“Don’t Fall In Love On Demo Day”. We're not familiar with this adage from Johnny Miller. Miller noted that once he found irons that he trusted, he wouldn’t change them out.
If new gear didn’t cost what it does, we’d be as loyal as a bead collector at Mardi Gras.
How pros hone in on what they are looking for is a combination of comfort (and excessive testing) as well as the almighty dollar. Chasing a buck has lead to some real head-scratching disasters:
- 5 of the worst equipment changes
- Some of the most costly equipment changes
- Phil changing to Callaway on the eve of the 2004 Ryder Cup
- Justin Rose dropping Taylor Made to briefly endorse Honma
As part of any club change, players tune in their “go to” specs, maybe nobody more maniacally than Tiger Woods. He was so focused on his ideal specs, that he was disappointed he hit the new TaylorMade irons “too far”. Yeah, that's a real problem.
Woods was a Nike man, until they pulled out the rug back in 2016, forcing all their pros to hunt for new equipment providers. Some like Tommy Fleetwood have just signed on with a new company.
Others like Brooks Koepka and Paul Casey have remained free agents, playing sets more mixed than a James Bond’s martini.
Some golfers, like Charles Howell III are notorious tinkerers who like to fiddle. Whereas free agent status appeals to a growing number of players, not just the Koepka’s, Casey’s and Rose’s of the world:
Thankfully the Cleveland VAS 792 irons, the Hammer X driver and the Ping Doc putter are relegated to the dustbin of golf equipment history and won’t be making an appearance any time soon.