Here I am with the Perfect Club and the 2004 hole-in-one plaque.
On Christmas day 2003, I was at the house of my mother-in-law, Mimi Newell. The Newell tradition was to have a drink, chat, take pictures, eat in the early afternoon and then open presents. As I surveyed the pile of presents under her tree, I noticed a box that seemed to be just right for a golf club. Curious, I edged my way toward the box and noticed that my name was on it. I know that is rather silly behavior for somebody who had just turned 52, but, as we all know, men do love their toys and I admit to being particularly susceptible to anything golf related – clubs, balls, shirts, hats, sweaters, rain jacket, etc. Despite my keen interest in that long, narrow box, I managed to get through the early rounds of Christmas day at Mimi’s with the proper amount of respect for the Newell traditions.
Finally, after a quite fulfilling dinner, the family gathered around the tree. Unfortunately, my wife, Nancy, was appointed Santa Claus and I knew what that meant: I would be one of the last of the adults to receive his BIG present from Mimi. After dodging me for as long as possible, Nancy handed me the box, which I opened with the eagerness of a 10-year-old boy. I was right. It was a golf club, but not just any golf club, it was the Perfect Club.
Please stay with me here. I am not talking about the perfect gift for a golfer who is always looking for the next great piece of equipment. I am referring to what was the hottest, new club that was being advertised on The Golf Channel – Peter Kessler’s Perfect Club.
It was love at first sight. And, over the years, it lived up to its billing: “The Perfect Club is the most versatile club ever made. It replaces your utility clubs, 5 & 7 woods and your longest irons. It's also the easiest club to hit ever made. The Perfect Club flies as far or farther than the clubs it replaces and it's shorter in length which leads to more consistent ball striking.”
In truth, the Perfect Club led the hybrid revolution and it gave me many great moments, including my first hole-in-one on Friday, April 9, 2004. It is a moment in time that I will never forget. I was playing with Chuck Hunter, Jim Whitaker and Michael Watson. The flag was back middle, a legitimate 190 yards away. The ball landed on the left side of the green and then made a bee line for the cup. Within a few seconds, Whitaker, who knew that my mother-in-law had given the club to me, said you should call Mimi and he handed me his phone. She was as excited as I was.
The Perfect Club and I remained good and trusted companions until about a month ago when I finally had to admit that both of us were getting up in years. Neither of us were what we used to be. I am now on Social Security and the Perfect Club, which used to be reliable from 190 yards, had become my 170 club. Age has a way of sneaking up on you – and on golf clubs. If it sounds like I have anthropomorphized the Perfect Club, I would have to plead guilty. I think I have done so because my wonderful mother-in-law, Mimi, who passed away in 2010, and the Perfect Club will always be inextricably linked in my mind.
The bottom line is that the Perfect Club has been replaced by the Callaway Epic 20-degree hybrid with its HYPER SPEED FACE CUP. Our head pro, Andy Fisher, said it would be more forgiving and deliver more distance. He was right. It is a great club. However, the Perfect Club, which is now hanging up in my office, will always be my favorite club – as well as a great friend.
Allan (Current handicap: 12)