I’ve moved house a few times in the last few years, and somehow I’ve always managed to be on the road when the actual physical stuff takes place. Until this time that is. We’ve had all our stuff in storage for a couple of months and just the other day I was trapped in our new house as it was being moved in. It was quite a revelation. I was put to work by Anita, my little commandant, and had to open boxes and move furniture and all kinds of other stuff that I consider myself much too highly qualified for. However, I did discover some stuff that, because of my self-deletion from the scenes of previous moves, had been moved from attic to attic without seeing the light of day for years. I’m talking about old golf clubs here — bags and bags of them, and fossilized FootJoys, too.
In a pathetically obvious attempt to escape the torture of physical exertion, I announced that I had to go up to the club to hit a few shots with my old weapons. I fled like a dog before I got an answer, and accidentally switched my car phone off as I got in.
It might have been a pitiful excuse, but actually it turned out to be quite interesting. I started by waking up a few woodworms. I used to drive it with a gorgeous old MacGregor that was stained a beautiful honey brown with a burgundy insert. I was one of those who clung onto my woods for much longer than I should have, while everyone was shelling it 30 yards past me with metal. Or in other words, my driver wasn’t the only one with a wooden head. My first few swings felt a little strange in a sort of ball not going anywhere kind of way, but I persevered until I caught one really flush. Which didn’t go anywhere either. I tried another driver, this time one of the first I used as a pro, a laminated Jack Nicklaus Slazenger with a graphite shaft. I remembered myself as a huge knocker with this one, but now it felt like I was swinging a slinky with a loaf of bread on the end of it.
I hit all of my old clubs, and the only ones that felt any good were an old set of Phil Ritson Top-Flite irons, which were so soft I used to be able to change the lofts by whacking them on the rubber matting outside the pro shop at Disney World. The chrome was worn off the sweetspots and the ball still melted off for the woods. I have no idea how we ever played with them. I’ve been as guilty as anyone about downplaying the advantage of the metalwoods, probably because when I changed up to better equipment, I thought the difference had as much to do with me. That was, until I changed down again the other day. I’d rather have stayed home and strained against the sofa. At least that’s what I’m telling Anita.