Neil and I are officially longer hitters than Jim Furyk. It was confirmed in a ceremony at yesterday evening’s Callaway party at Lytham Green Drive Golf Club. Unfortunately it was also confirmed that Neil is a longer hitter than me, but let’s not dwell on that.

The proof came with the aid of Callaway’s Trackman (Turner Overdrive) machine after Furyk had taken part in a skills challenge, together with Callaway staff players: Thomas Bjorn, Pablo Larrazabal, Branden Grace, Alvaro Quiros, Thongchai Jaidee and Alex Noren.

The “magnificent seven” as compere Rob Lee termed them were tasked with hitting: a long putt, a bunker shot, a wedge shot and a drive. Furyk displayed his prowess from close range by holing the long putt – a 50 footer downhill from left to right, he was pretty handy out of the sand too. But, he’s not the longest off the tee and he was the first to admit it. “I can’t believe how short I hit it,” he chuckled as he spanked one down the fairway.

That may be true, but he is incredibly straight, as displayed by his recent run at the US Open and, with the rough up at Lytham, straight will be great.

Anyway, he managed a couple of drives that carried in the 260s (yards that is) according to the Trackman, which is pretty impressive really. Quiros sent one out with a carry of 298 and he was, unsurprisingly, the longest of the bunch.

So, the point of this story was that Neil managed to hit one 279 yards – that was further than Furyk, and Jaidee too… and it went straight. I swung myself off my feet to make one go 274 (not so straight,) but at least I can now say I am a longer hitter than Jim Furyk. Did I mention that? He was distraught to hear the news, as this picture shows.

I’m not, however, better out of the sand than the American. In fact, I failed to even get out of the bunker with my three attempts. That was though, perhaps, the lesser of two evils from the trap. Another member of the golfing press, who will remain nameless, thinned one from the same bunker that careened off at head height and blasted straight through the clubhouse window! A pretty good effort seeing the clubhouse was approximately 90 yards away. I’m pretty sure Jim Furyk can’t hit it that far with a sand wedge.