I’ve used the “Pick me!” line from Shreck 1 a lot. The one where donkey jumps up and down with the answer. I add an extra “pick me” for emphasis; one of those reality-changers we convince ourselves is correct/how it was. After years of using swapped, borrowed and donated irons, I committed to a fitting and a purchase of clubs whose specifications were identical to the ones I needed. A brace new world? Boldly go where I hadn’t been before? Uh-huh.

I know a guy. My guy is name John Lindner. He’s also named Bill Lindner. I like these guys. They are players. They aren’t 6’5″ with arms like Bunyan and super-sonic swings. They have been in business for 25 years, building and fitting clubs. These fellows know golf equipment. About three weeks ago, I stopped in to commit to a new relationship: me and my Pings.

Why Pings? I love them. To each wizard, his wand. Since the early 1990s, when I had a set of Eye2 irons, I’ve loved Pings. Mizuno, Wilson Staff and Hogan forged blades have done time in my bag, each with great success. I never felt like I had mastered an iron, though, at any other time than Ping Eye2 time.

John Lindner grabbed me an iron and wrapped a little Mizuno device around it. The device measures lots of characteristics of your swing. What it told me (gasp!) was that my swing speed indicated I should have regular (not stiff!) shafts in my irons. “But that’s impossible. I’ve always used stiff! I have stiff in my metals and hybrids!” That was my response. John smiled. “You can buy stiff. What I’m telling you is what the machine is telling me. Your swing speed, etc., call for regular shafts. Take this iron and hit it for a few days, then tell me how it went.”

So I left. And hit that iron. And got yelled at by the ranger at Sheridan Park. Then got escorted off the course by the ranger at Sheridan Park. What a grumpy guy. But I hit that club well. And I went back. John said “It’s ok to hit stiff shafts in your metals and hybrids. You’re using graphite, for one, and the shafts are longer, for another. Metal shafts are naturally stiffer and iron shafts are shorter, which increases their stiffness.”

Well, friend, let me tell you, I was sold. After a few more measurements, we settled on Ping I-20s and out the door I went. I had the opportunity to play two rounds with them before high school tryouts started and crikey, did things go well. 76 at Park and 77 at Sheridan. Can you believe it? I know what you’re thinking: honeymoon period. Maybe so, maybe not. I suspect not. I’ll let you know.