I was outbound from Orlando to Wilmington, N.C., Thursday afternoon for a member-guest with a dear friend and couldn't wait for the competition. I arrived at the ticket counter three minutes late to check in and got bounced to a flight seven hours later. I tried to invoke rule 33-7 and was rebuffed like I was looking to play in shorts from the forward tees at the U.S. Open.
At issue was the checking of my clubs, which prevented me from going stand-by on any flights other than the one they re-booked me on, which was the last of the day. I'm not a Tour player, I'm a guy who can scrape it around, so why would I be so emboldened to make sure that I have my equipment in this two-day battle of the average and delusional? Because to me, I'm the most important golfer in the world and my clubs are mine and only mine.
You ever feel reluctant to let a friend use your driver for fear he might put the dreaded 'dummy mark' on the top of the club? Share a football, basketball, bat and baseball all day long, but for the love of Hogan, Nicklaus and Palmer you're not gripping my babies.
In today's world you should get fitted for your equipment, which will give you an even deeper personal relationship with the beloved '14.'
Putters should come with a prenup, but while you're dating she's yours and anyone batting an eye at her could get a beatdown. Drivers are disposable but while in the relationship they seem flashy, new and full of the extra 15 yards. It's not just what's in the bag, it's also what's in the bag.
Personal bar marks, your gloves, pictures of the kids, your stinky rain suit that you wore when you had your career low and the bag you choose because it spoke to you and said 'I should be on your shoulder.'
Our instruments are our tools of ignorance. If we are going to go down it will be with our own weapons. I spent seven hours in the Orlando airport Thursday afternoon and enjoyed the banter on Twitter, the people watching, the nap in front of Spirit Air Gate 30, no flights coming in or out, but the thing that kept running through my mind and was the thing that seemed to mean the most: 'Please let the clubs get there come hell or high water by Friday at 9:10 a.m.' I was scheduled to land at 12:30 a.m. arriving at a course sight unseen for the first tournament day and I would feel better with 30 minutes of sleep with my 14 babies as opposed to nine hours of sleep and somebody else's crap.
We want to enter the arena with our clubs and if I do I'll take the results because its on us!! Your bag is a reflection of you, from the specs to the go-to towel that you've used since junior high. For those at the ticket counter who didn't understand my emotion, you must not play the game.