I've always been particular about my golf equipment. I've got a trusty 7 wood and nearly decade-old blades, but I've also had an uneven few years with drivers and, until this time last year, a revolving-door lineup of putters. Last Friday, in a golf outing at the charming Champlain Country Club in northern Vermont the day before my sister's wedding, I had to adapt.
Instead of me bringing my gamers north for one round, my father rounded up a set for me from my parents' house in Connecticut and drove it up. It contained a dozen clubs I haven't used in a dozen years or more, including my old TaylorMade 320 irons, a TaylorMade r540 driver that I swear I never missed a fairway with in high school, a Ben Hogan hybrid and a 1990s Callaway "Hickory Stick" 61-degree wedge that is more a novelty than a real club, even though I used it for a couple years.
I had a great time. Looking down at unfamiliar clubs takes some adjustment, but when they're old friends, the re-connection happens after one solid strike. You should trot out some old clubs every so often, if only for the reminder that a good swing produces a good result no matter the equipment. I was giving up about 25 yards off the tee with my old r540, but the results were still reliable. I even chipped in for a birdie with the Hickory Stick. The only nuisance: the grips, which, after more than a decade in the garage, had disintegrated to the point of leaving black gunk on my fingers after each swing. I'll be relieved to put my "real" clubs back in my hands this weekend, but sticky fingers were a small price to pay for a fun nostalgia trip.