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“I play golf.” Be proud to be a golfer

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More than just a cool slogan on a hoodie, the words “I play golf” have had such a strong impact on me throughout my life.

Like any kid growing up, I had a variety of interests… but ultimately, sports ran my life. Whether it was watching or playing, I lived for basketball during basketball season, football during football season, and baseball during baseball season. But ever since I could walk, I took a strange liking to golf in particular, and it never had an “off-season” to me. In the spring, summer and fall months, I went to the range (often forcing my mom to videotape my swing for hours), to the golf course with my dad, or hit pitch shots in my backyard until sunset or long after. In the winter, I chipped on the carpet in our living room, or I swung a golf club in a mirror working on my positions. I was obsessed with the game.

IplayGolfWRXDetroit

Often times, however, it was a personal obsession; something I kept to myself. Kids can be cruel, and playing golf was more of a reason to be ridiculed than praised for me while growing up. So I always told people “I play basketball,” or “I play football.” Rarely did I say, or at least say proudly, “I play golf.”

But as time went on, and I went from playing golf in junior events, to high school matches, to playing golf in college, I started saying it more and more proudly. My college peers, probably from all of the student-athlete gear I’d wear to and from class, knew I played a sport at Rutgers. They’d ask, “what do you play; baseball or lacrosse or something?” And I’d answer, “No, I play golf.”

IplayGolfWRXGrafitti

I was being borderline cocky with my answer, if we’re being honest. I liked playing Division I golf, plus I had worked so hard to get there I felt entitled to that bravado. It also felt good to not hide my passion for golf amongst my peers anymore like I did when I was younger. Some people even thought it was pretty cool I played golf.

A funny thing happened my junior year while on the golf team at Rutgers, however. A tumor popped up into my spine, and the back spasms were so bad I needed immediate surgery. Back surgery at 20 years old is far from ideal for anyone, but as a collegiate golfer with big aspirations, it could have meant the end of my career. And it almost did.

I was forced, both physically and by my doctors, to red shirt my senior year. That meant I did not in fact play golf. For awhile, I couldn’t even stand to putt, let alone work on my swing at the range. “I play golf.” Maybe those are words I’ll never say again, I thought at the time.

"The Blackout" hat by @Back9usa

“The Blackout” hat by @Back9usa

Sometime during my senior season, however, I began swinging the golf club again. Then I started playing golf again. Then I started scoring pretty well during practice rounds, and I felt I was “back.” But this time around, I had a new appreciation for the sport that I’ve always loved.

After graduating from Rutgers, and with a year of eligibility still left to play collegiately, I took my (mostly diminished) talents to Hawaii; a Division II school called Hawaii Pacific University. When people asked me at HPU what sport I played, I proudly — not with embarrassment, apprehension, or some unwarranted cockiness —  told them “I play golf.”

IplayGolfOneway

The words “I play golf” may have different meanings to you, depending on your perspective. Actually, I had a swing coach one time who would repeatedly ask me, “Do you play golf swing or do you play golf?” to which I’d answer “I play golf.” But, to me, the words “I play golf” on this hoodie represent a lifelong relationship with golf that went through ups and downs, but today I’m proud to be a golfer, and I’m proud to have the opportunity to play the game I love most. And to anyone who gets made fun of — kids, adults, whomever — for playing golf, I say screw em; be proud of who you are and what you love. Life’s too short to be ashamed of yourself, and golf truly is the greatest game ever played, isn’t it?

If you’re proud to be a golfer, purchase your “I play golf.”  hoodie here.

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

44 Comments

44 Comments

  1. Laney

    Nov 2, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Such a well-written and poignant article. And the hoodie is dope AF.

  2. Mad-Mex

    Oct 30, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    “Back surgery at 20 years old is far from ideal for anyone, but as a collegiate golfer with big aspirations, it could have meant the end of my career.”,,, what a narcissist hit piece! Really? I can easily introduce you to a dozen men and women 20 years old who had one or both legs blown off, I can also introduce you to a dozen or more young men and women who work while attending high school or community college paying their way and helping their family. GOLF is a LUXURY !!!

