Teed Off (13-01-2013)
with Robert Bicknell
My golf clubs sit across the room from me in my office here at Ocean Dunes GC in Phan Thiet. When I look at them, I get depressed, irritated, annoyed, irked and even a bit pissed off.
It's not the clubs themselves, or rather, not ALL of the clubs…it's just the wedges that cause these feelings of hostility in me because I have cheated on them. I played with other wedges last week and found them more understanding of my game and more responsive to my wishes.
Since then, my wedges have become cold and unyielding… so they gotta go.
The fact of the matter is that I borrowed Lars Holden's set last week, and as mentioned in a previous column, enjoyed the new forged-AP2 irons and his wedges which had a different shaft than mine.
So, when I got back to my old clubs, disappointment set in quite quickly.
When it comes to golf clubs in general, the rule of thumb is to make sure you have the correct shaft for your swing. The shaft is the engine of the club. With the right one and the right balance, the club will perform perfectly for you.
Maybe not perfectly for your friend, who has a different swing, but perfectly for you.
My wedges were straight off the shelf with the standard Dynamic Gold "Wedge" shaft, which I suspect has all the flexibility of the Brooklyn bridge. Every shot goes right or left. Almost never where I want it.
Lars's wedges, on the other hand, kicked through impact and the ball ended up exactly where I wanted it and with a significant amount of controlled back-spin. Love at first bite, as it were.
So now, I am eyeing my wedges with disgust and I suspect they know it and will perform even more morosely the next time I take them out. Wedges are spiteful. Not as much as a putter, but close.
It's time for a change.
As many people have noticed over the last few months, change seems to me an on-going thing with me. I have become less accepting of the way things are, especially when it affects me personally or professionally.
My hair kept changing colour until I found the shade I was looking for and I let it grow to shoulder length. Why – because I wanted to.
I bulked up in the gym because I didn't like the shape I was in for many years prior. Yes, "round" is a shape and I was quickly becomingYes, "round" is a shape and I was quickly becoming like a beach ball. Actually, I can blame the fitness craze on Randy and the guys at California Fitness who got me curious, but it was Steve Chipman over at Star Fitness in HCM City who got me hooked. My wife cannot understand why I HAVE to work out 5-6 days per week.
The answer is simple – because I want to.
Yes, I got tattoos on my arms and I ride a big bike now. Why – because I want to.
So, when I am confronted with wedges which refuse to cooperate, you can count on them finding their way into the garbage can and being replaced by ones which understand me. Why – because I want to.
Life is too short to life according to someone else's' terms, and with all the endless possibilities and options available to us, there is really no need to. If we don't like our bodies, we can change it through work in the gym, or if you're hideously ugly, by going under the knife. For the record, that's something I will never do. I do draw the line somewhere.
If we don't want to be old, we can make a decision to be healthy. No, we cannot stop the aging process, but we can make sure we are healthier in our declining years. If we cannot have quantity, we can try for quality.
If we don't like our golf game, we can seek out a professional we respect and work to improve it.
If we don't like our golf clubs, we can change them or have a professional club-fitter tweak them to match our game better. We don't need to accept the status quo.
We can change – because we want to. — VNS