Woods are easier clubs to swing

The mailman rang the bell and half an hour later my golf game had been revolutionized. And very much for the better, too.

What the mailman brought was a tall thin parcel, which contained a handcrafted No. 9 wood.

Immediately after opening the parcel I shot up to the golf club. There was another member standing on the 10th tee, about to play nine himself, so we joined up. He looked at my thin ''pencil'' bag with an air of disbelief. All he could see was four or five woods and a putter, although I was in fact carrying a 9-iron, too, for short shots and sand traps.

To cut a long story short, I was round that nine in 37 shots (par 36) and only used my 9-iron twice.

''Don't you use irons at all?'' my companion asked, for he had not noticed, being still somewhat aghast.

''Not anymore,'' I replied, and I proceeded to give him a faint outline of the theory of woods.

The basis of the theory is that woods are easier to swing than irons. It's simple as that. And when I say swing I mean swing as opposed to hit, punch, or whack.

Personally I have always found it rather difficult to swing my irons. And I suspect that this is true for other senior golfers. There is for some of us a kind of compulsion to hit.

This is not the same with a wooden-headed club. It sort of looks gentler. And if you stand upon any tee in any country watching any average set of golfers you will notice that those who try to make their drivers into hitting implements nearly always end up in the woods. Only trouble can come from trying to use a wood as an iron.

Meanwhile, a lofted wooden club will get the ball out of long grass much more easily, and to better effect, than any iron. At least it will if I'm on the other end of it.

Since that great day when my 9-wood arrived, I've broken 80 half a dozen times. My advice then to all fellow seniors is to get themselves a complete wooden set, including a wedge-wood and a wooden putter.

Take to the woods and keep swinging.

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