Sunday 20 August 2017

These are exciting times. After almost six years of hard labour and, at times, torture at my hands, the trusty Callaway FTs are being retired, having been replaced by a set of custom-fit Callway Steelhead XR irons, bought to mark my reaching state pension age as of yesterday. I have gone for the full monty from 5 iron through to lob wedge, my thinking being that by so doing I will have consistency of feelĀ  right through the set, rather than the wedges being rather different beasts to the irons. That theory was in fact the stand out finding from yesterday’s first outing with my new clubs, when the first Dad vs Tristan for quite some time took place at Chilworth as son number three had called in to mark my birthday.

I am still waiting for my favoured MCC Plus 4 grips to turn up at Chilworth so that Chris can fit them with the statutory four layers of tape, so yesterday I had to put up with standard grips, which did feel rather odd, it has to be said. Whether they will arrive tomorrow so that there is some chance I will have properly gripped clubs for Tuesday’s outing with the ambassadors remains to be seen. Fingers crossed they do.

Now you might have thought that Tristan would have been kind to me on my birthday. No such chance. For the duration of the round either I was 1, 2 or 3 up or we were all square, and all square it was after 18 holes. Shake hands and leave it at that? No way. So to the 10th tee it was for a playoff. Tristan duly won the hole. No sympathy for his aged parent then.

The new Steelheads may not have enjoyed a victorious debut, but I have the feeling that they are going to be good, probably good enough to be game changers. We shall see. As for the FTs, they had a final competitive outing last Tuesday, when the seniors played a team event in the Texas bramble format. They had clearly decided to go out with a final flourish, as they didn’t put a foot wrong all morning and that, combined with some good play from my partners on the day, ensured we took first place by a clear margin. If the Steelheads give me as much pleasure over the next few years as the FTs have done since 2011, I’ll be a happy golfer.

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