The annual PGA Merchandise Show has had its intended effect on me. I want new: clubs, golf bag, shoes. Oddly, I’m perfectly satisfied with my balls, but probably only because I can’t find those experimental black balls Suzann Pettersen was using toward the end of last season.
Let’s talk about the clubs. I have perfectly good golf clubs. I play Callaway, have always played Callaway, will probably always play Callaway.
My Callaway Diablo driver hits about 80% of the fairways, probably because of the flames on the shaft. I’ve been playing with that devil driver for maybe three years and it seems to get better with each season. Sure, it has a few nicks, battle scars, but my pal Tony regrips it for me every spring, and I keep it clean and shiny and ready to go. There’s nothing wrong with it, really, except that it doesn’t adjust. Would I even know how to adjust the loft on my driver? Probably not. Do I need to? Not really. Do I want to be able to? Absolutely.
What about my 3-wood and my 5-wood, also Diablos, also with flames on the shafts. They’re showing a bit more wear than the driver because they work harder. If it’s a cosmetic issue, I know Callaway would recondition them and make them look like brand new clubs, and I have a near-spiritual relationship with those two clubs. I trust them. I depend on them. Why in the world would I consider replacing them? Simple. They’re old models. Callaway has new models, 2014 models, that incorporate all the latest engineering and hold out a mythical promise of an improved game.
Do I actually think my game would be improved by engineering? No. Quite honestly, I think my game would be improved by better weight transfer and follow-through.
I know I require months of work to get in synch with a new club. I know that I can’t buy a better golf game. I know that my driver and fairway woods are working just fine. But I still want those new clubs!