Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer hit event in NYC

Tue, Feb 22

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.

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