    Let’s see how long before this one is deleted too.

    • Jack

      Oct 31, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      Yeah, what a loser for being upset about losing out on a lifelong career dream. Hey people have had legs blown off, so no whining about back surgery!

      Actually you know what, the guys with blown off legs should shut their holes too, I know people who DIED in combat, so these guys with two working limbs and a heartbeat should just shut the hell up too I guess.

  3. Dave

    Oct 30, 2017 at 9:09 am

    The comments here are funny.

  4. LD

    Oct 30, 2017 at 5:41 am

    Looks like they also added enough “likes” to prevent the article from being the shank that it is. Pathetic.

  5. 2putttom

    Oct 29, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    ” for playing golf, I say screw em; be proud of who you are and what you love. Life’s too short to be ashamed of yourself, and golf truly is the greatest game ever played, isn’t it?”

    . spot on

    • C.B.

      Oct 30, 2017 at 2:21 am

      We all know it was you who caused it all to happen with your incessant nonsense

  6. Stevens

    Oct 29, 2017 at 11:57 am

    The game is doing just fine now without the Tiger Woods bandwagon of fickle children. Please don’t encourage them to return.

  7. Tim Gunn

    Oct 29, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Make it work!

  8. The dude

    Oct 28, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    This is a joke right???

    • Sr. Golfer

      Oct 29, 2017 at 5:55 pm

      If anybody walked into my golf club wearing that hoodie and baggy pants they would be quickly escorted out the front gate. So yes, it is a joke, a bad joke.

  9. Phil

    Oct 28, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Golfer’s Anthem:
    O say can you see, the golf ball on the tee,
    What so proudly we play to twilight’s last gleaming,
    Whose broad fairways and bright greens through the perilous OBs,
    O’er the sand bunkers we watched, were so gallantly swinging!
    And the driver’s fast flare, the balls flying in air,
    Gave proof through the green that the flag was still there;
    O say does that golf-spangled banner yet wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

    • AP

      Oct 30, 2017 at 12:14 am

      No kneeling…. stand up and sing proudly.

      • C.B.

        Oct 30, 2017 at 2:20 am

        You really enjoy talking to yourself, don’t you?

  10. Duncan

    Oct 28, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    #curmudgeon Take the hate elsewhere. Grow the game bro

    • Closing time

      Oct 29, 2017 at 9:56 am

      Are you serious? You still have brought nothing to the table accept apparent hate probably stemming from jealousy…you’re that guy who looks at me and our group of players who are for most part finishing/finished baseball careers, and came to a private country club with full sleeve tattoos accumulated while bouncing around country playing baseball and golf when not playing ball…it’s those like you so quick to judge, I’ve seen it literally. Yet guys I’ve crossed paths with on web. and PGA Tour are the last to decide someone’s character by appearance. Occasionally 2 NFL players joined us this summer, and its you a full grown man asking for autographs after passing judgement for the way someone looks. Cheers to you, and hope you change the way you think…the close minded miss out on life

  11. Duncan

    Oct 28, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Your serious? Let me guess… over 60 curmudgeon.

  12. Duncan

    Oct 28, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Great article. Make golf great again. I am in the same boat. Much cooler to say your a race car driver or basketball player than a golfer. Golfer I am.

  13. 8thehardway

    Oct 28, 2017 at 12:15 am

    ‘The hoodie, you own it, you better never let it go.’

    Your heartfelt shame-to-pride journey is bookended with ads for the $39.95 hoodie you wear in the accompanying eminem-inspired photo shoot? I’m calling a Slim Shady on this infomercial.

  14. alfred

    Oct 27, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Good stuff!

  15. Terry

    Oct 27, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    I dont get this article

    • Duncan

      Oct 28, 2017 at 7:56 pm

      Troll, hater. Must have been banned. You can smell it.

