I had a strange experience the other day.
Although I'm quite a high handicapper, I can usually hit my irons fairly well and fairly straight.
Woods, however, are a different story. I have long since given up on the driver, but keep Walter Hagen AW 3 & 5 woods in my bag. I can hit these long, but usually with such a truly hideous slice that my tee-shot ends up in the water / trees / out-of-bounds. I have been working on the woods at the range. The best I can achieve is a moderate fade. On the course, this usually just becomes a hacker's slice.
I was playing last Friday, and having a thoroughly miserable time off the tee. By the 10th I'd just given up on the woods and was teeing off with a 3 or 4 iron. Painful for some of the long par 5s, but my woods were just absolutely wrecking my card.
One of the guys playing in our four-ball is quite new to the game, and has a classic "Goodwill / charity store" mix of clubs in his bag. Which, I noticed, included an old, beaten-up, persimmon 4 wood. On the 13th tee I politely asked if I could borrow it.
What a transformation! From the first hit, it found the middle of the fairway. And stayed there for my remaining drives for the round. Nice shots, too. Quite long, and with a nice shape to the shot.
I can't fathom this at all. I grew up hitting persimmon / laminate woods as a junior golfer in the 1980s, changing to metal woods (the old-fashioned, small headed type) in the 1990s. I returned to golf last year after barely playing for around 7 years. My irons are still the Ben Sayers Crown Customs (cavity backs, steel shafts), which I bought new in 1994. The Walter Hagen AW woods (massive heads, graphite shafts) I bought new last year when they were on sale at Dick's, and they are basically useless to me.
I wonder whether there is just some old muscle memory which enables me to hit a heavy, persimmon wood straight? A friend I was playing with also suggested that maybe the extra club-head weight is causing me to pull the face square at impact?
Or maybe I just can't get along with these gigantic, lightweight, modern woods.
It sounds crazy, but I'm seriously thinking of risking a few bucks on ebay and buying a couple of old persimmon woods provided they are in decent shape (my preference would be for a 2 & 4, like I used to hit back in the day). If it works consistently, maybe I'll just stick with the old technology.
I'm curious whether this is just my experience, or whether other golfers have ever noticed a greater degree of accuracy with the old persimmon woods, as opposed to today's high-tech clubs?