This is the story of how the next 9 holes I play — with women’s clubs — could turn my golf world upside down…
Despite my multi-year love affair with my Callaway Heavenwood Hybrids, things have gotten a little stale between us lately. My swing has been a little out of sorts anyway, and I have been wondering if maybe some easy-to-hit long irons might be the way to go. I remember fondly the days I could blister a 2-iron off the fairway. Those days are long gone, but maybe some wider soled long irons that launch higher, with shafts that kick like a mule, could be the ticket.
Over the weekend, I got a chance to play a leisurely round of golf with my wife. When the round began, I told her that at some point I intended to hit her 4-iron just to see how it felt. I thought it might give me a little insight with what to expect if I went the way I had been thinking. But I wasn’t prepared for what happened when I threw a ball down on the 14th hole and pulled the club from her bag.
Boom. It wasn’t just good. It was outstanding. Long… straight… and it felt as sweet as any golf shot I’ve ever hit. Now, I have a smooth transition in my swing, am a swinger (not a hitter) who has played regular flex shafts for many years, so it didn’t surprise me that the shot was perfect and the club felt good. But the extent of how sweet it felt took me by surprise. Interesting, I thought… this experiment might have some merit.
Just for fun, on the next hole I hit it out of some rough. You know what’s coming next — another fabulous shot. Then head to head against my 4-hybrid — both flew the same length, but I hooked the hybrid. Then a 7-iron. Same sweet feel, like the clubs were made for me. And the most amazing part is the ball flight … a penetrating trajectory that was not as high as expected, but not too low either. Sort of… perfect. Wow.
So now I’m thinking — how bizarre is this? My usual gamers are couldn’t be any more different — Ping i3+ Blades with virtually no offset, a half-inch extra long, and one degree upright lie… versus these Callaway 2008 Big Bertha i-Brids that have quite a bit of offset and soles wide enough to shovel snow. I mean, some days I’m a pretty decent player (4.8 index) … I’m all about specs… and even have a 30 gram counterweight under the grip of my driver. MOI essays make my eyes glaze over, but everything else like frequency matching, shaft dynamics, etc., I totally understand and think are extremely important. So what gives with the women’s clubs?!!
I remember having a discussion years ago with Jay Sigel early in his run on the Champions Tour. We were talking about how most golfers play shafts that are too stiff for them, and how one time when he was younger (and very, very strong) he had forgotten his clubs and used a set of women’s clubs that were sitting around — with tremendous success. So I asked him why he didn’t play noodle-like shafts. His response was they would be great… until he got the adrenalin rush down the stretch in a tournament and he’d overpower them.
Well… I might get pumped up in a $2 Nassau, but I think I can deal with it. Athough I’m not ready to dive in yet… I am anxious to see if this was a one-day wonder (I’ve had more than a few of those) … or the real deal. If I hit them well again, I’ll be faced with some interesting decisions: “Dear, I think you need new irons — I’ll take the old ones off your hands” … or do I try to replicate the specs with senior flex and assume it’ll be close enough? Am I man enough to suck it up and play women’s clubs straight off the shelf? What’s next after that, the forward tees?!!!
I plan on playing a quick 9 with them in the next few days… and I’ll let you know how it goes. That means the next blog entry could be two words, as in “never mind” … or the start of an interesting journey.