How Callaway Saved My Golf Game

cg-logo-strataLast year I was looking for the best advice on irons to enhance my golf game and was thrilled to buy the RAZR X irons – steel shafts, as per the paid club-fitting session with the golf professional. Why the club-fitter sold the steel shafts? Not sure, but hindsight says there might have been a better option other than what was in stock and perhaps on sale?

I aggravated an old elbow injury (a dislocated elbow with a broken funny bone, which was repaired with steel pins) and I had to stop before the end of the season last year. After taking 2 months off to heal the inflammation, I felt the steel shafted irons were contributing to the “tennis elbow” pain and felt a lighter swing weight would help alleviate further damage to my elbow. Anxious to get this issue resolved and get my irons ready for this upcoming golf season, I met with another golf professional who was extremely helpful, informative and wondered why the “professional club-fitter” didn’t ask me about any physical limitations.

After weighing my 7 iron, comparing that weight to other graphite irons, hitting balls with those other graphite shafted 7 irons, we concurred that a different shaft would be best. So she sent me on my way to Golfmart to discuss options with them, because her expertise is with TaylorMade equipment and felt they would be helpful with the Callaway irons.

This is where the apprehension begins, because I know going to the big box golf stores to purchase anything is always a drill of dejection. I will be ignored, dismissed and misguided until I just give up and leave the store.

I brought in my 7 iron, just in case I could talk them into putting in a different shaft so I could try it out on the course. I could decide whether or not this was the right shaft and replace it in all my other irons.

I asked for the golf pro’s recommended guys at the club-fitting area and they weren’t there. I should have left then. The first guy I spoke with in the club-fitting area, listened to me for a less than a minute, and then dismissed me to another employee. Ok, maybe he is new and this other guy is the expert. I again stated that I would like options for replacing the shafts due to the swing weight. The first words out of that guy’s mouth, “You don’t want to do that. It will cost you $25 -$30 per new shaft and another $20 each for us to install them.”

Did he ask me how much I was willing to spend? No. I anticipated the cost around $50 for each iron and was willing to spend that amount. It was blatantly clear he wasn’t interested in replacing the shaft when he walked me over to the used clubs and shows me the graphite set that included the 3 & 5 woods. I let him know I don’t need the additional woods and he stated “We don’t break up these sets and that’s how it is sold.” He then just walked away.

Yes, that is correct, he just walked away. I stood around for a bit, looked at other used clubs and wondered where he went. The drill of dejection was apparent and I was in self-denial that it couldn’t just keep happening… could it? It’s 2013! Rice and Moore are members now at Augusta.

As he walked to the back of the store, I stood in his way, basically to figure out where he went and what options, if any, he found for me. He asked me, “Did you find anything?” Ah no, I didn’t.  I don’t want to buy another set of clubs, I have clubs. He then begins this oration, “The golf head weight on a steel shaft is lighter than on a graphite shaft so replacing the shaft won’t work anyways. We could put in a different shaft but we may need to add tape weight to the head.” Blah, blah, blah…

I didn’t say anything and frankly I quit listening. I just let him tell me why he didn’t want to help me. Since I am under the impression that club makers have options if they want the swing weight to be the same with steel or graphite shafts and that doesn’t necessarily mean two different weight heads. Maybe my RAZR X irons was the exception to the rule; maybe the head weights are different. Maybe I won’t be able to replace the shafts. Maybe it’s time to give up and join the ranks of the other disillusioned golfers that don’t get any better, won’t get any better and can’t get any better.

He sums up my dejected visit with, “Call me and I’ll check to see what’s in” and then turns to walk away. Meaning, “what used clubs are in” that he can sell “whatever” to me. Which isn’t what I want, I just want a lighter swing weight in the irons I purchased last year!

Alas, I shook his hand, thanked him for his time and didn’t expect or get a business card or any further assistance.

It really comes as no surprise that women don’t take up the game of golf or keep up with it. It’s not the only taint of disparity that we must endure from just the retailers; it also follows us to the course. I watch the boys play badly from the blue tees, put up with them telling us to hurry up because we are slowing play and throw my hands in the air when they hit into us.

I want to be able to play this wonderful game of golf for as long as I can and enjoy the best I can play, provided I can get the proper equipment to match my physical limitations. I have a 13.4 handicap and a 235 yard drive; I am definitely not your average amateur women’s golfer. I only ask to be treated with the same courtesy and respect as men golfers, what the spirit of the game of golf enriches in us all. It is time to call Callaway Golf to see if they will be of nobler assistance.

I just got off the phone with Erin, the Callaway customer service representative. After explaining in perhaps over detail as to my equipment issues, she had the answer I was looking for. Of course you can put different shafts in Callaway irons. We knew that.

I was provided a RMA number and off went my clubs to get the graphite shafts I needed.

Thank you Callaway for keeping this ole gal in the game!

UPDATE: Just picked up my re-shafted irons. Callaway polished the heads so they look brand new. And when I got back to the office, a box of Callaway HEX Chrome golf balls had been delivered by UPS. (Sent to me via Callaway as a “sorry you had to put up with Golfmart”)


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