The other night I was chipping in my hallway and started to think what a sick individual I am. I’m totally obsessed with golf, I like everything about it and I seem to have an insatiable craving for knowledge in all areas of the game from the way it’s taught to its history and course designs. However, I reckon I dedicate the most thought to equipment and how to make it better. Golfers tend to pigeon hole other golfers and so the thing I hear a lot is people referring to me as an equipment junkie. I can’t really argue with that but I equally can’t say that I simply have a craving for new gear for the sake of it. I keep clubs until I genuinely find a way of making them better.
In my opinion there is only one thing that beats hitting a perfect shot and that’s hitting a perfect shot with a perfect club. First it’s the feeling, to me the way a club feels to swing and at impact are number one. It’s actually pretty easy to make a club produce the right numbers but what’s the point if it doesn’t feel amazing? After the club feels great it’s the satisfaction of seeing the perfect flight, knowing it’s optimized, seeing it fly true. The frozen rope.
In thinking about my ‘sickness’ I’ve started questioning why I still play this game so obsessively and I realized something. For me its never been about score, I’ve had total heart break in most of the tournaments I’ve played and its only now I realize I’ve never been geared up for tournaments. My practice time has been ball pounding, never short game or anything related to scoring. So yes I am a junkie, but I am not an equipment junkie, I’m a golf shot junkie. I love that feeling of a rip with a perfect flight, I love making the ball do what I want it to do but its all about flight, feeling and experience. To me the experience of playing this game comes through my clubs and that’s why I mess around with golf clubs. It’s now why I love making clubs for other people. I enjoy playing in a four ball with my mates and seeing that every club in their bag has been perfected. Its pretty cool when they feel for the first time how good their clubs can be.
20 years ago I did what most golfers do, I tried lots of clubs and found a few a liked but never knew why. 17 years ago I put together my first workshop and opened Pandora’s Box. Since then one way or another I have always had a workshop. In December last year we converted our existing great workshop and fitting facility into what I consider to be the ultimate space for not just making the best golf clubs possible but for having a great time while you do it. Seventeen years on from that dodgy wooden work bench with a home made shaft extractor not only do we have the best space possible but the trial and error has gone. Improvements to my own gear are minutiae and shifting preference but improvements to other golfers gear and golf performance is dramatic and that’s pretty cool. Needless to say I have no intention of addressing my sickness and possibly I am learning to appreciate the short shots!