Gotta Get the Gear: Why it Takes a Lot of Balls to Play Golf With Me

It’s that time of year again: the golf courses are greening up, the beer carts are being stocked, and I am stoked because I have new gear.

I play left-handed; I don’t know why, I’m actually right-handed but have always felt better as a lefty so that’s the way I roll. I wasn’t ready for new clubs until I was sure I could play the game (a fact that is still debated) but I decided to forge ahead. Since it’s pretty hard to find used lefty clubs on the cheap, for years I slowly and painstakingly built a bag one club at a time. Unfortunately, on my budget that meant my pro-shop was Goodwill, Family Thrift, and The Salvation Army Store. Every club I had was not only a different brand, but different lengths as well. Well to make a short story even longer: my buddies suggested my clubs were holding me back; and if anyone has my best interests in mind, it’s my buddies.

Get the Gear
The Wife, in a loving gesture and also after figuring out a way to get me out of the house, recently bought me a set of brand spanking new golf clubs for my birthday. I’d reveal the brand and review them for you here but have been asked by the editors to avoid any more lawsuits, for at least another month. The point is: I have the gear and nothing can stop me now.

Good Gear Brings Good Results
The best thing this new set of clubs has brought to my game is consistency. Now, when I crank my driver off the tee box, my slice pretty much goes the same distance into the weeds every time. There’s a lot to be said for consistency: I know exactly how far off the fairway to start searching for my ball. My new 9 iron is awesome because I overshoot the greens exactly 10 yards every time and my fairway woods, well I’m sure they will be great if I ever actually land on a fairway.

Training Day
I’ve never had a golf lesson in my life, yet if you watched me play you’d say “Yep, that I believe.” My buddies give me tips all the time, but since we are betting money on every hole, I’m starting to doubt their integrity. Is it true you should close your eyes every time right before contacting the ball?

Nicknames Are Earned, Not Given
Just to give you an idea how things are going: The golf community traditionally bestows many worthy golfers with appropriate nicknames. They range from Craig “The Walrus” Stadler to “Slammin” Sam Snead and don’t forget Jack Nicklaus as “The Golden Bear” just to name a few. In the same tradition but with a lot less respect, my buddies have bestowed me with “Sir Putts-A-lot.” I take it as a compliment because they did put “Sir” in front.

You Look Mahvalous
Now when I walk up to the clubhouse, I do it with pride as my equipment finally is worthy of a second look. I used to get a third and fourth look before, but that was out of disbelief. I even have matching covers on my woods, although they aren’t tube socks anymore. I do have to keep an eye on my fancy new clubs when I’m in the clubhouse, because I sure don’t want anyone walking off with them. I caught someone walking off with my old clubs once, but it was the maintenance guy attempting to toss them in the trash…

Drink Up
If you aren’t supposed to sneak liquor onto the course, like the signs around the clubhouse say, then why does my new golf bag have a beer cooler compartment? My buddies say you should drink heavily, especially when your game is sucking. At the rate I’m going, I’ll be in in rehab by July.

What Are Friends For
So I got the new gear: a shiny set of clubs and a fancy bag with a beer cooler. I have to admit my game has improved. I know this not by keeping score but by how many balls I lose per round. Luckily my buddies keep me stocked in balls they say they don’t need. They say they’re fine for golfing, just the wrong brand for them and I shouldn’t be concerned with the water stains or the xxx that is all over them. After all is said and done, I’m starting to think I didn’t need new gear, I just need new buddies…

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Michael Ryan

Michael is a full-time musician and freelance writer residing in Morrison, Colorado. He enjoys downhill skiing, traveling and attempting to play golf. He excels in the sport of extreme napping so if you must call, make it after noon.

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