Our mail box overfloweth--well, we got a several emails--about the Golf World Equipment Preview issue. What is it about the hope that springs from these product pages, especially when it's winter and there's no golf in sight?
Snow blowers blowing, plows plowing, can't get out of the driveway because of the 12 inches that fell last night and today. Workplace closed and the dog can't get past the drifts. The 2009 equipment guide shows up. There is a God!!
A couple of letters came in response to Equipment Editor Mike Johnson's column about foolish golfers who don't upgrade their equipment enough. (He threatened to use me as an example, since only one club in my bag met his obsolescence standard.) What he did say was: "If you're using anything off the tee more than two years old, your costing yourself. Will you see dramatic increases in distance? Not really, unless you're playing something super old. But you will find solid gains if you are properly fit. And the real improvement is not in your Sunday punch, but on the mis-hits, where modern technology has greatly reduced the penalty for the inconsistencies of the swing."
I thoroughly support E. Michael Johnson's opinion that it is important to upgrade your sticks to get the most out of your potential. In the past year I replaced my driver, irons, gap and sand wedges, and added a 4 to my 3 hybrid. My handicap went from high to low single digits and at age 58, I'm sure my technique hasn't changed much.
There are great deals out there, but remember to support your course's pro shop, too.
Speaking of equipment, we also got our first comment about the USGA's plan to examine the impact of high-lofted wedges. It wasn't a friendly comment exactly:
Concerning the recent USGA Equipment Standards Staff investigation of lofted wedges, I say to hell with them.
Instead of trying to promote the game in down economic times these stuffed shirts continue their equipment inquisition. Truly, what function do these people and this outdated organization accomplish anymore? Let's be sure and drive some more people from the game so these clowns can continue to make the game less accessible for the enjoyment of the average Joe.
Inquisition, Mike? That's a bit strong. I don't need to tell you the USGA is worried about the impact of these wedges on the pro game, where, we all would like to think, one should earn one's up-and-downs. Your reaction, however, points out that perhaps we should re-explore two-standards of equipment regulation, one for professional-level golfers and one for the rest of us. I suspect that subject will come up when again when the USGA rules on this issue.