Good news from Demo Day

Thursday, June 1, 2006

June 1, 2006

Dear DC,

A few Saturdays ago I left the house mad at you over something or other and went to the annual Demo Day at the driving range. On Demo Day, the major golf companies send representatives who let golfers try out the latest clubs. With all the company canopies and banners flying, the atmosphere is festive. Sort of like an Arthurian joust.

Golfers line up on the mats and hit away all day long. Probably most have no intention of buying anything. They're there dreaming of finding a magic wand capable of making a golf ball obey.

Conventional golf wisdom holds that clubs become technologically outdated every few years. So even before getting mad at you I'd been thinking it might be time to trade in my ancient driver for a new one.

I tried a few, but none worked better than the one I already have. The golf company representatives are very good at correcting that situation. Mine dug into his bag for a minute before producing a club with a gleaming black head and golden shaft. It looked like a work of art that could be in a museum.

Pow, the first shot bolted through the sky in a rainbow arc, just like good drives are supposed to. I had to have it.

The rep wrote up the order, smiling I'm sure because his wife and children will be so glad he made at least one sale that day.

I still had an hour before my haircut appointment, so I decided to hang around and watch the other golfers at Demo Day. It was like a reverie. Golfers know that some of the sweetest moments of their days have been spent swinging a golf club.

I was merely looking at some of the irons when the same rep asked if I wanted to hit one. I warned him I wasn't in the market for new irons. He said that's OK, go ahead, hit some balls. A wily salesman, he was.

The first iron I tried was no magic wand. The rep offered me a different model.

The first ball went exactly where I aimed. This was more like it. The next five shots also landed where I wanted them to. Astonishing. "Is it the club or are you that good?" asked a golfer standing behind me. "I'm not that good," I assured him.

So you see, I had to have the irons, too.

I've been trying for weeks to think of the best way to let you in on this good news.

The other good news is that the golf clubs I bought probably will be the last ones I'll ever need. Conventional golf wisdom be damned.

You well know I don't ordinarily make large purchases without discussing them with you beforehand. But remember the day I came home to discover you'd impulsively bought a new washer and dryer? I didn't complain because I knew how much you love doing laundry.

And I've forgiven you for whatever you did to make me mad.

Love, Sam

Sam Blackwell is managing editor of the Southeast Missourian.

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