Golf-Tech-Porn and the r7 Quad

The new TaylorMade r7 Quad looks really nice, but will it help your game?

r7quad.jpgI finally got a chance to go out and play a round this weekend; between work and a pregnant wife, my golf time has become scarce. So, when my father-in-law called to ask if I could find some time to make an 8:20, I jumped all over it… after checking with my wife.

Standing in line to check in at the pro shop, I overheard the following snippet of conversation between the guy who was paired with us and one of the guys in the pro shop:

“So, have you had a chance to try out the new r7?”
“Yeah, I got one.”
The weekend duffer gets excitedly interested. “Really?!? What did you think?”
“Awesome. I was hitting the ball around 310, 315 yards off the tee.”
Wistfully, “Wow.”
“I mean, that was average. I hit it, what did I say Lisa? 325?”
Lisa, the lady behind the counter, perks up for a moment and responds with a wry grin. “Yeah, 325. Must have had a lot of roll…”
Undaunted, the pro shop employee continues. “Sure. 325 yards. The ball just exploded off the tee …”


At this point in the conversation, our weekend duffer couldn’t take any more golfer’s envy, and exited to the practice green. As we paid, the pro shop employee reminded us of the clearance they were having. On a whim, I picked up a r7 Quad (not on clearance) and checked the price tag.

$499.00

I fell into the same golf-tech-porn trap. Giant clubhead. Nifty removable, reconfigurable inserts. Tiger Woods-esque dreams of 300+ yard drives, greens in two shots, sometimes one…

Then, I remembered my game: sneakily reappearing slice, 3W off the tee for more control, and a good round marked by hitting half the fairways in regulation. Who was I kidding?

We wandered off to start our round, and much to my surprise, after a few rough holes my game looked halfway decent. Marsha, the wife of the weekend duffer I overheard in the pro shop, was noting with interest my usual jovial dismay with the state of my golf game. Around the thirteenth hole, when I realized I was probably going to break 100 for only the second time this year, she leaned toward me conspiratorily.

“You know, Braz, over sixty percent of the golfers in the world shoot over 100?”

I don’t know if Marsha said that to try to lift my spirits or put my mind at ease, but it did get me thinking about that r7 Quad and the chances of it ending up in my bag. Looking at clubs like that and the new Ignite, I can’t help but wonder at the success the golf industry has had with golf-tech-porn:

  • “Oooh! Look at the size of his club head.”
  • “Yeah, but to swing this thing, I had to get the extra-stiff shaft.”
  • “I really like the way that long putter helped get rid of my yips.”
  • “I just read Golf Digest for the articles…”

Why would I want to spend $500 on a single club? If I were a scratch golfer, I might be able to get some use out of the club – use the weights to shape my shots, for example, to compensate for a temporary fade or draw. Or, if I knew I was playing at a course that doglegged predominately to the left, I could adjust the weight to favor a slight draw. But, then again, I can’t adjust the weights during play. So, once I set up before the round, I can’t touch it until after the round. It’s like spending $500 for the Swiss Army Knife of drivers, but you can only use one tool at a time.

And, if you’re looking lustfully at the r7 Quad I think you need to ask yourself: “Self, what do I hope to gain out of this club?”

Are you looking for surprisingly increased distance and accuracy without a lot of work at the range? 300-yard drives when you’re only driving 250 now, and 70% or more hit fairways when you’re barely hitting 50% now? Ask yourself, is this realistic?

I don’t think any club can replace sound fundamental skills. I think of Saturday’s round, and Marsha’s dead-straight drives of around 200 yards. I think about her excellent putting, and her so-so short game. She shot a 92, and beat me by seven strokes, though I was already outdriving her by about fifty yards.

Would a new driver have helped either of us? Marsha needed better execution on her mid- to short-irons. I needed to find what I did with my putter, and remember to leave most of my woods in my bag this season. So no, I don’t think a new r7 Quad would have helped either of us. Practice, on the driving range and practice green respectfully, would help far more, coupled with a few lessons from a club pro. Given Marsha’s little statistic, I think that goes for most of you, too.

And, did I mention that Costco has the R580 XD for only $199?

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