I’m writing this entry more to work out something in my head FYI. However, you will get a glimpse into just how crazy I am.
The best and worst thing about a job in the Golf industry is access to toys….
On the one hand, it’s great!! You have the opportunity to test all the new stuff (long before any else sees it) and have access to pretty much anything you want. On the other hand, it can be f🤷🏻♂️🙋🏻♂️king impossible to actually play well.
With every new club comes different ideas, weights, CG’s, fitting techniques, different me’s etc. It’s hard to do anything well if the variables change on a daily basis. I used to vow up and down that “this is the set-up, I’m fully cooked” followed by “oh sure I’d love to try those new irons, or driver or whatever.” Good work to get if you wanna have a ton of gear and suck while doing it.
When I was at WRX not only was I granted the chance to try it all but to make it even better, I had the best fitters in the world dialing me in. At the tail end of my time at WRX, I had a set that I was in “LOVE” with. My bag was a mix of 4 or 5 different manufacturers, all sticks made and fitted by my friends and I was happy. It was a gearhead’s dream. But my game was AWFUL. I had too many options, too little time to practice and on top of it all I’m a recovering alcoholic (7+ years Sober) and my brain is like a cracked-out hamster on a wheel running in the dark with Gwar playing in the background.
The point is I’m nuts. It was in no way an ecosystem for improvement. My golf life went backward. My handicap went from 1 to 6. It wasn’t the gear, it was pure overstimulation for a person who wakes up overstimulated.
THEN I JOIN CALLAWAY…
To be honest I didn’t hit a ton of Callaway gear when I was at WRX. I LOVED the GBB Epic Sub Zero driver but never got my hands on one. Rogue and Epic Flash were great but I didn’t love the sound and Mavrik was a victim to Covid. I just didn’t have a chance to dig in on that one. If I’m getting REALLY honest the main reason was with the constant launches year to year I never truly got to play consistently with any of my clubs. Part of that gig was trying everything so you could actually speak to it honestly. That was kind of the whole point of the job.
It got to the point of lunacy and every chance I did have to dig in on Callaway product, I was already at a point where one more club would have not only hurt my game but put my fiance over the top. I had clubs and boxes everywhere 🤷🏻♂️. It was becoming a home harmony issue 😩
WHAT I DO...
When I look into new clubs I DIG in. I make notes on my phone, play out gapping scenarios research head weights all the way to becoming emotionally attached before I even order them. I have countless notes on my phone of bag scenarios that never happened, although a good number of them did. When I was a kid my Mom used to find spec sheets all over the place with dream sets built up from my mind. Lofts/Lies/Shafts/Gapping/Pros/Cons/To-do lists etc. I recently went into an old eBay account from 2015 and my watch list was 200 deep.
After all that madness and an obvious problem with over stimulation, my biggest fear of joining Callaway was not being able to partake in the craziness. Even my buddies were like, “you have always been a free agent type guy, how you gonna play just one brand? “
How indeed I ask…..how indeed…
Like anything else, fear and insanity is merely opportunity to grow…or something like that.
So I step into my new equipment life with Callaway. Yes as an employee but more importantly as a user (head to toe, 14 clubs, and a ball). It’s a lot to lay on a gear head…
The funny thing is, it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Whether I got lucky with a good release year or the “one company” thing is just better, nonetheless, my game hasn’t been this good in 5+ years. I haven’t even had a fitting yet!! I’m eyeballing the whole thing and every club in my bag just works.
My gear junky shows up even now, I’m surrounded by the GlenGary clubs on a daily basis and I have the chance to build up whatever I want, whenever I want. It’s tempting but I don’t engage, well, that’s not 100% true, my Driver/3-wood/5-wood are SUPER Tour Sauce but they work so there. So I slipped a bit 🤷🏻♂️
The reason I’m divulging this babble is the Callaway lineup has impressed the living 💩 out of me. I’m sure this narrative could play out at any of the big companies but there is something special about these sticks I have in the bag. This company. Remember I’ve tried it all, literally. The more I get to know Callaway designs their clubs, the more I know that as a golfer I got into a REALLY good situation.
There hasn’t been that awkward lead-in time with my clubs, the Driver came out of the gate swinging and hasn’t let me down, the irons may be the best set I’ve had since my X-12/962B combo and the ball….MY GOD the ball is unbelievable. I thought it was awesome before I got hired for the record. I have IG posts and an article from WRX to prove it.
Here is my WITB:
DRIVER: Epic Speed 💎💎💎 (8.5, 8GF, 12GB)
Shaft: MCA Tensei 1K 60TX “Patriot” (45.25 inches, Tipped 1, D4)
3-wood: Epic Speed 💎💎💎 ADJ (firstname.lastname@example.org, 12GF, 8GB)
Shaft: MCA Tensei 1K 70TX (42.75 inches, Tipped 1.5, D4)
5-wood: Epic Speed 💎💎💎T (email@example.com)
Shaft: MCA Kai’li White Proto 80TX (41.75 inches, Tipped 2, D4)
IRONS: Apex ’21 (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (Soft stepped 1X)
Lofts: 21.5, 25, 28, 32.5, 36.5, 40.5, 45
Std Lie, Std Length, All Irons D3
WEDGES: Jaws MD5 Raw (50/10S, 54/08C) PM Grind (60/10 w/ Big Pon Grind)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (Onyx)
PUTTER: Toulon Las Vegas w/ DBL Bend
BALL: Chrome Soft *X
GRIPS: Golf Pride BCT 58R Logo Down 1+1
GLOVE: Tour Authentic
I know we aren’t splitting the atom or curing cancer here, but most gear heads will understand the struggle. When I got sober it was the structure and me buying into the process that saved my life. In a weird way, the same thing happened here. I’ve taken a big swig of the Callaway Kool-Aid..it’s fu$$ing delicious.
I never really understood the full bag contracts, they always seemed a little too structured for me. I understand now. When you join a company like Callaway you become a part of a harmonious jazz band and the finely tuned ones tend to make sweet music. That was a dumb analogy but you see where I was going😂 Every product they make is based on the Callaway philosophy and there is something to be said for committing to the whole thing as opposed to just one or two things.
Like the people I work with, the Callaway equipment just feels like home to me. I don’t think my 14 friends should have any worry about getting kicked to the curb, at least until the next launch. Gotta have the new/new always right?
So what did we learn here? Well, for me it’s taking the time to understand things. Getting to know your clubs and the company that makes them is a weird way of getting to know yourself. What makes you tick? How do you grow to trust something that will help you play well? It’s all extremely important to good golf which at the end of the day is all I care about for you and me.
Oh and BTW these irons I am so committed to? The Apex ’21?
I just ordered a set of TCB’s “just to test” I have a sickness. Thanks a lot Jon Rahm.
That is all. LFG