At 41 years old and 530 pounds, Harold Daly wasn't going to shoot his age. Or his weight. But after topping his tee shot on a long par 4, he looked on pace to shoot his cholesterol.
It was nearing noon in the unforgiving Nevada desert: sunbathing weather for scorpions and rattlers but a heatstroke hazard for oversized men with overtaxed hearts.
Daly mopped his brow, sheathed his driver and snagged a super-long Slim Jim from his golf bag, inhaling the two-foot-long strip like a giant frog sucking back a snake.
"Hmm," he said, chewing his salty snack and ruminating on what went wrong. "Must have come up on that one. You'd think it would be easy to keep all this weight down."
Luckily, Daly had others to lean on—beefsteak buddies whose bellies wiggled when they waggled and who wheezed on the walk from their carts to the ball. For the past four hours, they'd been working their way around the Paiute Golf Resort in Las Vegas, playing a scramble that was more of a waddle, belting back beers and pepper-cured beef, their shots piling up with their calorie counts.
Most of the chatter centered on two questions: whether there would be enough beer (as it turned out, there was enough for 10 seasons of NFL tailgating), and when Harold Daly would arrive.
The year before, Daly had made his first Fat Boy appearance and, judging by the reverent tones in which players discussed him, he'd left a psychic mark.
Go With Your Gut
Top 100 Teachers Mark Wood and Martin Hall say a few extra pounds don't have to weigh down your game. Here are four tips for plus-size players...
Embrace your shape
Just because you're big doesn't mean you can't be a fine player. Look at Craig Stadler or Tim Herron. My own father-inlaw is Dudley Hart's dad. He's a big guy and a very good player in his own right. He tends to play with a slightly stronger grip in his left hand, and relies a lot on his hands. This helps him get the clubface closed at impact. —Mark Wood
Splay your feet for more distance
To maximize your torque, splay both feet out at address—a little bit of that Donald Duck look. That frees you up to turn a little bit more one way and the other, which will result in longer shots. That said, you don't want to get too much weight swaying around because it could throw off your balance. Bigger guys who build their swings around their hands, wrists and arms could actually gain an advantage. They tend to remain stable, more rooted to the ground. —Martin Hall Bet big in the wind With your added stability, you'll be a better wind player, because the gales won't blow you around. —Mark Wood
Don't sweat it (literally)
Being fit doesn't guarantee that you'll be a great player. Tiger and Vijay certainly made fitness work for them. But David Duval got worse when he lost weight. And look at Mark Calcavecchia: I might not want to see Calc coming at me in a Speedo, but I'd take him as my partner any day of the week. —Martin Hall