Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Marry your driver, date your putter

There is an old golf saying that “You marry your driver and date your putter”, and this is especially true for me.

Once I find a driver that I can hit, I’ll keep it forever, and this has put me behind the times, since golf technology has changed radically in the past 15 years. Like other golfers, I’ve probably bought over two dozen putters, and I’m always a sucker for any putter that promised to shave strokes off my game.

The grief of losing a loved-one

After almost 20 years, my trusty driver finally disintegrated, and I’m left bewildered, heartbroken and distressed. It’s a nightmare that I can hardly recall without getting teary-eyed.

On the 12th hole my graphite shaft came un-done during my downswing, making a horrifying “wizzzzz” sound as the strands came unglued. I rushed her to the golf hospital where I was the club grievance counselor told me that a repair was impossible and she was gone forever.

Dating a new driver

So here I am, dating new drivers for the first time in nearly two decades. Friend paid their condolences and each and every one offered-up advice on the sexist new drivers. Still stunned with grief, I told the pro that I wanted the best driver that money could by, but I was not prepared for the prices, with costs up to $1,500 for a Callaway tour issue FT-5.

Callaway is the current “prestige” driver, and with prices up to $1,500 each, I expected them to be gold plated. NO WAY I’m paying that much money for a driver.

There are two things that I absolutely hate about these new 21st century drivers:

Huge heads – Everybody likes a little head, but these new drivers are of mammoth proportion, with heads the size of a McDonald’s Big Mac! The first time a tried one, I feared that I would be laughed at, as it looks like I was compensating for something.

Stupid sounds – My old driver made a crisp “crr-aaack” sound, a manly announcement that a great drive was in progress. Sadly, these new drivers make a gawd-awful “tiii-nnnng” sound, totally ridiculous. In the golf cart, these new drivers make sounds like milk bottles clanging together.

I was told that I was just being old-fashioned, and that even the pros use these obese monster drivers. My old driver had a sweet spot the size of a quarter, and these monsters have a sweet spot the size of a silver dollar! But it's all peer pressure, and if the kids don;t think that they look dumb, I guess I'll get used to it.

Into the 21st Century

Choosing a new driver isn’t easy. They all have wussy names like “big bertha”, sasquatch” and “sumo”, and I’m mortified that I will be laughed-at, using such as huge device.

The SasQuatch driver was highly praised, but even if I could get used to the giant club head, the sound of this club is unworldly. It makes this stupid “dunnngggg” sound, like hitting a metal garbage can with a broomstick:

The Callaway irons are also quite nice, but it’s driving me mad trying to find the exact club weight and shaft for such an important purchase.

Well, I’m not about to be accused of being old-fashioned so I thought that I would try one of these monsters. Sho-nuff, I was laughed-at, especially from my 70 year-old friend who can out-drive me with his one-iron. However, I was amazed that my very first drive took me 320 right down the middle, far longer than my deceased driver.

I could have replace my old driver from eBay, but it’s just not the same, and it’s time to get with the times.

Being a high-tech guy, I chose one of the new FT-i “square head” drivers, like this one:

I’ve never, ever bought a driver without testing it, but my pro says that I won’t be disappointed. I must always remember the other golf saying “It’s not how you drive, it’s how you arrive”. So here I am with “the latest” high tech-club which looks silly and makes dumb noises, but hey, will they be laughing when I hit the green in two on a par 5 hole?

Probably . . . . .