It’s no surprise that the golf club fitting process has changed over the years. And it’s also no surprise that PXG Ambassador Gary Player has been around to see a few of the changes for himself. With that in mind, we took a moment to get his take on things as he’s seen it from the evolution of fitted clubs, our top of the line golf equipment, and more in our latest video.
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How the fitting process has changed throughout my whole career is quite remarkable. We used to have to put a shaft in a club with epoxy glue, and I used to do that as an assistant. And then once you put the epoxy glue in there, you had a little cord and you wrapped it around and you tied it in a knot on top of that. And then you were scared that in spite of all that preparation, that the head might come off, which we invariably saw when we played golf, a head flying off the club, quite a common occurrence. So what we used to do then is have a little pin. We drill a thin hole through the shaft, right through the other side, and we put a little pin in there and then we’d rub the pin there and then rub the pin to make absolutely certain it doesn’t come off.
Now, once that was in there, you couldn’t change it. Now, you’ve got that little device, change it anywhere you like. When you’ve experienced what I did with the old clubs, never mind can you imagine what Bobby Jones, who might conceivably be the best player that ever lived. I mean, he played with a walking stick, a walking stick as a shaft and had no grooves on the club to speak about and a shammy grip. And it was so heavy and at St. Andrews in 1927, he shot 285, which is maybe one of the great scores of all time.
But the difference in the grips, you just slip a grip on now. You had to actually wrap the grip. You had to put an under the stick on, which was very sticky. And then you’d have to wrap that grip round there like this. And then again, you’d put the little tape or the cord around the end, so the wrapping wouldn’t come loose. So everything is so different. The shot I remember playing with Ben Hogan at West Chester, and it was one of those days where he said more than 10 words, and we were coming up and he said, “Fella, one day, you’ll see lightweight shafts, very, very light. And you’ll see different metals in clubs. And you’re going to see things change that you won’t believe in. And you’ll see a ball that’ll have different kinds of textures, and you won’t be able to slice it and hook it as much.” I went into lunch, he didn’t join us. And I said to the fellas, “I just heard the biggest hog wash I’ve ever heard today.” I couldn’t visualize what he was visualizing. Of course, at that stage he was in the golf course business.
So here today, we sit and we see a modern day rocket, a jet as compared to an ox wagon. It’s only when you’ve had the experience of playing with wood and playing with a heavy shaft, under the conditions that we played, or playing golf under the conditions that we played, the scores were quite unbelievable. I mean, you got fellows when we played, putting wise, that putted maybe better than the guys today, maybe better, but never putted on a green like this in their lives. And I look at a driver like this, and I love this driver so much that quite honestly, this PXG driver, I’m not exaggerating when I say this, I sincerely mean it. I hardly ever miss a fairway. Something that I never thought I would ever do. Of course, I’m a lot shorter now. I can hear the ball land when I hit it. It’s a lot shorter. But I’m going to buy a nightie for this club. And before I go to bed at night, I’m going to wrap this nightie round and put her on the end of my bed, so it stays hot.
That is an amazing difference. In fact, they have a 64 degree, and you watch Phil Mickelson, who is the best in the world at hitting these lofted lob shots. You couldn’t do that. You just couldn’t do that when we played golf, because you didn’t have the equipment to do it. So it’s remarkable. It’s not only the driver. It’s not only the fact that you can mishit it and be on the fairway. It’s everything. It’s the putters, it’s the irons. I mean, the lofts and the lies and the grips and the shafts. I mean, you have a choice of so many shafts today.