Caleb Hannan writes for the ESPN-owned digital magazine Grantland. While watching an infomercial about a new putter last year he decided to do a story on the club’s inventor, Essay Anne Vanderbilt, also known as Dr. V.
In doing his research for the article, he encountered difficulty verifying some of the “facts” about Dr. V’s past. Vanderbilt was purportedly one of “the” Vanderbilt’s, an associate of the Hiltons, a physicist specializing in aeronautics who was educated at MIT and had worked on the stealth bomber, and a graduate of Wharton School of Business. Hannan could find no evidence to corroborate any of that. So he kept digging and eventually published a 7700 word article on the invention of the Yar putter and its inventor. He couldn’t even find a photo of Vanderbilt on the web. The infomercial apparently was done instead by CBS golf analyst Gary McCord and Steve Elkington.
But he refused to be deterred. McCord told the story of how an unknown woman approached an executive at TaylorMade who explained to him how everything involved in their design was wrong.
She just hammered them on their designs. Hammered them.