IN PUR­SUIT OF ZERO

Joel Tad­man be­lieves if he’d in­vested in his gear at an ear­lier age, he might be off scratch now

Golf Monthly - - Gm Promotion Liam Dan Jezz Peter -

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

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