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.
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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  • Cool article. I’m a slightly different breed – I’m an intellectual ho. I’ve purchased more than my bag’s 14 limit since I started playing, but I’m not churning multiple clubs per month like it sometimes seems necessary to truly be a ho.

    Instead, I’m thinking. I’m pondering hundreds of different set makeups – planning what I’m going to own, what I’d like to have the game to own, and rarely, making a purchase to try to fill a need in my bag.

    I don’t demo lots of clubs, because I’m a hacker and I have a hard enough time making one swing the same, much less two with two different clubs to try to compare. So I stick with my older-tech driver rather than embarrass myself on a launch monitor demoing new ones.

    Nothing wrong with liking new equipment, as long as you have a goal in mind I think.

  • I love looking at new clubs all day long but it really teakes a lot to make me swap out clubs like “some people – – -scooter” hehehe. I’ll probably play what I have for at least a few years (although I might replace one more iron with a hybrid and possibly get another wedge or two before then).

  • Great article Jason. I firmly believe that changing equipment often can have an adverse affect to your score. I know from experience as my handicap has gone from a 2 to a 5 in just 3 months from demo’ing clubs. But it can be fun and I understand the fascination.

    I will never understand the fascination with the “foreign clubs”. I guess it is like the forbidden fruit in some ways. I see people play with them all the time and I almost chuckle.

  • Great article Jason!

    I love swinging new clubs, but I rarely buy unless I really am committed to it. I’m a club ho wannabe, I suppose. I go and demo every new thing that I can lay hands on. I call it cheap entertainment, and it’s kind of cool when you walk into the golf shop and they know your name.

  • Ladies and gentlemen of the jury; I submit to you as evidence the website known as The Hackers Paradise, a known provider of reviews that tempt even the most stout-hearted golfer with their mouth-watering balanced and insightful reviews of the latest in golfing equipment.

    Take me for instance. I haven’t played in 30 years but decided to start again and so I bought myself a $300 full “starter” set (with bag) a couple of months ago with the earnest objective of keeping and using it for at least a year while I re-learned the game, before making any upgrades.

    The Internet is a place full of temptations and while looking for a well written review about a certain driver I came across the write-up on the Mizuno MX-200 irons. Reading it sparked my imagination, it got my loins stirring. I started drooling lustfully over the glowing praises heaped upon those magnificent pieces of beautifully crafted metal.


    Father’s Day… oh glorious day! What a magnificent excuse to use to go out and buy that which my heart desired most. And the money was truly well spent because it wasn’t that I was being a spendthrift but rather it was just my way of a small economic stimulation towards my local, nation and global economies.

    Ahhh… it feels so good now that it is mine.

    But now what do we have here. The Hackers Paradise has a wonderful review on the Bushnell PinPro Laser Rangefinder…

  • Great article, I’m a wannabe club ho. If my wife would let me I would be constantly buying the latest greatest thing out there. It’s probably for the best.

  • a decent fun review there. Really enjoyed it.

    one question though – you say about those who have 20 year old drivers, but it works.

    I often play with a group of “old boys”……half of their equipment is really old. They have repeatable swings (quirky ones too!) but they suck. Exactly the sort of people that equipment tech advances CAN help.

    a fitted driver would give more distance by as much as 50 yards i recon, irons would provide forgiveness. wedges and ball tech could allow them to stop it on the green…

    ….yet they “are happy” with their gear. You can help some people!!!

    me…..i may have a secret stash of “backup” clubs somewhere! ;-P

  • Good article. I have a couple of buds that are always buying new woods and irons. One is on his second set of irons this year, (dumb). I’m normally good with my clubs for about five years then I start sniffing around at the new stuff. I do though love to walk that line of irons every time I step into a good golf shop and check out the latest toys.

  • Hi, my name is Steve and I’m a clubaholic, it’s been five days since my last purchace. BUT HEY it’s fun! I love tinkering with different clubs, mainly drivers ,fwoods and hybrids. My irons (G10), putter (Odyssey Marksman) and wedges (CG12) I have not changed. The other benefit is that other players in my club can always pick up a bargain from my shed. You need a driver you love and a putter that loves you, the rest is incidental.

  • i have been playing golf for only four and a half years, i am currently on my 5th driver and 3rd set of irons, all upgraded, however i still have my first putter, the reason why is because if i hit the putter straight the ball usually always goes in the hole. dont know if i qualify as a golf Ho but who cares its my hobby.

  • I agree with Jason’s assertion that this is an addiction. Seriously, the act of researching and purchasing new clubs really tweaks my brain’s pleasure center. Never mind the fact that invariably the clubs fail to improve my game.

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