  16. RonL

    Oct 27, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    How about these slogans?:
    Golf is my passion
    Golf is for lovers
    Golf is power
    Golf is happiness
    Golf is wonderful
    Golf is important
    Golf is golf

  17. Scott

    Oct 27, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    I have played golf when it was kind of cool (maybe kind of cool?), then not cool, then very cool, and now, not that cool. Not sure that I was ever laughed at or made fun of. I never really care what people think. So heck yeah! I play golf!! Always something I could do with my dad. He woudl needle the $^!t out of me and piss me off to no end. What I wouldn’t give to have any of those days back.

  18. Travis

    Oct 27, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    I’d buy a hoodie if it didn’t say “GolfWRX” right on the hood. What a stupid location for that…

    • M. Vegas

      Oct 27, 2017 at 6:53 pm

      Back the blue!

      • Morpheus

        Oct 28, 2017 at 2:14 am

        You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.

    • Duncan

      Oct 28, 2017 at 7:58 pm

      hater. How about be proud and grow the game. #curmudgeon

  19. 037

    Oct 27, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    So you ran away to Hawaii, where there is nothing else to do but play golf and surf and thought you were cool saying you played golf? Boohoo. I don’t think you were in a challenging environment to say that with any power. You should have gone to some cold weather poor industrial town and say that in the middle of the town square where people have never even come close to golf and see what happens then

  20. SteveK

    Oct 27, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    In a word(s) …. OCD ….. and everybody wants to ‘play’ for fun, but only a few want to ‘perform’ for the satisfaction of accomplishment.

  21. Phil

    Oct 27, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Fried Eggs golf should do a rap video with this hoodie on.

    • Colonel

      Oct 28, 2017 at 2:18 am

      Yes…. rap and golf go hand in hand ….. yo’ bro’

  22. JT

    Oct 27, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    I’d love to play a round with you Andrew. I found this game about 6 years ago and have been obsessed ever since. I only wish that I had found this game earlier. Very cool hoodie.

    To the other commenter, thank you for your service! I say never be afraid to say you served.

  23. me

    Oct 27, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Re. ‘Golfer’ post above… It sucks that you feel that way. Golf is awesome! It’s a great sport and is great for the soul, esp when compared to other sports imo.

    Thank you for your service in the military… my family and I are LUCKY to have people like you. Never be ashamed, b/c if people make you feel that way about being in the military… you don’t want to be around them anyway. THANK YOU!

  24. Golfer

    Oct 27, 2017 at 11:36 am

    Until recently there were two things I did not like to share with others: That I play golf and that I was in the military. Nowdays I share the golf connection with virtually everyone and the military connection with a select few.

    Thank you for your article Andrew.

    • LaBraeGolfer

      Oct 27, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      Golfer sorry to hear that you felt ashamed being in the military. Where I come from our military men and women are our heroes. I have a fair amount of family that served. Thank You for your service!!!

    • 2putttom

      Oct 29, 2017 at 6:39 pm

      +1 thank you for your service

    • Mad-Mex

      Oct 30, 2017 at 8:23 pm

      My BS meter went off after reading this,,,,, and yes, I am a 20+ year Vet and I am indifferent about playing this GAME,,,

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Whats in the Bag

Rory McIlroy WITB (2020 ZOZO Championship)

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Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5 @8 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6X (45.5 inches, 59.25 lie, D4)

rory-mcilroy-witb-2020

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Titanium (15 @13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80 TX (43.25 inches, 58 lie, D4)

5-wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (19 @ 18.25 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 90 TX

Irons: TaylorMade P7MB (3-PW)
Shaft: Project X Rifle 7.0 (6.5 in PW) 

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (54-10SB, 60-08LB)
Shaft: Project X Rifle 6.5

rory-mcilroy-witb-2020

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Copper (34.25, 2.5 loft, 70 lie)

Ball: 2019 TaylorMade TP5 (#22)

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord (58R 1+1, logo down)

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Equipment

GolfWRX Spotted: 2021 Mizuno ST-Z and ST-X drivers on USGA Conforming List

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When it comes to drivers, Mizuno isn’t usually the company that comes to the top of mind for many golfers, but starting with the ST-190, and then the ST-200 series in 2020, they have quickly changed the perception of their metal woods thanks to wins on tour and more players choosing to put them in play—most recently Brandt Snedeker as a non-contracted player.

