Ho, ho, no: My ho'in days fade to black
By Sean Foster-Nolan
We've all been there. Some of us, maybe most of us are still there. We buy, sell, buy, sell, buy, sell new equipment. Incessantly -- with abandon.
Obsessively. We can't help ourselves. We swear that's it. No more. Yeah, right. Yet, and yet. We continue to do it. Why? Oh, we have all kind of reasons. Good, irrational reasons. I have to have the latest stuff. I can't help myself. Uh-oh.
Do you find yourself getting your latest purchase(s) delivered at work? Finding places around the house to squirrel your clubs so your wife doesn't find them? Buying clubs, and before you even receive them, already getting ready to sell them because you want to buy something else? Do you buy things on impulse? Do you visit the BST forum regularly? Do you have these long cardboard boxes scattered all over your garage, breeding like Tribbles.
Of course you do. You have entered ... no, not the Twilight Zone ... but the Buy, Sell, Trade, Gotta Have It Zone. How many times have you said to yourself, "This is it!"? Lots. Do you want to stop? Sometimes, "Yes!" Sometimes, "Hell no!" Anyway, I decided to stop ho'in (cue for laughter). Yes, really. Scoff if you want.
What Led Me To This Point
My garage and the Tribbles. Well, not Tribbles really but dozens of golf club boxes, neatly stacked liked brown legos. It kind of just hit me. They were always there before, mocking me. It was a few weeks ago while rummaging around that I overheard them speaking.
"Hey Callaway, there he is," said TaylorMade.
"Yeah, who's coming next I wonder," responded Callaway.
"I don't know," said Ping. "The gang's all here."
"Maybe another BSTer?" asked Adams.
This went on for a while. I pretended not to listen. Eavesdropping is impolite. Walking back to the house I realized I was contemplating another major purchase, site unseen, without even having hit them. How many times have I done that in the past? Too many.
I emptied the shopping cart on my computer. Sat back, and sighed. Getting up I went back out to the garage, loaded up the Tribbles and dropped them off at the recycling center. I then drove to the nearest golf shop and started hitting irons. Over a period of a few weeks I hit and kept hitting different brands. But, I also kept shopping around on the computer. Hey, I couldn't help myself. I came so close to buying a set of Callaway Tour Authentic X-Protos. Over a period of three days it took everything I had not to buy them. Whew.
"Alright, I'm going to make one more purchase, but I'm going to do it right this time."
What Makes Me Think I Can Stick to It
Yes, I've been fit before, many times. But what made this fitting different is I decided to go for a much more thorough one. I opted for a Ping nFlight. A good two hours where the "i's" were dotted and "t's" were crossed: length, lie angle, launch angle, spin rate, shafts, wedge grind, grip size, proper gapping, the whole shebang.
What an eye opener. My previously fit irons? Not a very good fit it turns out. Wrong shafts. Wrong grip size. Wrong lie angle. Previous driver? Wrong shaft. Face too closed. Wedges? Now a bit flatter with a nice "T" grind. I now will have a hybrid that doesn't hook, and two fairway woods perfect for my needs.
The fitter even recommended a premium ball and a mid-range ball for me. Nice. I learned a lot about my clubs (sometimes it is the equipment ... I discovered why I was hooking it so much...the shaft and lie angle of my current clubs had a lot to do with it). Given that fitting it's in the best interest of my game to keep this new set of clubs. I learned not only how important it is to get fit for a set of clubs, but how important it is to get properly fit for a set of clubs. I know, sounds obvious right?
So, if I'm tempted to buy another set of clubs, or another driver, I know I'll be asking myself a number of questions: will they have the right shaft? what about the lie angle? how about the length? how about the grip size? what would the spin rate, launch angle be? For every new set of clubs I'd buy in the future, I'd have to go through another two hour fitting. Yes, it was a great experience, but I don't want to go through it on a semi-regular basis, e.g., every couple of months. Sure, I could make a pretty good guess on what I'd need, but I'd always have some doubts. Every OEM clubs specs are a little bit different.
What the Future Holds?
Good question. I'd used to buy and sell clubs like a lot of people change socks. But you guys know the drill. Most of you pretty much do the same thing. I'll still follow the latest and greatest, but I think I'll be able to contain any impulses. Am I fooling myself? I hope not. I think not. No.
The gear's on order. It's time to focus on my swing.
What I Was Fit For
After trying a number of clubs and shafts, this is what it all came down to in the end:
Ping i20 10.5º Ping TFC 707D
Ping G20 16.5º 21º Ping TFC 169F
Ping i20 23º Ping TFC 707H
Ping i20 5-PW Ping CFS
Ping i20 50º 54º 58º CFS
Ping Anser Milled #1
5-UW +1-inch, Yellow Dot
54º 58º +1-inch, Blue Dot, "T" Grind
Anser Milled #1: 35.5 inches, Blue Dot, 4º loft, AVS Mid-Size Grip, Slight Arc