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(This piece first appeared in Men's Health in September, 1995.

Minding My Father

Golf tip

It almost seemed like advice from beyond the grave.

Dad explained to me more than 15 years ago how a simple change in gripping the golf club could likely cure my slice -- a flaw that launches the ball in a sizzling banana pattern, like a bottle rocket zipping straight for 130 yards before veering off toward the trees, shrubs or someone's backyard window pane.

I didn't golf much after that advice, so there wasn't much chance to put it to use.

But I'm out on this 9-hole course one day with Dad's clubs. I replaced the driver we buried with him. The new one is an Arnold Palmer driver I got for $39.95 at Wal-Mart in Hudson, Wis. (People who pay $150 for a driver and still can't break 90 are fools.)

I never know where the damn ball's going, so I figure I might as well give Al's advice a shot. It works.

And it keeps working.

I go par, bogey, bogey on the first three holes. I can't chip or putt worth a damn, so I still turn in an awful round, but the slice is gone. Off the tee, I'm hitting 'em like Al, right down the middle.

And I decide when I write my golf book it will be called, "How to line up your third putt."