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Saturday, October 5, 2013

This is Golf. Hope Springs Eternal.

I confess.  I 'm a sucker for new equipment.  Even though my rational self knows better, that part of me that always thinks today I will play a bogey-free round sometimes takes over.

This fundamental schism in my brain has fueled a number of purchases that weren't really necessary.  How many pairs of golf shoes do I really need?  Well, the obvious answer top that question is: two.  So why do I have 7 pair of golf shoes?

My car's cargo area looks like an athletic equipment graveyard.  I have piles of shoes, some in shoe bags and others crammed into a huge equipment bag.  I rarely wear the ones in the equipment bag.  I have a collection of clubs I don't use.  Some are in temporary time-out and others have been put into semi-retirement.   I recently needed my 9 iron, which I don't use often, and couldn't find it in my bag.  After I finished my round I looked through the clubs in the cargo area.  There was my 9 iron.

Now I remember. I'd put it in time out a couple of weeks ago because it wasn't behaving.

I put it back in my bag.

I've used the same putter for years.  It's a faithful piece of equipment, maybe the most valuable club in my bag.  It almost never 3-putts.  It often gives me 1-putts.  Barb's husband, Tony, regripped it for me last spring.  It has a nifty tweed grip.  I keep it safe in a shockingly pink Pebble Beach putter cover that Wes gave me for my 70th birthday, a memento of our round together at Pebble Beach.  Why in the world would I even consider replacing that putter?

I'll tell you why.  Because I saw a snazzy red putter grip with a big, scary grey spider on it when I was in the pro shop chatting with Fred about special shirts for the Pumpkin Cup.  Fred took a break from out shirt conversation to take a phone call and I entertained myself by playing with the putter with the red grip.  

It was a bit heavier than my faithful Odyssey blade.  Humm.  Very smooth stroke.  I tossed a ball onto the floor and lined it up.  Ahhh.  Lovely roll.

You know where this is going, don't you?  It's in my bag now.  Today was it's maiden round.  I had no 1 putts.  I had very few 2-putts.  I had 2 4-putts.  As I put my clubs back in the cargo area, with my faithful putter with the hot pink cover now nestled against the other time-out and semi-retired clubs, I was seized with a moment of doubt.

The Pumpkin Cup is right around the corner.  The Team needs my putting.  I've made a mistake.  Changing clubs was Rory's downfall.

But then, there's that competing voice in my head.  I'm rushing to judgement.   Rory's downfall was the distraction of a new girlfriend and expanded business interests.  I just need to work with the putter, get used to it, give it a chance.  The old putter can go to California and the clubs I keep in Wes's garage.

I took one last look at the faithful old putter with the wild pink cover, tossed my bag into the cargo area, and told myself to get a grip.  This is golf and hope spring eternal.

I'll let you know how it turns out.