By George Snider
I've been associated with the World Golf Teachers' Federation (WGTF) for more than a decade. Periodically, I'm asked to review various golf products. A couple week's ago, I was asked to test a set of hybrid irons. My reward, I would get to keep the driver. I was very specific with the the salesman on the phone. I want these clubs to have stiff graphite shafts. "Absolutely, Mr. Snider, that's what you'll get." He went on to say that he'd put a few of his business cards in the box. So, there I went. I put down my credit card, knowing that I can return the clubs within 45-days if not completely satsified and, again, keep the driver for my evaluation.
About two weeks later, my bride, Martha, pulled the box out of the front flowerbed. While I wasn't looking for changing out my irons, I was excited to get the "new and shiny" clubs out to the range. After all, they were custom built with stiff shafts. I open the box to take a peek and find "Senior Regular Flex" graphite shafts. Grrr!
I look at the order form. Sure enough. Despite the conversation and my insistence on stiff shafts, I received an order with"Senior Regular Flex" graphite shafts. I said to Martha: "You heard that conversation, right? I was supposed to get stiff graphite shafts. Business cards in the box, etc." She agreed with me. Sure enough, no business cards in the box either. Okay, they asked me my age, 74, and humored me for a sale. Let's take them to the range and give them a go.
At the range, kid you not, the six hybrid only went 100 yards. Shoot! I can hit my own pitching wedge farther than that. The rest of the set wasn't much better. Even the two hybrid was unimpressive by comparison to either my four iron or my five wood. Well, I was alone. Myabe I was fudging a bit or not clearly seeing the ball land. Time to get someone else's opinion.
So last Saturday, I met up with my golf teaching friend Dawn. As a lady golfer, she didn't think it fair to hit them, but she definitely gave me eyes on the ball. First off, she was amazed there was a two hybrid in the set. "Who has a two hybrid in their bag?" she asked. As Dawn watched me hit my clubs then the hybrids, she saw no difference in distance. And as I thought, sometimes, my clubs went a little farther.
In the end, she asked: "So how do they feel?" That is indeed where the rubber meets the road. The hybrids are new and shiny but no different in performance than the comfortable irons in my bag. Dawn and I agreed that the vendor went with my age on a chart and considered me to be "Senior Golfer." They did not trust me to know who I am and give me what I wanted or what I ordered. So, I am going with my gut and keeping my irons and returning their VERY flexible hybrids.
I am not sure if I am keeping the driver or not. My gut is currently saying not that much difference. In fact, when I used the driver on the course, I lost four golf balls out of bounds right. I normally hit left center fairway. So maybe they get their driver back also.