No Way This Works

An ode to trick shots both ridiculous and sublime
No Way This Works Trick Shots

Tiger Woods’ 1999 Nike commercial where he juggles a golf ball on his wedge for 28 jaw-dropping seconds, then smashes it out of the air, is in the conversation for the greatest golf ad of all time. But it’s nowhere near the top of the list for golf’s best trick shots. In terms of sheer spectacle, this marvel from a 1994 episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno—where Hollywood stuntman Ken Willer, suspended upside down from the top of the set, whacks a ball blown into the air by the host—might have it beat.

It’s a safe assumption that shortly after the very first golf ball dropped in the hole, one of those Scottish pioneers took a nip of whisky and dreamed of doing something wild with a ball and a club. Trick shots—and, often, the money exchanged after their success or failure—have always been a part of the game’s DNA.

Lee Trevino took people’s cash by beating them with a taped-up Dr Pepper bottle. Arnold Palmer has a famous undated video of himself skipping balls over the water to a green 100-plus yards away. (If you haven’t seen it yet, please put this magazine down and look it up on YouTube. His playful dig at Jack Nicklaus is priceless.) Tania Tare gained hundreds of thousands of followers for her increasingly impressive trick shots and has turned it into a full-time career. The guys from Dude Perfect stunned the golf world earlier this year when Augusta National allowed them to perform a series of reckless trick shots at Amen Corner, of all places.

So perhaps the next time your game’s in a funk, take a few minutes to try juggling. As with all great trick shots, you never know what might happen next.  

Header photo by Margaret Norton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images