Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Choosing a Driver

Take the driver to begin with, and the preliminary word of advice that I have to offer concerning the choice of this club is at variance with the custom of the present moment, though I am confident that before long the golfing world will again come round to my view of the matter—not my view only, but that of many of the leading amateur and professional players. One of the problems which agitate the mind of the golf-club maker deals with the best and most effectual method of attaching the head of the club to the shaft. For a very long period this was done by what we call scaring or splicing, the neck of the club having a long bevel which was spliced with the shaft and bound round for several inches with black twine. Latterly, however, a new kind of club has become the fashion with all but the oldest and most experienced players, and it is called the socket driver. The continuation of the neck of this club is shorter than in the case of the spliced driver, and instead of there being any splicing at all, a hole is bored vertically into the end of the neck and the shaft fitted exactly into it, glued up, and finally bound round for less than an inch. This club certainly looks neater than the old-fashioned sort, and the man who is governed only by appearances might very easily imagine that it is really more of one piece than the other, that the union of the shaft with the head has less effect upon the play of the club, and that therefore it is better. But experience proves that this is not the case. What we want at this all-important part of the driver is spring and life. Anything in the nature of a deadness at this junction of the head with the shaft, which would, as it were, cut off the one from the other, is fatal to a good driver. I contend that the socket brings about this deadness in a far greater degree than does the splice. The scared or old-fashioned drivers have far more spring in them than the new ones, and it is my experience that I can constantly get a truer and a better ball with them. When the wood of the shaft and the wood of the neck are delicately tapered to suit each other, filed thin and carefully adjusted, wood to wood for several inches, and then glued and tightened up to each other with twine for several inches, there is no sharp join whatever but only such a gradual one as never makes itself felt in practice. Moreover, these clubs are more serviceable, and will stand much more wear and tear than those which are made with sockets. Sometimes they give trouble when the glue loosens, but the socketed club is much easier to break. On club links generally in these days you will probably see more socketed drivers and brassies (for these remarks apply to all wooden clubs) than those that are spliced; but this is simply the result of a craze or fashion with which neat appearance has something to do; and if you desire to convince yourself that I am right, take note of the styles of the drivers used by the best players at the next first-class amateur or professional tournament that you witness. The men who are playing on these occasions are ripe with experience, and so long as they get the best results they do not care what their clubs look like.

No comments:

Post a Comment