Video Review: Ballesteros and Trevino vs. Faldo and Aoki in the One Club Challenge
Have you ever gone on YouTube and realized that two hours later, you’re still watching Seve Ballesteros videos? What about Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf, or instructional videos from Bobby Jones? You can get caught in an endless number of rabbit holes on YouTube, especially if you know where to look and so I figured that I could probably turn some of these videos into actual posts. We’ll keep it light, embed the videos and have some fun with screenshots, GIFs and commentary. If something has been bolded, you can click on it for more information.
Today, we’ll take a look at four golf legends playing on the Old Course as Seve Ballesteros teams with Lee Trevino to take on Nick Faldo and Isao Aoki in a different format: each player can only use one club per hole. The match took place in 1984, shortly after Ballesteros won his second Open Championship on the same legendary links.
00:09 – Trevino and Ballesteros give us a brief intro to the proceedings, and it’s clear as to why it’s these two handling this segment as you’d be hard pressed to find anyone in golf with more charisma than these two, especially when you consider the two on the other side.
00:30 – The BBC intro is fantastic, with the most stereotypical 80’s sports music over top of it.
00:46 – Lee executes a perfect club twirl:
00:53 – A 27-year old Nick Faldo:
01:05 – Peter Alliss on the commentary! This video just got way, way better.
01:14 – All four players are mic’d up, which really helps sell this kind of exhibition, and of course Seve wants to go at the pin.
Trevino: “Well, certainly. I’m four putts away, go ahead. Go at the flag.”
01:34 – Seve always had a beautiful, simple swing:
01:51 – Sir Nick’s outfit of choice, which was very clearly the result of a lost wager on his part. You never go full banana.
01:54 & 02:05 – All four players chose to play with a five iron, making Faldo’s shot nearly impossible. He leaves it in on the first attempt, but somehow gets it out on the second one despite being closer to the wall:
It would have taken me approximately 87324 shots to get out of there with a 5-iron.
02:13 – Aoki putting with the 5-iron has absolutely no idea how hard to hit the ball:
02:45 – Seve, ever the experimenter, turns the 5-iron over and uses the flat side to putt followed by the conventional way after the miss.
03:03 – Trevino: “If I get to mark this ball another couple of times, I’ll have a gimme.”
03:22 – Love the graphics used to illustrate the holes:
Alliss: “316 yards of a short par-4. Bunkers dotted all around, many of them laid out for golf a couple hundred years ago. It was this hole that cost Tom Watson an expensive stroke when he was attempting to win the 1984 Open Championship, but our players with just one club have lots of other hazards to negotiate.”
05:04 – Trevino sends his ball into the air, and it sounds like Seve doesn’t like it off the club:
- Seve: “Oi yoi yoi….it’s perfect.”
- (crowd erupts in laughter)
- Faldo: “That’s the first time I’ve ever heard him speechless.”
05:40 – Trevino and Seve show off some great touch with their 5-irons:
06:06 – Aoki finds the bunker, and here we find perfect Alliss:
Alliss: “That’s in the bunker, and what a bunker. I don’t know what you’d do with all of your clubs in a situation like this.”
Personally, there’s no amount of clubs that I could use to get myself out of that spot. Luckily, Aoki has the perfect solution, something which Leslie Nielsen coined as the ‘Hand Wedge’. (Side note: Do yourself a favour and watch both parts of Nielsen’s Bad Golf Made Easier in the link above. Great stuff.)
Alliss: “Yes, I think that’s the one, the old hand mashie. Thrown of course with a handful of sand to make it look a little more innocent. Now, even with his most lofted club he’d have to aim out left. If you imagine that bunker a clock face, he’d have to be aiming it at 10:00, 11:00. He might get it out I suppose, it’s lying alright.”
Aoki played left, and somehow got it out. With a 5-iron.
Alliss: “That’s fantastic.”
07:18 – Seve hits the first real putt of the match:
07:24 – Seve pretends to spit on his club:
Seve: “Like Bernhard Langer, eh?”
08:08 – Seve with some #TourSauce off the club. “That should be perfect.” It pretty much is.
09:53 – Trevino, clearly not holding up his end of the bargain with Seve, starts to needle him a touch:
- Trevino: “I’m tired of carrying you, so I want you to play hard this hole.”
- Seve: “Make a birdie then.”
- Trevino: “Eh?”
- Seve: “Make a birdie here.”
- Trevino: “If I make a birdie, it’s going to have to be looking in the hole.”
Trevino hits the shot, but he’s not happy.
Trevino: “Sit down ball. That’s alright, I’ve been there seven times, I know the break.” Seve follows him up with a beauty:
10:51 – The match is over, with Ballesteros and Trevino taking out Faldo and Aoki by two strokes.
- Tiger at his peak would be number one on my all-time watchability index, but man, Seve would be a seriously close runner-up. As much as I would have loved to watch guys like Jack and Arnie in their prime, the one guy that I’m really upset that I missed out on is Seve.
- Watching this video crystallized something for me: The year-round schedule that golf currently runs is detrimental on a number of levels, namely that golf fans never really get a chance to “miss” the sport. Sure, it’s nice to be able to watch it whenever you want, but there is something to the idea of wanting something to come back. The other thing that the constant scheduling does is it has pretty much completely wiped out the old “silly season” where things like the Skins Game would take place. Can you imagine a series of One Club Challenges with today’s stars, mic’d up and presented as one hour specials on Golf Channel? You could make it theme based, get legends involved if you really wanted to, and it would allow the players to show off some of their personalities. Who wouldn’t watch this? Even with the current schedule, I’m sure something could be arranged. Let’s make it happen.