pro golfer moans on Twitter about their clubs not joining them three days before a tournament, this was as stomach churning as it gets.
“I went through a rollercoaster of emotions for about five minutes. I was kind of freaking out but I had to get it together,” Blick told the Golf Channel.
He logged on to Instagram and offered $5,000 to get his clubs back.
No luck. So he called Titleist only to discover that the tour van was already down the road somewhere.
So the reps got to work and got their hands on a TS3 driver and 3-wood with different settings, borrowed the club superintendent’s 5-9 irons that were a few degrees upright and the bag was completed with some wedges from the pro shop and a blade putter that was both too heavy and an inch longer than his usual one, a putter that he had been using since 2010.
At the start of the day he was in 74th spot, four shots outside the number, and Blick reckoned that he would need to shoot a 64 to have a chance. He headed to the 1st tee with his coach’s final words: “This is going to be a weird day where you’re going to hit some weird shots.”
And now the good bit. After pars at the first two holes he then birdied three on the trot from the 12th, his 3rd, before adding another hat-trick around the turn. He would miss one fairway all day, gave himself seven birdie putts inside five feet and by gripping down on his new putter he never missed from within seven feet.
“It was an attack mentality all day. Hitting bad shots was OK, almost, like, dude, I have a mismatched set. It’s not expected of me to hit good shots. In a weird way, that was comforting.”
With three holes remaining he birdied 7 and 8 and gave himself an 18-footer at the 9th, his final hole.
“Dude, just two putts from here,” said his caddie/coach Gary Bashford.
Blick knocked it in for another three birdies in a row and a 63 to vault him up to a share of 25th and, given the general low scoring, just one shot inside the bubble. After three years struggling on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada he would have a guaranteed eight Web.com starts rather than a succession of Monday qualifiers.
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I want to say THANK YOU to the team for getting me through yesterday’s adversity. For those who haven’t heard, I woke up yesterday (the final day of Q-School) and my clubs had been stolen from our airbnb. It was a panic but the team came in clutch. My parents and coach were there to help me out and @titleist getting me a set of usable clubs- I’m very grateful. They say golf is an individual sport but this was a tale of team work! And thank you to everyone who reached out with positive words, it all means a lot to me! Can’t wait for 2019 @webdotcomtour #titleist #scottycameron #vokeywedges #pgatour #webdotcomtour #rentalclubs #ripmyclubsDec 10, 2018 at 8:11am PST
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet but to move up the ladder and get closer to the PGA Tour is really cool,” said Blick who also had to contend with a cracked driver earlier in the week. “It was one of those things where I never thought that I wasn’t going to get starts. I don’t mean that in a cocky way; I just kind of believed the entire time that it was going to be fine. We took so many punches to the gut this week and it was pretty cool to brush it off the way we did.”
So the next time we have to use, heaven forbid, some hire set that don’t match our own high standards cast your mind back to Cody Blick and just get on with it.