As far as drivers are concerned, they don’t make them like they used to.
The PGA Tour returns to Cherry Hills Golf Club this week for the BMW Championship. The course was once a regular stop on the Tour and in 1960 it hosted the US Open where Arnold Palmer famously drove the green on the first hole on his way to victory.
Current professionals including Rory McIlroy, Camilo Villegas and Zach Johnson did their best to emulate the shot using a persimmon driver like the one Palmer used.
According to Golf Channel’s Randell Mell, no one could replicate the feat using using the club and a balata ball.
Even power-hitting Rory McIlroy couldn’t duplicate the feat. He gave it a go, leaving his tee shot in the front, left greenside bunker.
When he teed it up with his own clubs and ball, McIlroy didn’t need driver to reach the green. He reached it with his Nike 3-wood.
“I think that Arnie will be upset to see guys hitting three woods there this week,” Graeme McDowell said. “Maybe less than 3-wood, honestly.”
The PGA Tour plans to use the Palmer tee for all four rounds of this week’s championship.
“No one hit the green with the persimmon wood,” said Mike Abitbol, a marshal manning the first tee. “The ball seemed to spin a lot more than they expected.”