Affectionately known as "the butterknife" (and sometimes "the cleek" in Europe), the 1-iron is (was?) a type of golf club. With the least loft of any normal golf club (although John Daly once played with a specially-made "0-iron"), the 1-iron is used to hit extremely long, low, and (hopefully) straight shots.

Nowadays the venerable 1-iron is virtually extinct, with no major golf club manufacturers making them any more. This is due to the fact that it is extremely difficult to hit the ball well with a 1-iron, combined with the emergence in recent years of wood/metal combo "hybrid" golf clubs, which are much easier to hit.

But theoretically, if you had to hit a ball really far in a hurricane, you might wish you had a 1-iron in your bag.

Indeed the 1-iron is so difficult to use that golfer Lee Travino once quipped, "If you're caught on a golf course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a 1-iron. Not even God can hit a 1-iron."

Similarly, legendary Los Angeles Times sportswriter Jim Murray once wrote, "The only time I ever took a 1-iron out of the bag was to kill a tarantula...and it still took me 7 shots."

Nevertheless, several of the most famous shots in golf history were hit with a one iron, most notably Ben Hogan's legendary approach shot to the final green during the 1950 U.S. Open at Merion, and Costantino Rocca's long shot through a forest of trees to defeat Tiger Woods in a singles match during the 1997 Ryder Cup at Valderrama, a shot Rocca called "the most beautiful shot of my life."

Golfing deity Jack Nicklaus was also famous for some titanic 1-iron shots, including a ginormous 1-iron blast on the 15th hole at Augusta in 1975 which helped the Golden Bear win the fifth of his six Masters titles.

"I would say that probably the best shots that I've played in golf, and the ones I remember the most, have been 1-iron shots," Nicklaus said years later.

But Nicklaus, of course, was one of the most creative and skillful golfers ever to pick up a club. If the 1-iron is really gone for good, the rest of us are not going to miss it much.

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