The Yar Oracle Putter And The Physicist Who Wasn't
By Torleif Sorenson on 1/16/14
Grantland.com contributing writer Caleb Hannan has contributed a truly outstanding, compelling, bizarre, and brain-bending story — one that may leave you shaking your head.
Among the dramatis personæ and concepts involved are MOI, "anti-MOI," the proprietor of "Yar University," the placebo effect, Gary McCord...
...and the obligatory infomercial:
I will not attempt to summarize Hannan's fascinating journey of investigative reporting with a couple of paragraphs — his story must be read start-to-finish to truly appreciate his diligent research.
By the way, the company still has a web site with a contact page containing a picture of a three-story office building (see below) that is supposedly at 2473 South Higley Road in Gilbert, Arizona. The problem is that the picture clearly was Photoshop'd. When I saw it, I was compelled to make a quick check of Google Street View. Sure enough, no such building exists there; it is merely a single-story strip mall with an appliance repair store, a Chinese restaurant, and a Postal Connections store, where Yar Golf apparently has a private mail box.
False advertising — this is a tampered photograph, not the real Yar building.
Also note the shadowy stealth bomber superimposed into the upper left-hand corner of the image.
Whether or not the Yar Oracle putter is even partially as good as the sellers advertise, so many lies and deceptions are part of the story that a forensic psychologist might be needed to explain things. Even Gary McCord himself reportedly refuses to talk about it anymore.
Caveat emptor — let the buyer be aware. Very, very aware.
And finally, 10,000 points to Caleb Hannan for the most interesting golf story I have read in a very long time.
"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!"
Read an interesting golf article? Tip your editor!
H-T: Bob Harig
Image via theverge.com
[ comments ]
joe jones says:
About 2 years ago we had a demonstration day at my home course. All of the major equipment manufacturers were available. The only putter companies were Ping, Taylor Made and a company i had never heard of. Yar. Because it was strange looking I tried it using my side saddle style. It was Not a long putter so it was unco,fortable for sure but I have to say i was very impressed with the results. The feel was excellent. I asked the rep (unknown name) if they would consider making a long version I was told emphatically no so I lost interest. Later on I tried to remember the name so I might look at the possibility of buying one so I could convert it to a long putter. At that time I couldn't find anything on the internet and until this story came up I had forgotten about the putter. The bottom line. The putter worked for me. Thanks for posting this strange tale.
joe jones says:
I forgot to mention that I prefer a center shafted balanced putter. The Yar putter uses a heel mounted shaft that has a bend to simulate the feel of a balanced putter. I must admit that it was very impressive. The only other putter that I would consider would be a Taylor Made center shafted Ghost which was very expensive at that time. The Yar came very close but the performance seemed outstanding to me. I have met some very devious people over the years but this story takes the cake.
Duke of Hazards says:
Wow, that was quite the tale.
I'm intrigued now. I must try this thing.
Being of a short attention span (no medical reason for this, I'm just not patient) I usually fail to read all of articles like the one written by Caleb Hannan. But this one had me hooked. What a bizarre story!
What in the f%?! is going on? I thought the Phil & Rory video is sick, now this?
As a professional golfer of 24 years, I have tried many putters. This putter is not pretty, but I have never felt consistency like it! It feels the same on every putt day in and day out. I love it!
Torleif Sorenson says:
...and THAT is the point that keeps sticking in my head. But even the factory refurb models are priced at $186 — too rich for my current budget. The cheesy, poorly-formatted web site also sets off alarm bells.
But as golfernutmeg and Joe Jones point out, it appears as though the Yar Oracle might actually be worth checking out.
Weird story, but to me they're all shysters! Whether it's a six foot three transgendered phony physicist, or the TaylorMade company--I view them all with the same sort of skepticism. Just goes to show when a manufacturer touts something like "It's not you, it's your equipment" (Yar's exact words), they cannot be trusted. The act of striking a ball with a putter is about a simplistic as it looks--don't let shysters get you thinking there is all this science at play. "You need more MOI!" "No, what you really need is NO MOI!"--this crap should be illegal. Anyways driving a nail with a hammer is probably more precision-demanding yet carpenters do it just fine, relying on plain old skill and know-how and practice. IMO one should pick a putter and stick with it. If you don't like your putting, blame yourself, not the putter. Much simpler way to live life.
Never trust anyone that claims to be a doctor and doesn't use their whole name such as Dr. V. This rule also applies to doctors that use their first name....Dr. Phil, Doc Oz. This is a good rule of thumb.
I agree with beef. I've had the same Ping Anser 5 for pretty much my whole golfing career, roughly 16 years. Sure there are times I can't lag for poo or make a 2-footer, but it's sure not the fault of my putter. I just realized I need to name her something.
joe jones says:
I have used only 2 putters since 1970. My "Big Ugly" that I designed and built when I converted to side saddle in 1970 and a 48" Tour Edge model. . Obviously I have looked at hundreds of putters over the years but I feel so confident with them that I have no reason to change. I was sorely tempted by the Ghost but if I remember the cost ($299) at the time put me off. I have a friend that has had probably 8 putters during the past year and has changed grips and methods at least the same number of times. The fascinating thing is he is a fine putter most of the time ( sometime brilliant) but one bad day will send him shopping. Thus is the strange tale of golfers and their equipment.
Only people I know of who are more goofy about equipment than golfers, are fishermen. I have to laugh when I listen to them discuss the properties and relative success of the latest lure.
Fishing lures are built to catch fishermen, not fish. Some happen to do both.
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