Allen Doyle: Golfer with a plan (and a swing like a gargoyle)
Allen Doyle’s swing makes Jim Furyk’s look like Ben Hogan’s, he makes Lee Trevino look like Ernie Els. There was only one full-swing highlight of Allen Doyle on Sunday’s sportscasts, and believe me, it was enough to make toddlers cry and women run from the room.
Doyle didn’t win the ACE Group Classic. He was caught and passed by Bobby Wadkins on the final hole. But the silver medal did little to diminish Doyle’s stature as one of the most successful and compelling Champions Tour figures of the last decade. He’s got 11 wins, including four majors, including back-to-back Senior Opens. He’ll attempt the “three-peat” this July at Whistling Straights. He’s won 12 million bucks with his distinctive (emphasis on “stink") no-backswing, quick-lunge, awkward follow-through technique.
Doyle was just about to join the Senior Tour when I visited him some years ago at the modest driving range he operates south of Atlanta for a magazine feature story. It was almost a cliché — the “R” in Driving Range was hanging crooked on the barn-like door of the building.
He’s modest, and soft-spoken, but a man with a plan. He earned “bupkus” at the range most of his life, but patiently waited to turn pro until he saw the then-Senior Tour on the near horizon. After an hour’s conversation, he deigned to show me “The Swing.” In dress shoes and slacks, he roped four or five mid-irons that bounced off or near the 200 yard marker.
“Have you seen enough?” He asked with a sly smile.
I had. And learned definitively that day that a swing needn’t be pretty nor conventional to be deadly effective.
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