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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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?
Mizuno’s new T22 wedges at the Open
At this week’s Open Championship from Royal St. Georges, Mizuno has teased its new T22 wedges, which will be at retail later this year.
The wedges will arrive in three different finishes, with satin and raw being accompanied by the all-new denim copper finish.
Check out the video below from the Mizuno Workshop at this week’s Open.
Mizuno’s T20 wedges dropped in 2019 with an emphasis on feel and spin, and per the company’s social media regarding the new T22: “We think you’ll like the changes.”
Stay tuned for more information soon!
Playing without irons? – GolfWRXers discuss
In our forums, our members have been discussing the prospect of playing golf without irons. WRXer ‘nostatic’ has been pondering using only a combination of hybrids and wedges, saying:
“Perhaps heretical and insane (guilty), but given the prevalence of good hybrids and good wedges, I’m wondering if anyone has forsaken their irons (or almost all of them) and gone with a combination of head covers and wedges.
Some of it is semantics (when is a 9i a 9i?), but you can get almost any wedge of your choice (I’m loving my Fourteens),
60/56/50/45 (the 45 is a 46 bent 1*). You can do something like G425 hybrids 34/30/26/22 (then on to woods of your choice). For those with slower swing speeds, 4*-5* between clubs can work for gapping. And the hybrids are adjustable, so you can hit the 34 at 35. Then you really only need a 40* club (pick your favorite 9-ish iron).”
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.
- NHenson815: “I am actually thinking about doing this in my next round. I am so bad with short irons and wedges that I’m better off attempting to distance control my 11 wood instead. I’ll carry a 64 degree wedge for short shots (odd that I have confidence in that but not a 7 iron – I know), but that will be the only non-wood/non-hybrid in the bag.”
- 596: “I have more covers in my bag than not. Head covers for woods and hybrids down through 7 iron. 8 is the longest iron in my bag. You just have to get over hitting a 32* hybrid from 155. It feels weird. I’m a high single-digit handicap. Shot even par for 9 holes yesterday. Which seems to be the case lately. I’ll shoot 36 to 38 on the front, then 40 or 42 on the back as my back goes south and the heat gets crazy.”
- Obee: “I’m not a “great” player, but thank you for the thought. I do carry 8-iron, 9-iron, and 4 wedges, so not exactly “all” hybrids/woods, though I could make that work, I’m sure.”
Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (07/16/21): Callaway Mavrik Max head
At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.
We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buy and selling equipment.
Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a Callaway Mavrik Max head
From the seller (@rcochies4580): “Mint Callaway Mavrik Max head, 9 Degrees….$235. Graphite Design MAD driver shafts, 44” and 45”, Callaway adapter. With the stiff tip section, these play firmer than stated flex….$110 each.”
To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Callaway Mavrik Max head
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