King Arthur and Excalibur and Thor’s Hammer Mjölnir and the Quest for the Holy Grail

Tom Velarde
Golf Professional
Black Mesa Golf Club
La Mesilla, AZ

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Golfers are forever in search of the one item that fits in a golf bag that will instantly turn mere mortal golf chop into the morph us into the Adonis that we know we are. Well, in my case maybe it’s not an Adonis but merely a little version of me.

I got my new putter and want to share with you the trials and tribulations of adjusting and adapting to our perceived and actual adjustments while learning.

I last month shared that my aim with a putter was just short of being horrible and it allowed me a small percentage of making a putt. No matter what the distance. Well, after my fitting a secret weapon was crafted, I pictured a deep dark place with furnaces spewing volumes of soot and a man with forearms of steel making sparks fly with each drop of a heavy hammer. Assistants helped him forge the ultimate weapon. Each craftsman down the line gave this tool life and with each step an ultimate weapon took shape.

It came to me wrapped in an in descript box left quite unceramonously at my front door in a light drizzle. I took it in and opened the box; there under layers of bubble wrap was a beauty with a black matted finish and pixel insert in the face. 35 inches of steel and chrome with no bad experiences and now it belonged to me.

I took it to the golf course and in the early evening hit my first putt. It was a simple four footer relatively straight and my first putt finished a good 18 inches left. The next ball produced the same result. Soon, every putt I hit only came near the hole in my mind as in reality none finished anywhere close. From the back of my closet at home, my Design by Arnold Palmer vintage 1960 laughed, joined by a 1975 Bobby Grace…all 35 of the Pings joined the chorus. From the deepest recess of the jumble of putters the Acushnet Bulls eyes all crowed.

Re-shaft or re-grip they all cried, some who had suffered the torch screamed, “bend the hosel like you did to me”. Years of experience had taught me that once I applied whatever personal indulgence I wanted, the value of my new putter would be zero and it was destined for a spot among the graveyard of dashed dreams.

Now I just took my golf balls and tried again, only this time I let the club just flow. The putter seemed to hook every putt but the putts were finding the exact center of the hole.

The real test came in my next tournament where I tied for 12th, this may not be an accomplishment but you need to know that in the previous 13 YEARS I had not cashed a check for my playing abilities. I collected my wagers from those who have for 13 years had change ready for me when I paid off. I was through my first tournament without missing a four footer and only one three putt could not tarnish a week to remember.

So, thanks Henry, I love the Edel and thanks for the new lease on golf life. This is one old pro that now has a young putting stroke.  It’s not Excalibur nor is it Thor’s Hammer Mjölnir, but in my case for golf it is the Hole Grail.

Tom Velarde is the Director of Golf at Black Mesa Golf Club in Espanola, New Mexico,
just northwest of Santa Fe. For more information or to reach Tom, email