May 22, 2018

I was tired, man.

Like, dead-tired.

Like, as dead tired as man could be coming off of suicide watch.

Like, as dead tired as a man coming off of suicide watch after being strapped into the electric chair for 45 minutes before being told, “Never mind” after the governor pardoned him for all eternity after discovering the dude never committed the crime he had been convicted of.

That kind of tired.

Last week was a bad week. Every time we thought we were “thisclose” to a breakthrough at “The Client Who Shall Remain Nameless”, there were all kinds of crap coming down on us. Then on Thursday night, we got word of a huge flaw in our workflow that threatened to send us back to the bad old days of February; I went to bed as dejected and depressed as I’d been in weeks, only to find out in the morning that the moron responsible for the QA had made a mistake and, oh, everything looked good after all. Sorry about that, fellas!

So on Friday afternoon I had to get away. I didn’t have my clubs with me, but I knew I could drive to the Golf & Ski in Nashua, NH and tell one of the salespeople there I wanted to try some new clubs out and he’d be more than willing to give me a small bucket.

Looking at all the clubs I could feel all the stress starting to lift; I was once again a kid in a candy store. I wasn’t really planning on doing anything other than hit some balls to see how my back felt, so just for yucks I grabbed three 7-irons off the rack: a Mizuno JPX 900 with a steel shaft, a Ping G with a steel shaft, and, just for the heck of it, a TaylorMade M2 with a graphite shaft. The Mizuno and the Ping I had tried a year ago when shopping around for new irons, the TaylorMade I had tried in a steel shaft at the same time.

I remembered the feels of the Ping and the Mizuno and remembered why I had settled on my final choice of the Callaway Steelhead XRs at the time. Still, it felt good just to stretch out my back and hit some balls. And while I didn’t like either of the clubs that much, I didn’t hit them bad, and the warm afternoon sun was a nice departure to the endless crises, phone calls, and the laptop. It also didn’t hurt knowing that in less than an hour’s time I’d be enjoying Mexican food and Margaritas just up the road a piece.

I’d grabbed the TaylorMade M2 as an afterthought: I’d been a “steel” man for so long I’d never even considered hitting irons with a graphite shaft. But one swing later, feeling the way the shaft responded to a solid “on the screws” hit, the ball taking a longer and higher trajectory than I’d ever seen me hit with a 7-iron hit, I was damned intrigued. Three balls later, all hit so-so, I was enthralled. A dozen balls later, I was in love-love-love. Like, “hey mister, can we make a deal on these clubs even though I can’t afford the price and I’m two thousand miles away from home” kind of love-love-love.

Well, almost. But boy, they sure felt great. Better than any iron I’d ever hit before. Better than my Steelhead XRs, for sure.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve grown to like my Callaway Steelhead XRs, but one thing that annoys me about them is that every hit kind of has a similar feel. I mean, you know when you hit them either fat or thin, but when you hit them on the screws you never get that sense of accomplishment, that sense of the club saying to you, “Dude, you done good.” With the TaylorMade M2, not only did they seem to hit the ball higher – something I really enjoyed watching – but they seemed to go longer, perhaps a club length longer for me. After hitting another mini-bucket, not only was my back feeling good, I was feeling good. Like the way hitting balls should make you feel.

A few of my Goodboys friends joined me on Sunday when I tried the M2 7-iron out again. The way the club felt only served to confirm what I felt on Friday: these were the clubs for me. And the boys were suitably impressed as well. So that was that: I had already found I could get a great deal on the clubs at the PGA Tour Superstore website (after all, TaylorMade had stopped manufacturing the M2s six months ago), and, better yet, I could also get a very decent trade-in for my Steelheads at 2ndSwing.com.

So that’s it: The Great White Shank’s “Callaway era” is over. It was OK while it lasted – not great, just OK. Had some good rounds between the old RAZR-Xs and the Steelheads, but the M2 is the first iron I’ve truly fallen in love with. They’re light (something that will force me not to over-swing), the black graphite shafts have a nice sinister look to them, and they feel really good in my hands. I’m looking forward to seeing how the other clubs hit and putting them into competition.

Oh, and as far as “The Client Who Shall Remain Nameless” is concerned? We actually had a good weekend, and I hope we’ll be past the critical phase that we’re presently in by this time next week. Something to hope for, anyways. Because I’ve got a bunch of time off I would like to start taking: time off that includes a few consecutive rounds of Friday golf with my Cobra woods and hybrids, my Ping Scottsdale putter, and my TaylorMade M2 graphite irons.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 22:49 | Comments (0)
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