Adams in bounce record bid

Rick aims to keep a ball in the air for an hour!

Bob Warters's picture
Thu, 7 Mar 2002

How long can you keep a ball in the air on your sand wedge, bouncing it up an down on the clubface? Five seconds? Ten seconds? One minute? Two perhaps?

Imagine the stress and the strain of keeping it up for 30 minutes.

Adams practising for his record attempt.

Rick Adams, 35-year-old former world long driving champion, aims to double that on Monday in a Jaguar car showroom in Slough, keeping a ball bouncing on the clubface for an hour to shatter the world record.

At 6ft 2in and 18 stone and with forearms like billiard table legs, Adams was perfectly built to crush his driver over 350 yards through the air to set new standards ten years ago.

Now with new hi-technology equipment he admits his feats are commonplace – and even Tiger Woods smashed a drive 367 yards on Sunday on soft Bermuda grass during the Genuity Championship in Florida.

So Adams, while relying on his strength and willpower, has switched his skill to touch, feel and balance in a bid to stand out from the crowd.

"Keeping the ball airborne for even for ten minutes demands a lot of strength and stamina as well as touch. I’ve kept it up for half an hour in practice and was absolutely exhausted," he told me.

"Even after a few minutes I could feel the beads of sweat forming on my forehead; it absolutely drained me. My right hand felt as if it was clogging with sweat and my forearm was really stressed."

Adams displays his power driving.

He revealed that for his record attempt he will have to almost get in a trance-like state of mind.

"Practising for this attempt I was almost meditating. I hear nothing, see nothing…it’s quite bizarre but I have that ability to cut myself off from the outside world to concentrate. I understand what professional golfers on Tour mean when they get in the zone," says Adams.

For his attempt to get in the Guinness record books, he will be using a standard Cleveland Tour Action 485 sand wedge, with a True Temper steel shaft.

He hasn’t decided on the ball he’ll use yet but says it will be one with a softer cover – either a Srixon Hybrid or Maxfli A10.

A former footballer with Manchester City and an England Under 18 international, Adams achieved initial fame as part of a long-driving exhibition team that attracted compliments from Woods, Lee Westwood and commentator Peter Alliss.

His action was even studied by medical students at the John Moores University in Liverpool to discover how his body achieved such phenomenal distance with a standard golf club.

"I used a very wide arc in my swing, a lot of aggression, strength and hand-eye co-ordination which is fine if you want to strike the ball a long way but not much use for short irons," Adams reveals.

"I’m now working with my coach Jonathan Skuse at Dewstow in Wales, to make me into a better golfer, who can get the ball into the hole."

If he achieves his world record on Monday (7.45pm at Meads of Burnham, 367 Bath Road, Slough), his next attempt will be using two clubs, then maybe three or four at the same time.

"It’s a lot easier keeping the ball in the air with two clubs," says Adams " as long as I’ve got someone to wipe my brow and keep the sweat out of my eyes, otherwise it could all be over in seconds."

How long can you keep a ball up, bouncing on the facing of your wedge? Can you do any golf tricks? Tell us on The Forum.



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