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Teed Off (Jun.9 2013)

Update: June, 09/2013 - 16:34

with Robert Bicknell

While surfing the internet on Thursday, I came across an interesting item. It seems that Jack Nicholson just spent US$75,000 on golf clubs.

No, he didn't buy a membership at a golf club, nor did he buy a distressed golf facility. He blew a wad on a set of Honma golf clubs. Supposedly, Donald Trump (aka "Captain Comb-over) and actor Danny DeVito also were vain enough to grab a set too.

Imagine that… $75,000 for a set of golf clubs. There is something vaguely obscene about it.

However, the Japanese manufacturer, Honma, claims the clubs are worth every penny because they say each club is the work of golf "artisans". The company says more than 100 craftsmen are involved in the production of each piece. Some are busy polishing club heads to exact specifications - as Honma says on its website, variations of 1/100th of a millimetre "can make all the difference" in terms of how they affect a golfer's performance.

Right.

I can just imagine Tiger Woods complaining that his iron faces are 1/100th of a millimetre off and that's why he shot a 79 the other week. "Yeah, the milling on the club faces just didn't allow me to get the ball near the hole…"

Right.

OK, if it were Sergio, I might expect it because he complains about everything under the sun. But in reality, no golfer, pro or otherwise would even notice the difference. IF a club was out of whack, they would simply make an adjustment in their stance or alignment, but I daresay that nobody would even notice 1/100th of a millimetre.

However, when you have so much money that you really have no idea how to spend it, I suppose paying $75,000 for a set of golf clubs would not seem to be outrageous. But it does show that some people are not living in the same reality as the rest of us.

I wonder what would go through your head if you hit a stone under the ball with a $5,357 wedge. Sue the golf course for allowing natural objects below the turf? One thing is probably certain, you'd think twice before throwing the club, wouldn't you?

I don't blame Honma for producing a club like that because business is business and if there are players stupid enough to plunk down $75K for clubs, it would probably be for a Japanese manufactured club because everyone knows their steel work is top of the line. Anyone who held an ancient Japanese katana (ie, a "Samurai sword) would marvel at the quality even 200 years later. But, still…ya gotta question the sanity of the buyers.

OK, bottom line: if you suck at golf, a $75,000 set of clubs is not gonna help you one iota. It would be better to plunk down $1,000 bucks for some lessons instead, and if the remaining $74,000 is still burning a hole in your pocket, donate it to some children's charity or something.

On other news, Lee Janzen was DQ'd for wearing metal spikes during a qualifying event for the US Open. Apparently, Woodmont Country Club is a "soft-spike only" club and the players were all informed of the rule in a letter sent before the event.

Metal spikes are allowed on the PGA Tour and the major championships, even at the U.S. Open.

The debate on outlawing metal spikes on the PGA Tour took place in 2005 and even tried to get support from the Player Advisory Council. Janzen was quoted in a newspaper story as saying, ''It's got no chance. You can't ban metal spikes.''

Guess again, Lee…

Personally speaking, I miss the comfortable "crunching" sound of metal spikes on cement. It used to make you feel special as you walked towards the starter house. Soft spikes just don't bring the same unique feeling, but hey, I used to love the sound of metal baseball spikes as well.

Despite all the soft-spike hype, metal spikes still give much better grip under wet conditions, but they totally destroy the carpets in the clubhouses, which is one big reason they were phased out.

Also, shoe manufacturers kinda reached the end of what they could do design-wise, so soft spikes offered them a new avenue for sales.

Now, I expect a $75,000 pair of golf shoes to appear next. Crafted by "artisans" of course… — VNS

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