Not adored and respected like the first born and definitely not pampered like the baby in the family, the middle child spends a lifetime, usually in vain, trying to show the world, their siblings, and especially their parents, the talents and love that they have to offer.
They're good people, for crying out loud, and all they're asking for is just a small amount of love and acknowledgement. Is that too much to ask?
Ladies and gentleman, I give you the golf shaft.
Smack in the middle of the coddled, soft new grip and the impressive, much loved club head. Heck, the club head even has a 'face' to which the owner/parent can give that knowing look of approval, a look that says 'unconditional love.'
The shaft? Well, it's just a stick really. A branch that's fallen from a tree on a windy day. Where's the shiny titanium like you get in the club head, or the baby-like soft leather that you feel when wrap your hands around the grip?
Yes, the shaft, as you begin to realize, truly does get the shaft. And with a name like shaft, you can only imagine, it can only lead to more tasteless jokes and more embarrassment.
But at the PGA Show things are different. The middle children unite and do a pretty good job at making the golfer/parent realize their potential. Laugh no more they say, for we are truly the heart and soul of the golf club.
There's even, I kid you not, a sense of pride, the sticking-out-of-the-chest kind that imparts a 'we are comfortable in our own skin' feeling.
So with that, here's a sampling of a few of the companies and some of their new offerings:
True Temper and Grafalloy, who they purchased in 1998, is rolling out what they believe is the first ultra-light golf shaft designed specifically for today's oversized drivers, the Grafalloy Blue.
They spared no expense in launching the new product at the show by hiring Blues Brother impersonators, who sang and danced with those who gathered around their stage. And damn if they didn't look a lot like Jake and Elwood.
United Sports Technologies (UST) joined forces with the famed Harmon family - Butch, Bill, Dick and Craig - and introduced the new Harmon Tour Design. The FZ, GX and CB series all are co-designed by the new team, with the emphasis on good players and their different ball flights.
Penley rides the back of big John Daly and his annual leading of the PGA Tour in driving distance, by offering the new John Daly Signature. The shaft produces an optimum launch angle with a boring trajectory to create maximum carry and roll.
Full Coverage of the 2003 PGA Merchandise Show