The putter isn't the problem; it's the inventor
Backlash On Grantland's Dr. V Story
By Torleif Sorenson on 1/22/14
Last week, we told you about the utterly bizarre story of "Essay Anne Vanderbilt, Ph.D." inventor of the Yar Oracle putter. The original story was written by's Caleb Hannan. While the following description is by no means all-encompassing, the putter was invented by Vanderbilt ("Dr. V"), a physicist who supposedly had worked on numerous classified government projects. Dr. V claimed to have degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the very prestigious Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. As Hannan's research developed, "Dr. V" was not a physicist, not a graduate of either of those universities, not someone who ever worked on classified government projects, and not even a member of the famous Vanderbilt family. "Dr. V" was born Stephen Krol - a man.

Now Hannan and his editors at are coming under fire from some people because, they opine, Hannan drove Vanderbilt / Krol to suicide. One web site even insists that Hannan could have reported the story without "outing" Krol as a "transgender(ed)."

A few points are worth mentioning here:
  1. The story of the eventual death of Essay Anne Vanderbilt is tragic.

  2. Hindsight is not necessarily "20-20" because we are humans, with various biases and differing instant reactions.

  3. Your humble correspondent was waylaid by the flu on Friday evening. When you are physically sick, you easily become mentally tired and are not able to parse the fine, intellectual details of a story as long, twisting, complicated, and absolutely bizarre as that of Essay Anne Vanderbilt.

But the complaints over the way the story unfolded still don't mitigate the fact that "Dr. V" was a complete and utter fraud. Nobody forced her to lie about having an academic background in physics and work on many classified government projects.

And nobody is forcing Yar Golf president Gerri Jordan keep a blatantly Photoshop'd image of a fake "Yar Golf Physics Laboratory" on the company's contact page. The lab is purportedly at 2473 South Higley Road in Gilbert, Arizona.

In reality, it is a single-story strip mall, with a "Postal Connections" store (similar to "Mail Boxes Etc" for those of you in other parts of the country) at the actual address, along with an appliance repair shop and a Chinese buffet just down the sidewalk.

And then, there is the dubious claim on the top of the Yar Golf web site that insists that "Only Yar Golf Certified Putter Consultatives [sic] understand Yar Putter Science Theorems." Without question, designers and engineers from the major, minor, and even the smaller legitimate equipment companies would brush off such bluster as utterly fatuous.

Lies and deceit are still lies and deceit, regardless of who commits them. Forewarned is forearmed.

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[ comments ]
KurtisWH says:
The Verge link doesn't work? Was that an article that they pulled down?
Duke of Hazards says:
Wasn't she/he already dead before the piece was published? The Outsports article that bashes Hannan for 'outing' Dr. V is shrill and ridiculous. Just look at the comments below Cyd Zeigler's asinine article.

Hannan's piece was interesting, well written and to me, fairly objective.

Left-wing extremist nutjobs are just as dumb as the right-wing ones.
Torleif Sorenson says:
KurtisWH: Evidently they did, so I've cut the hyperlink from this post.
joe jones says:
If I am not mistaken Dr. V had already been "outed" before the article was written. Several people that contributed funds to her company had investigated she/he and were in the process of taking legal action against her.It seems people can and will protest regardless of the truth.
Torleif Sorenson says:
Duke: Yes, Vanderbilt / Krol had committed suicide roughly three months ago. finally posted Hannan's article last week. Caleb Hannan is not, IMHO, responsible for the suicide; he and his editors didn't even "out" Vanderbilt until three months afterward.
Wes11point5 says:
Well, three OOBers claims to use this putter. After a little investifakive reporting, this author has found that that only one person claims to use the Yar putter but that person has a private account. WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO HIDE dtak84????????? This reporter smells a cover up at the highest levels of OOB government. More details will follow when/if they become available.
jasonfish11 says:
I thought Hannan was extreemly objective in that article. I read the article and came a way with 2 feelings.

One was "What a con artist."

But my first thought after reading the article was that I felt bad for Dr. V that she/he never got the appropriate help needed. That is saying a lot because I've never been considered a compasionate person in my life.

My normal thought after a story like this written by some hack job would be "one less con artist breathing, so what's the big deal?"
DougE says:
Anyone notice the UFO (or could be a stealth bomber) in the top left corner of the picture? I wonder if that was photoshopped too. It looks more realistic than the terrible signage job they retouched into the photo.
legitimatebeef says:
I'm interested in what Wes is trying to dig up. We need to find this "dtak84" and out him/her.
Torleif Sorenson says:
DougE: I saw it too, and pointed it out in the original article last week.

jasonfish11: That's exactly what one of Vanderbilt's ex-in-laws said when informed of the suicide.

Wes11point5: Notice any black helicopters over your house, lately? :-P
joe jones says:
The plane is a B 1 bomber which also appears as a fly by on her website.She claimed that she helped develop it for Nasa.
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