What your bag says about you
It’s not a sight I’ve seen too often, a hip flask, colour-coded to match the bag, clanking about as though the wearer was lugging a crate of beers. But it was meant to be there! It was designed to be there! I mean, how many of the leading manufacturers would have thought, as they contemplated accessories for their next bag creation, that a hip flask would make it onto the final blueprint? Unless we’re talking Brian Barnes who once marked his ball with a beer can.
And then, glinting in the sun, the 3 wood caught my eye. Homeless amid the head-covered elite, the sole plate bore the unmistakeable curves of an old Callaway Warbird. Except I was mistaken, because written, in that olde English font preferred by the American manufacturing giants, was the word Trident.
Clearly a rip-off club, brazenly exposed for all to see. I quizzed the owner, a good single-figure handicapper, who had been impressing me with drilled drives and drawn iron shots as we plotted a route across the links of Royal St George’s.
“I know it’s a fake,” he smiled, “but it’s a fake that I can hit straight every time. It may not be that long, but on the odd days that the driver is misbehaving, then this is my go to club.” Like a stunt double then, I thought. Does all the dangerous jobs at half the cost.
This conversation got me wondering about the question of what your golf clubs say about you?
I have a number of attractive blades in my loft at home and occasionally I’ll dust them down and give them a go – seduced by their seductive curves, bevelled edges and laughably tiny sweet spot.
I’ve reached a stage in life where perimeter weighting, and lots of it, is essential to my well being on the golf course. Those ‘better player irons’ have a label with 'talented grandson' written on it.
Can irons be likened to women? I’m suited now to quite a chunky little number, but still hanker after slimline beauty. Although, I do admire a golfer who can wield a ‘Trident’ with no sign of remorse, while I, a much lesser player, still feel the need to cuddle up to designer labels.
My mind goes back to school days when I’d walk onto a tennis court with a Donnay Borg Pro under one arm and a Dunlop Max 200-G under the other because I’d been bewitched by the icy cool charisma of Bjorn Borg and the flamboyant finesse of John McEnroe.
But I remember being able to play ok with both those. Golf is a much harder game and totally devoid of sympathy for the player who shuns it for other things and then arrives back on the doorstep hoping for a warm welcome.
I think many male golfers go through ‘the change’, that moment when resorting to a trolley becomes acceptable. Our very own Steve Rosier has just gone through the change and now boasts the sort of ‘ocean liner’ of a power trolley that I reckon you could probably book a holiday on.
Not for me. I’ve reached 55 and still don’t consider myself to be in the category of rolling up for a roll up. I find wheels more trouble than they’re worth. I like to walk in straight lines, not around the edge of greens. Plus I can’t decide whether it’s better to push or pull.
So what does my golf bag say about me? Well, it’s incredibly light and has little legs on it that keep it off the wet ground – unless Pippa spots a squirrel.
I don’t take a driver because this course is ‘Oh, so strategic!’ and my favourite club has become my putter.
I popped an old blade into the bag when I first started playing on the Chart. It was once owned by Barry Lane who is now a senior golfer, but who played in a Ryder Cup and once earned a million pounds in the first World Matchplay final in the States. This putter has a leather grip which somehow feels ‘right’ on a course of such heritage. Also, it does, on certain serendipitous occasions, make the ball drop into the hole.