For all of my fellow “stubborn” golfers, this one’s for you.
This past week, my brother Justin and I attended a “demo day” to try out some of 2014’s newest equipment.
I like to browse, but my brother went with a specific goal in mind — find a driver that will help eliminate a fade/slice off the tee. That’s probably the most common “ask” in golf.
As Justin got loose swinging drivers, I went to the end of the range with my own 7-iron to “practice.” Yes, my trusty muscle-back forged iron and I hadn’t seen a lot of each other on the range yet in 2014, so this little practice session was long overdue.
And when I started swinging, let’s just say it wasn’t very pretty. I was aiming right, pulling everything left.
I was too hunched over, couldn’t get my body to turn through the shot.
I was sliding forward, getting too on my toes.
And on and on and on.
And it showed: one slice, one hook. One flew 155 yards. The toe shot only flew 130. Two high ones. One thin low shot.
Trust me when I say consistency was not a word anyone would have used that day.
Luckily, a few feet away, Justin was having better luck. After watching a few driver swings, the rep from the company and our head pro conspired and came back with the answer.
I can’t tell you what they did, but with a one weight move, two wrench turns, a shaft change, and a new driver head, Justin’s slice was all but gone.
Technology 1. Karzmer 0.
At about this point, one of the other reps (rightly) marked me as an opportunity. Having seen my struggles with my own trusted seven iron, why not introduce me to her newest “players” iron. She played the go card just right — “I heard you’re a player. Try this out!”
Unfortunately, my swing still felt “off.” Not so unfortunately, the results were distinctly better. The trajectory was higher and my distance was more consistent.
Technology 2. Karzmer 0.
For the TKO, I went to the hybrid. Yes, I know they’re easier to hit, but I still like my four-iron blade.
“Oh, you’ll love this new 22 degree 4 hybrid. It’s our newest player’s hybrid” (again with the ‘player’ comment).
I don’t know if I was excited or sad to watch three shots fly higher and further than my current 3 wood.
Technology 3. Karzmer 0.
In the end, neither of us bought the magical clubs we tried that day.
But we should have. Technology, when paired with professionals who know how to use it, makes the game easier and more enjoyable.
I mean, what do we really know about lofts, weights, MoI, CoR, hook/neutral/fade tendencies, shaft flex, frequency, swing weights, kickpoints, grip sizes, upright vs. flat, ball speed, launch angles, spin rates, groove sizes, geometric shapes, aerodynamic designs, etc.?
Whew — too much for me to think about and then try to swing.
So use the professionals to find the right clubs. And then “plead Daly” and “Grip it and rip it!”
Jonah Karzmer is a former golf professional who writes a golf column for The Vindicator. In his spare time he sells commercial insurance for Huntington Insurance and loves getting feedback on his weekly columns via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.