November 26, 2012

The Great White Shank’s twenty-year flirtation with Cobra Golf is over. On Saturday I found a buyer for my Cobra S2 woods, S9 irons, and SZ fairway woods. This coming Saturday, my original King Cobra irons and woods (and original bag) head to The Bunny Basics consignment shop where (hopefully) they’ll bring a few sheckels as a starter set for some young lucky lefty destined for his own form of Goodboys greatness.

It truly is the end of an era. I still remember trading in my old Dynacraft starter set made for me by a mate of my old and departed friend, Mike “Doc” Frechette, one of the Founding Fathers of Goodboys Nation. I had used the Dynacrafts for a couple of years when Doc (who, among other things, was very good at convincing people to spend money that was not his own) brought me down to the Whirlaway Golf Center in Methuen and told me to “man up” and buy a decent set of clubs. This was back in 1992, when Greg Norman was on top of the golf world. Cobra Golf was his sponsor then, and since he was my favorite golfer to watch on TV, it seemed only natural that what was good for “The Great White Shark” would be equally good for The Great White Shank.

Those King Cobra steel-shafted clubs treated me OK, but after a dozen years or so, like with everything else, it was time for an upgrade. During one of my visits back East, I tried the Cobra S9s irons at the Golf & Ski in Hudson, NH and they felt pretty good. So I upgraded. Two years later, I entered the world of the graphite shaft and picked up the Cobra S2 woods. And that’s what I’ve been playing with the last few years. I can’t say I ever fell “in love” with my Cobras, but they treated me OK. I could never hit the 3- and 4- irons with any kind of confidence, so picked up three additional fairway woods – a 7, 9, and 11 – to cover for shots requiring anywhere from a 150-180 yard carry. Sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn’t; I never really figured out how to hit them with any consistency, and over time I came to realize they probably cost me as many strokes as eliminated. Heck, any golfer with my level of skill and lack of discipline on the golf course isn’t going to be made better by equipment anyways, so I was comfortable with my Cobras and saw no reason to consider a change.

Until, that is, I was introduced to a set of Callaway RAZR X HLs this past May while playing a round at Las Vegas National Golf Club. The course was deserted that Friday morning because the winds were whipping at a sustained 40 mph. Limbering up at the driving range, it took a good half-dozen swings to get used to the feel of the irons, but from the start the 3- and 4- hybrids felt and hit great. The fairway woods also treated me well out on the course, as I missed only one fairway on the front, and, while not as accurate on the back – the wind was really howling by then – I was still hitting the 3-wood solid. I even tried the driver a couple of times and it was OK. The short game was another matter entirely, however – I just couldn’t get used to the feel of either the pitching wedge or the sand wedge, but I really enjoyed my round and those clubs.

If that had been the last time I played the Callaways I wouldn’t be writing this post (or enjoying my new six-figure contract!), but I got to play them again a couple months ago when I hooked up with fellow Goodboy “Doggy Duval” McLaughlin for a spur-of-the-moment weekend while he was in Sin City for a business conference. Back at Las Vegas National again, I got to play the same clubs and really enjoyed the way they felt; from the first hit of the day (a big push to the left under a big palm tree) I felt like I had played these clubs forever. This time around, I hit the woods about the same as back in May, but found myself getting used to the wedges and chipping a lot better. I smoked a bunch of hybrid shots that day and crushed the longest drive of my life on a par-four dogleg left that actually sucked leaves off of the trees on both sides of the fairway. Sure, I screwed up the approach shot and two-putted for a crowd-pleasing bogey, but you get the picture: The Great White Shank had found the love of his (golf) life.

I was thinking of those clubs the last time I played golf with the Cobras and a few Goodboys a few weeks back. Taking a few swings outside my parents apartment before heading out, I felt like I was playing foreign clubs – the Cobras just felt different. And it was then I decided that twenty years of playing Cobras were over; the round I would play that day at Green Meadow G.C. in Hudson, NH would be the last round I would play with Cobra clubs.

This past weekend I found a great company that would pay good cash for my Cobra clubs and a great deal on the Callaway RAZR X HLs – far better than any local retailer – so the deed is done. When I meet the Goodboys in a couple of months time in Vegas I’ll be hitting my new Callaways in a Goodboys setting for the first time. I’m not expecting miracles here – after all, I am The Great White Shank – but it will be great, no matter what score I shoot, to play with clubs I really love to hit, and I’m looking forward to many forays out to the Superstition Springs Golf Club range to get to know my new RAZR X HLs more intimately.

Six-figure contract aside, I’m still not a 100% Callaway guy, however – I’ve still got my original Dynacraft putter that Doc’s friend old Grant Carrow made me more than twenty years ago. Like most golfers, my putter and I have had a love/hate relationship for many years, but I’ve never found another putter as light and comfortable as that Dynacraft. After a week at Callaway’s sponsor orientation program and a two-day stay at the Von Schlieffen Institute for the Course Management Challenged I’ll be ready to embark on the next phase of my golf existence: that of a RAZR X HL player.

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 21:57 | Comments (2)
2 Comments »
  1. You have got to be the only person on the planet that can create a readable account about golf clubs…you actually had me reading this all the way through…I am still stunned.

    Comment by Jana — November 28, 2012 @ 5:09 am


  2. Bringing it to the masses, baby! That’s what The Great White Shank does best: unnecessarily complicating the obvious and making enjoyable and readable the inconsequential.

    Comment by The Great White Shank — November 28, 2012 @ 10:02 am


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