Across a table from one another, each with their own chair, I seat a golfer, lacking any clubs to utilize, and opposite to him a set of golf clubs, at which point I investigate as to which one is willing and able to play the game of golf and play it better. I instruct the golfer to go play in accordance with certain rules and I giggle as I watch him swat at a golf ball barehanded to try and get it into a hole some four-hundred yards away. Still, he does manage to ultimately get the job done. Contrarily, in doing nothing more than taking up space in the other chair, I eventually tire of the seeming obnoxiousness of the golf clubs just sitting there as I instruct them to attempt the same task. Perhaps on a different day things might turn out differently, but today I come to the conclusion that it is only the golfer and not the golf clubs that is able to play and achieve success at golf.
I feel an extreme confidence in my newfound knowledge, yet I just hate to see the golfer be at such a disadvantage to other players who choose to fabricate and use clubs (allowed under game rules) to help them hit a golf ball farther and get it into the hole in fewer strokes, the object of the sport. So I construct what I perceive as relatively inconsequential, though helpful golf clubs and give them to my new friend, being quite self-assured that he will be able to compete better with others. Oops, with a nonchalant attitude perhaps a factor, I find I have inadvertently chosen and installed essentially weightless club heads on my friend’s clubs, but my belief remains steadfast. I explain to him in no uncertain terms that I have completed the appropriate research and conclusively determined that golf clubs do not play the game, golfers do, and that my error would be insignificant. I tell him no big deal, he will be fine, and instruct him to start competing alongside other players. As the others finish up on the eighteenth hole, my student is still swinging away and trying to hit his golf ball with the clubs I made for him into what might well be only the first or second hole, and I soon lose my friend just as quickly as I found him. I subsequently ponder a bit more as to whether my ex-friend had some kind of problem or if I should reevaluate my research, contemplating that maybe there is a chance my initial conclusion, accurate as it appeared to be, is flawed in some way.
Upon further, comprehensive examination, it becomes abundantly clear to me that those who contend good players can play with virtually anything, that it is the golfer alone who either has talent or not, and that the golf clubs have very little to do with the performance of that talent, are people who should be dismissed in a heartbeat with regard to their knowledge about such matters. At best, individuals who are perceptibly more discerning are implying, whether consciously or not, that golf club specifications for a wide range of golfers have been tested and verified over a very long period of time, that these parameters have generally fallen within a rather narrow range of values, and that good players can often play acceptably well with such “close” golf clubs at any given time (although long-term consistency is another matter). In fact, there is some truth to this statement.
For those of us lucky enough to have no physical or psychological handicaps, human hands do come in different sizes, but we are not talking in terms of miles between the largest and smallest specimens. Our physical strengths certainly vary, yet it is not like having literally no strength as opposed to the equivalent of a ten-ton press from minimum to maximum regarding humans. And the bodies we are granted can only be made to move so fast given our relative strengths and the conditions present on planet Earth that we must swing through. As a result, the typical variance in values from the minimum to the maximum for golf club specifications turns out to be really quite small. For example, the difference between a junior sized golf grip and the largest size generally used by men golfers is no more than about one-quarter of an inch in diameter. Total golf club weights are ordinarily in the ten to twenty ounce range, or about one pound of weight give or take half a pound. And the way golf clubs have been commonly balanced for near a century now to help golfers swing with their best rhythm and timing, comprises little more than one ounce of club headweight differential from the lightest preferences of women to the heaviest choices of men with respect to the same golf club. It should not be hard to understand from this that someone with satisfactory talent might be able to rent anything within these rather narrow ranges and still have at least a reasonable chance of playing acceptably. Sometimes he may play very well, thus a good golfer can certainly be said to be capable of playing well with less-than-perfect golf clubs. Sometimes, however, he will not play well, depending on many factors. So this scenario is at best limited only to usual and customary golf clubs, and not of course extended to putting an anvil on the end of a golf shaft.