IN PURSUIT OF ZERO
Joel Tadman believes if he’d invested in his gear at an earlier age, he might be off scratch now
don’t need to be reminded that as a golfing enthusiast, I’ve got one of the best gigs in the business. My handicap is on a steady upward curve and while having access to all the latest clubs has helped stem the tide, it is the choices I made as a relative nipper that haunt me the most. Regrettably, but perhaps a fair reflection on many of you reading this, the clubs I bought before starting out in the world of ‘work’ were based mostly on price. The cheaper the better, and in fact I quite enjoyed the search for a bargain. Yet, there’s a small part of me that laments those David Dickinson antics. Perhaps if I’d focused more on what was going to help me play better rather than saving a few pounds, I’d be closer to the holy grail scratch handicap that now eludes me, and perhaps always will.
You can excuse my tight-fistedness to a degree (pun intended) – in my Further Education days I played for both the university and local scratch teams in the most testing period of my life financially. As we all know, golf is an expensive game, especially when you’ve parted with half of your first instalment of student loan in Freshers’ Week. It wasn’t just the fact that many of the clubs I used were old (we’ve discovered in certain categories age doesn’t necessarily mean a significant drop in performance), it was more that they were never custom fitted and I was guessing (hoping, more like) that I would be able to make them work someway, somehow.
I was guilty of some absolute shockers, many of which centred around where the clubs came from. Hand-medowns from the assistant pro, ex-demos or swapping with friends – my clubs came from the
IJoel picked his clubs based on what Tiger was using – not a smart move necessarily
was steel-shafted when I bought it, and at the time I don’t think I would have cared as I loved the look of the head so much. On the course, however, it felt like I was swinging one of the those weighted training aids golfers use to warm up with on the first tee, and I could barely get my refurbished Pro V1 lake balls off the ground with it. Soon after, it was replaced by a brilliant Callaway X (graphite shafted, thankfully) model that stayed in the bag until I was forced to sell it to pay for a ticket to the annual student ball.
I also purchased a Nike SasQuatch driver, purely because my idol Tiger Woods was employing it to such good
Off the rack clubs may be worse than old ones