Sunday, June 16, 2013

Taylor Made Love

Like these, but with hybrids on 3&4
Two weeks ago, for my 44th birthday, the Shooter Wife gave me the gift of a voucher for a new set of irons. She also had them sized down for my hobbit-like frame, which does all kinds of nice things for my mind.

I am, for the record, a terrible golfer; 30 handicap and up from the whites, which is to say barely someone who needs to refer to a handicap. A good round for me is a minimal number of lost balls and not losing all hope that I'm ever going to get better at this. You name a weakness, I've got it: inconsistent swing, inadequate club head speed, hooks and slices and duffs and pop ups. But buried beneath all of those horrible shots and play is the golfer that I feel that I actually should be, which is a 20 handicap. When I hit it right, and I'm in my right mind, the ball flight is straight as an arrow, the arcs are pleasing, and I look like I belong on a course. I like it; I like it a lot.

I've played about 100 rounds in my life, I think. I played a lot before my first child was born, for a couple of years at muni courses in the Philly area, and then got in a ton of play in a few short weeks in southern Oregon, before we learned that the Shooter Eldest was on the way, and money had to be saved and time was no longer free. Now that the kids are older and more independent, and I'm back in a part of the world where golf isn't an unspeakable expense, I've played a half dozen rounds this year, and been to the range a dozen times, twice with the new clubs...

And not to sound like too much of an ad here, but dear God in heaven, the new irons (Taylor Burner 3.0s, graphite shafts to help my yardage issues, with the hybrid 3 and 4 irons) make the game so much better.

Hooks are less penal. Slices straighten out, rather than accelerate into sideways impossibilities. Well struck shots go higher and further, and the hybrid clubs are a lot easier to hit than traditional high irons. With the club head surfaces pristine, I can see off-center ball marks on shots that are still useful. I also have a 200 yard club that isn't a 3-wood, and potential club head yardages that don't make me feel like an old woman.

The better shots make me more present to my swing, more likely to extend my arms, go for the full back swing, rotate the hips and follow through. It's in my head now to be better, and while I have no idea if I actually will be... well, there's options now. And hope.

Beyond, well, taking lessons. Lessons suck. Better gear is much more fun.

Editor's Note: I shot a 111, with loads more good shots, short game misses, and opportunities missed off the tee. The Struggle Continues.

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