I recently purchased a new driver –– and I really, really like it. I am surprised by how easy it is to hit. I’m hitting the ball twenty yards further than I did with my old driver – and my shots are much ‘purer’ off of the club face.
The new driver is completely different from my old driver. My old driver had 9 degrees of loft, the new driver has 10.5 degrees. The old driver has a stiff flex, the new driver has a regular flex. The old driver has an offset, the new driver sits square.
The thing is – I’ve never really liked my old driver. It never really ‘fit’ my game. But, round after round, it stayed in my bag. And, round after round, I’d adjust my stance and adjust my grip and adjust my rhythm – but I never once played an an entire round and felt ‘good’ about my driver. In fact, I actually played several rounds and never took the driver out of my bag.
But now – I like my driver. I like the way it fits my hand and I like the way that it sets up to the golf ball. When I swing it, it feels like every other club in my bag. I can take my normal stance – right foot back just a bit and left foot flared – and swing. And, the golf ball just – goes!
Shopping for the new driver – and finding one that I really liked – taught me several lessons.
1. It pays to consult an expert. I went to a golf supply store and had my swing tested. I learned about lie angles, swing speeds, launch angles. It took some time – and I had to admit my own ignorance – but it was more than worth it.
2. Spending a little more now will save a lot later. Golf clubs are expensive. And, I paid a pretty penny for my new club. But, when I’m hitting the ball straight – instead of duck-hooking it into the woods – I’ll be glad I shelled out a few extra bucks on a driver that I can actually hit.
3. If it’s in the budget, enjoy the purchase. I hate to spend money. Even more than that, I hate to spend money on myself. For more than two year – yes, two years – I’ve had money allocated for the purchase of a new driver. Even after purchasing a new set of irons last year, I hesitated to spend the money and buy the new driver. But, last week, after yet another disappointing round, I decided to go ahead, spend the money, and get something that I liked. And, man, I’m glad that I did.
4. Priorities come first, and then ‘stuff’. I’m debt free. I have three paid for cars. I have a fully-funded emergency fund. I’m working to fund five retirement accounts and three education savings account. Still, I find it hard to justify the purchase of the driver. But, I really, really like to play golf. So, in this case, I decided to reward myself.
5. It really rocks to have a cool spouse. Check this out – My wife and I were shopping when I decided to go to the pro shop to buy the golf club. My wife, who is awesome, not only ‘let’ me go, she encouraged me to do so. In fact, she sat in a chair and held the baby while I tried out various clubs. How awesome is that? And, to return the favor, I held the baby while she tried on outfits for vacation. And, instead of complaining about ‘how much the other spent’ – we just had a good time hanging out and shopping together. Imagine that.
6. If it’s the wrong club, it’s the wrong club. Move on. I thought that I wanted a Callaway X460. I like how the Callaway looks. I like how it feels in my hand. But, when I hit it, I ‘pull hooked’ every single shot. Thank goodness I tested several clubs before making my purchase. Whew.
A few more days and we are off for our vacation. I’ve called a couple of public courses near where we are staying, and I found one where I can play and let my oldest daughter and my son ride along with me. Hopefully, four or five times during the round, one of them will say, “Wow, Daddy, you crushed it!”.