Equipment Addictions

This article is going to hit real close to home for some people out there, you’ll know who you are too. You might not want to admit it, but if you are dead honest with yourself you’ll likely come to the conclusion that as hard as it is to hear yourself say it….you’re addicted. Whether you consider yourself to be an equipment junkie, equipment expert, or equipment aficionado, there is nothing wrong with this. You’re not cheating or being dishonest with anyone, you are just one of those golfers who are always enamored with the latest and greatest piece of golf equipment. You might not even mean to either, some of the new stuff out there is just so sexy it can be almost impossible to say no.
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You’re not alone either, at this moment there are currently over 52,000 listings under golf clubs for sale on eBay. That is just about enough to equip every third man/woman/child in my city with a golf club. Think about that for a second….this is mind boggling to me, many of these very listings are from fellow addicts who rushed out to buy that latest ground breaking hardware that surely was the missing link to them achieving their own personal best golf. With over 12,000 of these listings being for drivers it is safe to say that most of the club swapping is being done with the big sticks. This article is particularly close to my heart as I too have a tendency to be a bit of an equipment junkie myself. I like to think I have it under control, but I cannot lie to you, I’ve always got my eyes out for deals I can’t refuse. It’s real easy to do; in fact THP has a sub forum specifically for the sale/purchase/trade of equipment, so we are certainly not immune to the epidemic around these parts either!

There are two kinds of people who play golf, there are those hooked on the newest tools of the trade, and then there players who aren’t. Believe it or not, there are golfers who have a bag full of clubs that work just fine for them and they’re not constantly out there seeking bigger and better. I actually know a few of these people personally; really they look and act pretty normal too. Why stick with what you have? Well because the stuff works for them, these crazy people actually do not see the need to go out and purchase the latest and greatest because the set they have is working just fine, thanks. I’m sure they know that the technology in irons alone have progressed leaps and bounds in just a few short years. It seems that every iron manufacturer is continually delivering better designs year after year. Don’t even get me started on drivers, I’ve got a co-worker who is currently playing a TaylorMade r580xd driver, not a bad stick….but hey buddy, 1995 called and they want their driver back! OK, so maybe it really isn’t 15 years old, but just take a quick look at all of the technological break-throughs that TaylorMade alone has put out since the 580 series. I can personally count at least 8 and probably closer to 10 models that have come along since. This player has a good job, I know he can afford a new one, in fact I have offered him great deals on one-night stand drivers I have passed through. But he remains strong and says his driver works just fine, and you know what, he’s right. He consistently hits it past me and that is enough to zip my lips on the driver sales pitches in a real hurry.

So what exactly is the draw then? What is it that makes a person want to have an ever changing bag of clubs? I recently caught up with one of the first few members of THP’s forum Mr. Scooterguitar and asked him to give me his take on the reason for his well documented club swapping. I wanted to know specifically why, and what is the draw from his perspective. Scooter will openly admit that the best money he or anyone else can spend on the game is for lessons, after doing that and vastly improving his game Scooterguitar set out to match his new and improved game with some equipment that would help maximize his potential. With a better understanding of his swing and a good sense of the direction he was heading in; the demoing began. “Trying new clubs is loads of fun” says Scooterguitar, further explaining that it all comes down to the feel of the club in his hands. My next question is where does he go for all the info on what clubs to even try? His simple answer was that he looks anywhere and everywhere for info on a given club, he does not fall into the marketing trap that many manufacturers try to tempt consumers with, Scooter seeks out informed opinions from fellow THP forum members, reviews, and lastly demos. For players like this the new club brings with it a new sense of confidence that actually results in better shots, it’s pretty easy to hit a drive down the middle of the fairway when your confidence is soaring because you’re looking down at a brand new piece of today’s hottest equipment. On the flip side however, my experiences have shown me that particularly with my irons it takes some time to dial in the distance and get a real good feel for them. This would almost certainly bring with it a negative impact on the player’s ability to score with a different iron set on a regular basis, perhaps that is why we see the largest turn around on eBay in the driver category.

O.K. so you’ve heard of examples of both ends of the spectrum, more than likely you fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. I cannot tell you exactly what you should do with your golf equipment, but one policy that I have been trying to enforce with my own game and my on again/off again relationship with my lovely driver is that most likely the problem is not the club, in my case, it’s the guy swinging that thing all crooked that needs to change. That brings up another great topic, today’s technology hasn’t stopped at the manufacturer’s shops, these days you can now get every piece of equipment in your bag exactly tailored to you. Everything from loft, lie, shaft flex, etc. can be nailed down to fit your swing to an absolute “T” meaning that you don’t have to change your swing to fit the club. This is going to give you the best result swing after swing for as long as you own the clubs, whether that time period is a week or five years.

So let me reiterate once more, if you can’t stop club swapping don’t hang your head, you don’t have anything to be ashamed of. The fact that you have the means available to stay up with the latest the game has to offer is something that you shouldn’t have to apologize about to anyone. There are a couple of things that I do want you to take from this article, first is that if you’re serious about your game, yet you know your UPS/FedEx guy better than you know your own kids….it might be time to take a step back and instead of jumping to the next great club, get the one you have fitted to your game. That is the best way to maximize what equipment you do have in your bag and it will result in lower scores. Secondly, if you are an equipment junkie, please use caution when you’re out there shopping, just because it might be a rare item from a foreign land does not mean that you are going to improve with it, also beware of scammers. Unfortunately eBay and other online sources for golf equipment are places that people are getting ripped off by the purchase of equipment that looks to be genuine however turns out to a fake. As always, check the seller’s reputation/feedback out and if you have any second thoughts drop us a line in the forum, chances are one of us can help! At the end of the day the game of golf is about having fun and enjoying yourself, whichever of these two examples pertains to you, just go with it and have fun doing it!

Here’s to keeping it on the short grass

Jason K.

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Jason Kunze
Jason is a busy husband and father of 2 daughters who are both just starting to take up the game that he has loved for years. Golf is his passion, when Jason is not playing golf and testing equipment he's hanging out with all his friends on the THP forum discussing every aspect of this great game.
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