This morning, with the update of the USGA and R&A conforming equipment lists, we are getting a sneak peek at what Mizuno will have in store for 2021 with the release of the ST-Z and ST-X drivers.

What we know

Based on the information provided in the USGA submission by Mizuno, the ST-X will only be available in right-handed (10.5 and 12-degree lofts), while the ST-Z will be available in both right (9.5  and 10.5 degrees) and left-handed (9.5 degrees only).

ST-Z

Based on the images from the USGA list and our experience with the Mizuno product line, it appears that the ST-Z is the next step in the evolution of the standard ST200 with no adjustable CG but with a customizable weight in the back of the head.

We haven’t seen any images of a moveable weight driver in this new ST series, so it could be that the G-woods are getting phased out in favor of more internally biased weighting, but since those types of drivers often take a bit more time to get just right, it could be a matter of time before a “G” type driver hits the list.

As for technology, it has Mizuno’s standard wave to create flexibility behind the face, an adjustable hosel, and based on the images, more carbon fiber used around the head compared to previous generations, especially on the sole. I would also expect to hear a new face material or design story to complete the package and to boost MOI and ball speed.

ST-X

Based on the image from the USGA list and our experience, it appears that the ST-X is the next step in the evolution of the ST200-X driver, which is the lighter weight, more upright, and draw-biased driver from Mizuno. Don’t think draw bias always means it’s for higher handicaps either, because Mizuno staff player Chris Kirk got along very nicely with his out on the Korn Ferry and PGA Tours in 2020, including a win.

The tell-tale sign is the more heel biased weight in the back of the driver and what looks to be some sort of textured area to create “visible technology” towards the heel of the clubhead.

Beyond being draw-biased, when it comes to technology, it shares a lot of similarities to the ST-Z with Mizuno’s standing wave to create flexibility behind the face, an adjustable hosel, and more carbon fiber used around the head compared to previous generations, especially on the sole, and in the case of the ST-X, on the sole.

We don’t have any information on the release of these new drivers, but considering Mizuno didn’t adjust product release schedules in 2020, I would imagine it will be doing the same in 2021, and we can expect to hear more about these ST drivers either late 2020 or early into 2021.

To see what other golfers are saying about the newly spotted Mizuno ST-Z and ST-X drivers, check out the GolfWRX forums and join the discussion: GolfWRX – New Mizuno drivers spotted on USGA Conforming List

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Equipment

5 hybrid vs 5 iron – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the logic behind removing their 5 iron from their bag. WRXer ‘rwl’ asks whether any fellow members have experiences doing so, and WRXers have been sharing their thoughts and experiences in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • RobertL.: “I replaced my 5 iron with a 5 hybrid. I find it far easier to hit than my 5 iron. I also took my 6 iron out of the bag, so now my longest iron is a 7. I now carry a 3, 4, and 5 hybrid since they’re so much easier to hit than long irons. Makes a big difference for this senior golfer.”
  • JohnKHawk: “For last 2 seasons I’ve played with a Cobra F9 5 hybrid. It’s 24 degrees & gaps perfectly between Cobra OS 3-4 hybrid at 20.5 degrees & Apex19 6 iron which is 26.5 degrees. The 5 iron was just getting to be to undependable. Misses with the 5 hybrid were more playable than the 5 iron. Use what works best for your game.”
  • Abe21599: “Never a bad idea to have both a 5i and 5h options in the trunk, just gotta watch lofts.”
  • nitram: “I know it sounds so “old man” but if you want to make a change in your 5-iron slot and can’t seem to get along with a hybrid, give the 9-wood a try. You may be pleasantly surprised.”

Entire Thread: “5 hybrid vs 5 iron”

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