with Robert Bicknell
I am a creature of habit. I like things certain ways and tend to get more irritated than usual when something is supposed to perform a certain way, but doesn't anymore.
For example, I switched from my old trustworthy Lenovo which was eight years old and was running Windows 7 quite nicely. Unfortunately, it was very slow and the drives were filled to capacity - mostly with Windows Updates - which irritated me even more. When you build a product, shouldn't it work correctly from the beginning? Why do we need to apply weekly updates to fix a product that should have been launched correctly.
I'll bet Apple doesn't have these constant updates.
So, deciding I needed a new computer, I was talked out of the MacBook Air that I really wanted and ended up with a Dell Inspiron 13 with a touch screen which ran Windows 8.
Yes, I know…Windows 8 is universally regarded as garbage, but I also knew that I could get a free update to Windows 10, so the software was only a secondary concern. Dell is a big name in computers, so no worries there…right?
As you might suspect, I am irritated as usual. But then again, even on my best day I resemble a rabid Tasmanian Devil who sat on a Porcupine. So just imagine that, but worse.
It came with Chinese versions of Word and Excel, which drive me nuts (and probably spy on me), so those were the first to go. I've slowly been customizing the laptop with special programs which I need for daily work, and programs I use for relaxing (yes, games…).
Yet the buttons are in the wrong places, the shortcut commands I am use to don't work and have to be set up again.
Now then you might be asking, "what does this have to do with golf and a golf column?"
TaylorMade is about to launch yet another Driver onto the market.
When the first Rocketballz driver (RBZ) came out, I loved it. It's the primary reason I switched from Titleist (the brand I played with since I was a kid, despite a short flirt with Hogan Apex back in the early 80's). As you can see from the above rant, it takes a lot to convince me to change, so you can safely assume the RBZ was something special.
Then they came out with RBZ phase 2, which wasn't as good. They then convinced me to switch to the SLDR and claimed it was the best driver they ever made, and the JetSpeed for higher handicap players. OK, I switched to the SLDR and, while it took me a month to dial it in, it performed great.
Six months later they told me to increase my loft, which I did, followed shortly by the launch of the R15 and Aeroburner drivers which they claimed was the last launch for a while.
But now I just got notified that, yes the powers that be, decided they need to launch yet another driver…
Apparently, whoever is in charge in the TMAG head office used to be in the mobile phone business. Maybe he worked for Nokia and believes they have to launch every six months or something.
Look, golf clubs are different from mobile phones in many different ways.
First of all, you cannot hit a 300 yard drive with a mobile phone, however, you can try to drive a mobile phone 300 yards. Yes, I tried once and it wasn't pretty.
Secondly, you can learn the ins and outs of a new mobile phone in a few days, but to get used to a new driver takes a lot longer. You have to find the right shaft flex, torque and launch angle. You have to get use to the way the shaft loads and releases its energy.
And despite what some people think, not everybody can afford to shell out 500 clams every time a new driver is launched.
I read somewhere that Jordan Spieth had problems in his last event because he was trying out new irons. Gee, what a surprise. Even one of the best players in the world has trouble dialing in new equipment.
My advice to manufacturers is to keep and refine your designs longer before launching them. Too much is not a good thing.
Now, pardon me, but I need to go kill something… — VNS