The World's Tallest Golfer
The Legend of Robert "Waddy" Wadlow*
by Steve Divnick
Being an innovator in the golf business has come naturally for me. My grandfather, Edward "Divy" Divnick was well-known for creating some very unique golf clubs and baseball bats during the era of Bobby Jones, Gene Sarazen, Forrest Galbraith, Babe Ruth and other famous people.
As a young farmer, my grandpa developed a secret method for curing pickles. His company grew to eventually supply the entire Northwestern United States with barrel-cured pickles, "...that could make your taste buds stand up and dance!" The secret recipe was eventually sold to a large food company that continues to dominate the pickle market today. Because of non-disclosure agreements, we are not allowed to mention the name of the company, but they are no doubt your favorite pickles.
Grandpa was bored after the sale of the company, so he decided to take up golf to stay busy. Being an inventive person, he believed it was always better to build his own tools than to buy them, so he formed his first head and shaft out of old pickle barrel wood. He discovered this pickle juice soaked wood had unusual rebound and flex capability when he immediately started out driving his friends. He started traveling from course to course hustling golfers out of their money, and winning long drive exhibitions with an unorthodox swing. He always dressed in overalls, and the sophisticated golfers of the day couldn't believe they were being beaten by a farmer. Of course, he didn't tell anyone what the shaft and head material was, letting them assume it was some kind of hickory...the same as they were using.
At a county fair, grandpa met "The World's Tallest Man" Robert Wadlow. Grandpa was putting on exhibitions driving golf balls over the Ferris wheel and Wadlow was posing for pictures nearby. They formed a fast friendship, and Grandpa taught Wadlow how to play golf. He also built a set of custom extra long clubs, including a 5' driver...out of his secret pickle barrel wood.
Grandpa built the extra long driver to fit Wadlow's enormous stature. Wadlow didn't have as smooth a swing as Bobby Jones, but he had what is probably the fastest club-head speed of any golfer before or after. The combined length of his long arms and club was near 10', so his club head speed was over 150 mph. (For comparison, the longest hitting pros today are about 130 mph.)
In his old farmer language, Grandpa wrote in his diary, "Waddy could drive the ball out of sight, but he never knew where it was going. You put your life at risk if you were anywhere in front or beside him. When he hit bad shots, he didn't need to holler 'FOUR' because everyone else yelled 'FIRE IN THE HOLE' before he even swung!"
People loved to watch Wadlow hit golf balls at the county fairs, even though he invariably nailed the gallery. In fact, it became a badge of honor to get hit by a Wadlow drive. One young boy got hit at a fair in Arkansas. He came up with a brilliant idea and started following Wadlow around and selling tee-shirts that said, “I Got Laid Low By Wadlow.” Little Sammy Walton sold out all his shirts at every event.
Sammy later expanded his product line to general merchandise with stores all over the world!
Wadlow loved his driver and never went anywhere without it. He used it as a cane which can be seen in most of the pictures in the record-books today. In fact, seeing Waddy with his club on stage one time, Bob Hope adopted the use of a golf club as a prop. Said Hope, "I tried to carry Waddy's club on stage one time, but it was almost as tall as I was, and I kept tripping over it. He let me swing it once at the Riviera Golf Club, but I hit the ball so far I got in trouble with the Burbank airport traffic pattern!"
Waddy is shown here being interviewed by a young Bob Hope standing on a piano bench.
Wadlow was not supposed to tell anyone about the special pickle-barrel material, but one day he let it slip back-stage during a joint-media event with Babe Ruth. The persistent Ruth contacted Grandpa and convinced him to make a bat for him. That was during the off-season after 1919 when Ruth had hit a record 29 home runs. But armed with the new pickle barrel bat, he hit an amazing 54 in 1920 and became know as the Bambino...and the Sultan of Swat and is to this day the most famous person in all of baseball history.
A few years after his retirement, Babe credited his home run success to a, "Pickle farmer in Oregon who made my bats from wood soaked in pickle juice. Not only did the bats knock the cover off the ball, I ate one of his pickles before every game so the bats would feel at home in my hands."
See *** below
Two Generations Later...
The torch of innovation has been passed on. DivnickGolf™ is known for its innovative clubs including the Whole-In-One Adjustable™, and Telescopic Clubs. I have made up to 30 foot length drivers for trick shot performers, along with 4-headed clubs and other unique golf equipment.
And in the spirit of the 5' Waddy Driver, we make "The World's Longest Production Driver" available on www.WorldsLongestDriver.com. It makes a great gift for the golfer who "thinks" he has everything. But it is most often used as a fund raising exhibition club at charity golf outings where everyone gets a chance to hit the longest drive of their life.
Click here to read one of the most recent articles about our clubs in Golf Inc. Magazine.
I tell the above stories and show these pictures as an introduction to our "BIG STIK™ Drivers. Our special Five-Footer is the world's longest and largest production driver. It is great for fund raising at charity golf outings where everyone gets a chance to hit it on one of the holes and at the driving range. It is also, "For the golfer who thinks he has everything...but doesn't!" Be sure to take a look here.
***Of course, for the discerning readers, most of this legend is fictional, along with quite a bit of photo manipulation. In fact, the only parts of the story that are true are that my grandfather made the best pickles in the Northwest, Robert Wadlow was the tallest man in the world, Babe Ruth hit a lot of home runs, and we make the most unique golf clubs in the world! The rest of it....well....I'm just having some fun...sort of a Forrest Gump type of story. I hope you had as much fun reading it as I had writing it.
Click here to see how you can get your own FIVE FOOT BIG STIK™ Driver.