Consider for a moment various occupations that surround golf clubs. There are players of course, who must use clubs to perform their best. There are those who assemble and/or repair golf clubs, and then those who possess the ability to help fit clubs to golfers, which is altogether different than repairing clubs. Next there are golf club designers, which may embody complete golf club design and performance or can focus solely on the design of individual components of club heads, shafts, and/or grips. I assure you, one can be a good designer of clubs and yet know little about golf swing and club fitting fundamentals. Some passionately concentrate on developing specialized tools used in the golf club trade. Others are heavily involved in club testing, compiling and analyzing such data for various purposes. And do not forget the marketing and journalistic positions needed to promote golf clubs or the services in connection with those clubs.
That is quite a mouthful just to say let alone to become talented in, and I am quite sure I even missed some related tasks. I often contemplate first about whether any individual or distinct group could develop a passion for detailed learning about all or even most of these vocations, as many require skills and interests that are very different from others. Second, I wonder whether any entity could become expert in all cited areas if that were the expressed goal, and if tried, I query the motive(s) for tying to do so. Now certainly there can be some overlapping between many of the above-mentioned occupations. To illustrate, until very recently I predominantly had a passion for wanting to play golf for a living since taking up the sport. My extremely narrow focus was on working to develop and understand my golf swing plus comprehend all other factors that could possibly affect my swing and the way a golf ball subsequently traveled. This naturally includes the understanding and fitting of golf clubs and golf club specifications as they relate to playing the game. In referencing that mission against the golf-club-related professions I listed, by my own standards I may only be sufficiently able in a couple of the skills, having little experience in many of the other activities. Notwithstanding this, the amount of exhaustive experimenting that needs to be done with various golf clubs and club specifications to learn about clubfitting in general, and more specifically about what is best for one’s game and why, really leaves little choice but for one to learn some basic clubmaking skills and extend into that job too. But this is purely incidental to my main goals. I have learned what I needed to in order to fit and work on my golf clubs and not go broke, but I cannot stand working on my golf clubs, and most club makers (not club fitters) could probably outperform my talent in that regard.
As I continue to work on my game to this day, when I am done expending my daily maximum effort toward improving my golf swing, golf club fitting, and other interdependent skills, I prefer anything other than more golf work. I would rather force myself to sit though a baseball game played by a certain unnamed team from the north side of Chicago than design any part of a golf club. I simply have no interest in club designing, nor is any such experience requisite to learn competent golf club fitting theory and practice. My attitude has always been if the best golfers in the world can shoot the scores they do, very often with designs of golf clubs that have been around for ages already, then so would I as soon as I learned how to fit my clubs right, end of story. My swing has not been a concern for me for decades, and I unpretentiously say that my extensive baseball experience and competition has had a great deal to do with that enduring confidence. On yet another front, I am rather inspired to write this blog. I do not want my experiences to go unrecorded, and I do cherish the thought of helping others. Still, part of me feels that I should not be expanding my activities, at least at this time. I seem destined for some kind of highly specialized, narrow cause, lending further credence to the thought that it might be an impossible task to become passionate enough about all of the named golf club callings to aid in being an “authority” in all of the fields.
Despite the fact that there can be an overlapping of some talents between the portrayed occupations, each in and of itself may be separately considered to be a really rewarding pursuit, with a lifetime of effort given to and learning gained from that one specialty while perhaps still never totally understanding just that one vocation. Golf club multitasking, therefore, may be problematic with respect to some subjects if too many distinctive tasks are undertaken. The science/art of clubfitting is clearly at the top of such a list. With that in mind, next time I will take a brief look at the work of a couple of the more well-known golf club multitaskers who have attempted golf club fitting theory and practice within their respective bodies of work, Ralph Maltby and Tom Wishon.