A look into the hot mess that my head is, and how it relates to my golf game.
Is matching golf equipment or being brand agnostic necessary? The short answer is no, you don’t need to have matching golf equipment. The truth is that we all know how much this game of ours is mental. At any given time, there is so much going through the 6″ between our ears that it’s hard to fathom.
Everything is there flipping around like hamster inside of a hamster wheel. We’re thinking about so many variables like a 1970’s “supercomputer” (although mine happens to be from “The Flintstones” era) where we are computing and translating so much information in such a short period of time, that, it sort of makes you marvel. Many of us have seen the diagram below, but on top of all of these swing thoughts there are other considerations. Golf course conditions, factoring in uphill or downhill slopes, the wind, the temperature, are we playing at sea level (crap, better club up) and the list goes on and on. When about it, it can be an uncomfortable and unpleasant feeling. Overwhelming perhaps?
Recently, I had an epiphany of sorts. It was documented about 20 years ago that I have an “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” (OCD) among many other ailments as I release the scroll. The OCD is something that I’ve really thought that I’ve ignored. As far as I’m concerned, it isn’t the debilitating type that you see with “Sheldon Cooper” on “Big Bang Theory” (knocking three time for Penny) nor is it the variety of OCD where I obsessively wash my hands or flick a switch so many times before leaving a house. Instead, I have an issue where once I start thinking about something I fixate or if I start something I can’t do it halfway and leave it to sit for another time. No, it has to be done and done now. As much as I credit my mom and dad while growing up teaching me “Son, if you start something you either finish it or you don’t start it at all”. It really is me and not them so much, I think. In a way, it’s sort of a blessing as I’ve appeared diligent in my various occupations.
Recently though, from a golf standpoint the OCD rose to the surface. What I once had written off as being a quirk has actually affected me more than I initially thought. It happened the one day recently at the driving range during a practice session. I was at Niagara Golf and Batting Cages and I was very casual. I was wearing a pink t-shirt that I made (Until The Next Tee Lifestyle), a grey fitted Titleist cap with pink writing, grey shorts, and a pink sock that may or may not have had white marijuana plants on it. I’ve been wearing an off-loader to help a diabetic foot ulcer heal and because I can’t wear matching shoes, I like to have a little bit of personality so colourful socks it is.
My wife then pointed out to me that the pink didn’t match the shirt because it was in fact, purple. I was paralyzed. As I gathered my bucket of balls, coffee, golf clubs, and made my way to the far end of the range to set up, there was a “buzzing” in my ears. I could NOT get my mind off of it. It bugged me the whole session. And that’s when the real “Eureka Moment” happened. OCD.
When it comes to buying and wearing golf apparel I have to wear clothing that matches. No, not just colours but brands. I feel so uncomfortable if my polo doesn’t match my bottoms, to the point where I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin. For example, I can’t wear an Adidas polo with a Nike Golf pair of shorts. If the shoes don’t match brands I’m okay with it. Yet, I don’t feel right when I wear grey, black, blue or any other colour of golf shoes. They don’t look right on my feet or so I think. Instead, they have to be at least 90% white. I think it’s why I continue to wear white belts even though at some point those that are “woke” have determined that white belts are gauche. I’ll put on a black belt and determine that it doesn’t look right. I won’t leave the apartment until there’s a white belt on.
I mentioned earlier about golfers being “brand agnostic”. This is something that I’ve been adamant about explaining to people about the golf equipment that they play. I’ve always been an advocate of “you always play the best equipment for your game”. Don’t worry about having a full 14-club setup unless you’re being sponsored by a certain brand or you sign an agreement. Heck, we’re seeing less of that on the professional tours worldwide. Back when I was playing Min-Tour’s what many of you don’t know is that I was a Titleist staffer. Of course, I had the agreement that I played nothing but Titleist golf balls (Pro V1 of course) and all golf clubs in the bag were Titleist. That was it. So having a totally matching set was a snap and my head never played tricks on me. But things got a little murkier recently for what seems to be a totally unjustified reason.
Getting ready to resume golf after our second or third lockdown (I’ve actually lost track) I was trying to get my starting WITB set-up in a way that if I were teeing it up in competition again it’s what I’d be rolling with. Before continuing on, my metals do not match my SUB 70 Golf 699 Pro irons. Nor do they match the wedges either (testing Edison Golf Forged Wedges for review). The putter is almost always an outlier and only matched when I played a Scotty Cameron Phantom Futura with Titleist. But the metals have to match. If one is say a Tour Edge Golf Exotics the all have to be. So, as I’m sorting out my bag I have a conundrum. What shouldn’t be an issue, turned into a mess.
I had won a TaylorMade Golf Stand Bag from Steam Whistle Brewing around The Masters. So, I placed my irons, wedges and putter into the bag. Now, my OCD takes over. So, I start to thinking, and that never ends well. Well Alex, you have a TaylorMade Golf Bag and TaylorMade Golf caps. Shouldn’t you be playing your TaylorMade SLDR driver, JetSpeed fairway metals, and SLDR Rescue? Even though, the results are great with the Tour Edge Exotics I felt like I had to switch everything up. Now, I’m at the range with no less than 9 metalwoods determining what the best set-up for me is and I’m trying to make a decision where my brain and OCD in particular are running the show.
For the life of me, I cannot combine the clubs with each other. It has to be one or the other. I suppose that with all of the counsel that I’ve given in the past to so many that this is, somewhat hypocritical. Play what’s best for your game. But what if you can’t get past the brain?
As it stands right now, Tour Edge Exotics are in the top end of my WITB, but lurking in my peripheral as I type this story are the TaylorMade clubs, almost talking to me. Is it a matter of time before they go back in, just because? Speaking of Tour Edge. The new Exotics C721 that I’m setting up to write a review on is a juggernaut!
My name is Alex, and I am, a neurotic mess.
Until The Next Tee!!