New Yorkers walking down 54th Street on Feb. 15 were probably surprised to see professional golfers Martin Kaymer and Sergio Garcia hitting balls in a makeshift driving range outside the Golfsmith superstore. Onlookers -- including Donald Trump -- weathered frigid temperatures at the "white-out" (a promotional event for TaylorMade's new R11 white-head driver which featured a smattering of manmade snow and a sea of golf fans wearing giveaway white hats) to watch as Kaymer, the No. 2-ranked golfer in the world, and Garcia, the former No. 2-ranked player (2008), demonstrated the unconventional driver that has the golf world buzzing.
As Garcia, who earned a reputation for his slow, finicky approach, was addressing his first tee shot, an antsy television reporter took the opportunity to comment -- during Garcia's backswing, no less -- "Come on, it doesn't matter if it's [a bad shot]."
If this had been during a tournament, a comment like that from the gallery might have precipitated a club toss and some heated words. Luckily the situation didn't call for it. The event was both a promotion for TaylorMade and a fundraiser for Operation Game On!, an organization that uses golf to raise money and awareness for handicapped veterans. A target was raised at one end of the driving range -- which was 17 feet wide, 45 feet high and 140 feet long -- and TaylorMade and Golfsmith donated money every time a golfer (including Garcia, Haymer and fans) hit the target with a drive. More than $40,000 was raised.