Tuesday, May 10, 2011

There's no golf site like Secret in the Dirt

Of all the tributes to Seve Ballesteros out there this week, the best might be Calder Chism’s memorial caricature at Secret in the Dirt (http://www.secretinthedirt.com).

Chism, a Reno, Nev., editorial cartoonist, caricaturist and artist, has a raft of golf originals on Secret in the Dirt, which is where questing golf souls go to unlock the deep mysteries of the golf swing and the golf life.

When you cruise the cartoon vault on the site, you’ll come across a few Steve Elkington originals alongside the Chisms. Elkington, a 10-time winner on the PGA tour, including the 1995 PGA Championship, dabbles as cartoonist, but what he really wants to explore is the dark art and craft of the game that still grips him at age 48.

Secret in the Dirt was created by Elkington, golf legend Jackie Burke Jr. and Mike Maves (aka Sevam 1, billed as the “Internet golfing sensation”). The subject is golf, and every exploration and side trip might not resonate with every golfer, but your interaction with the site can be as intense or as casual as you want.

Vintage video of Ben Hogan swinging the golf club is reason enough by itself to visit the site.

Elkington, maybe more than most playing pros, is still a student, and at Secret in the Dirt he is as much fellow traveler as teacher.

Steve Elkington and Craig Foster in front of Jimmy Demaret's
locker at Champions Golf Club.
"Learning from the likes of Jackie Burke … I enjoy all facets of the game,” Elkington said last week. “Club repairs … swing theories ... It's all part of knowing your trade.”

Lately, Elkington has trained his attention on a guy who knows a little about club repairs. Craig Foster of Olympia, Wash., is a golf club technician and golf inventor, and his latest design, the DynAlign alignment method, has met and passed the Elk Test.

Foster got an email from Elkington on a Monday in early April asking, Can you be in Houston on Wednesday?

“From the time he picked me up at the airport he had a camera going,” Foster said.

Elkington’s full-time video guy was shooting while Elk cross-examined Foster about DynAlign, and then the pair spent all day April 7 recording at the iconic Champions Golf Club in Houston, where Burke, 1956 Masters champion, still runs things.

The footage will be used in a DynAlign instructional video that will be available for sale on Secret in the Dirt … where it will fit right in alongside the other videos and theoretical discussions on the coolest golf Web site out there.


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