ORLANDO, Fla. --The most attention-getting club at this year's PGA Merchandise Show has to be the Williams Black Diamond driver. It comes complete with solid gold insets, a set of gold-plated irons and, oh yeah, a $50,000 price tag.
These clubs are largely for show, and anyone who actually lays out the 50 grand will also enjoy a wide array of perks, including a customized fitting by an expert who will fly to see customers, an Italian leather handbag and VIP treatment at a Formula One race. No doubt several sheiks are already lining up for this bargain.
In the real world, Williams also offers a Players Series driver for $500, and it's pretty good. I tested it at Orange County National during Demo Day this week and launched some pretty good tee shots with it. If I knew more about continental racing, I wouldn't have been surprised. Williams F1 is one of the top teams in Formula One racing and its engineers, who focus on aerodynamics, applied those principles to the design of golf clubs. It actually makes sense that a bunch of racing experts could improve the aerodynamics of the clubhead.
The bottom of the clubhead has a series of fan-like ridges (again, for aerodynamics) that give it a distinctive look. It would be a mistake not to take Williams seriously. They race to win in Formula One. This club is worth checking out.Photo: David Walberg/SI