Remember when Rodney Dangerfield’s character in “Caddyshack” lugged a giant golf bag around loaded with what represented the most advanced golf equipment anyone could imagine?
We are all still waiting for a driver that dispenses ice-cold beer, of course. But otherwise, technology has made sharp advances since those days.
Today, it can be almost mind-numbing to see all the choices, all of which can be customized to anyone’s golf swing. The days of one-size-fits-all equipment are long over. Heck, even the subtle variations of golf balls are designed to maximize an individual golfer’s ability.
Those advances have helped make golf a more enjoyable endeavor for many. However, the array of new equipment has made shopping all the more complicated.
How best to find the right equipment at the right price?
Many golfers scour the Internet in search for the best “deal,” most likely buying a club with which they have never hit a shot. Sometimes that works. But often times it results in a club that produces more shanks than a leg of lamb.
Far better avenues exist to find the equipment that might actually shave strokes when put into action. One of the easiest and most effective ways to shop for equipment is to attend a demo day, such as Black Butte Ranch’s Demo Days & Tent Sale at Big Meadow on Saturday, May 23, and Sunday, May 24.
The reason is simple enough. On hand at Black Butte Ranch will be representatives from most of golf’s major manufacturers, including TaylorMade, Nike, Ping and Adams Golf. In addition, smaller manufacturers such as Hopkins Golf, which specializes in custom wedges, and Bettinardi Golf, known best for making high-end putters, will be at Big Meadow to show off their wares. Bridgestone Golf will also be on hand with its ball-fitting system.
Each representative will help golfers put the latest equipment through its paces, trying to hone in on the perfect fit, all free of charge. And the benefit of that becomes obvious the minute a golfer shows up.
“You get to try it all out and you have the experts from the companies there to tell you exactly what you should have,” says Jeff Fought, Black Butte Ranch’s director of golf. “They fit you on all their stuff, which is pretty cool. You are not just buying blind. You are actually letting someone watch you hit and saying, ‘That is the driver for you.’”
Clothing and shoe manufacturers, such as adidas Golf and Ashworth Golf will also be in attendance.
More than that, Black Butte Ranch will be hosting its annual tent sale, with much of the equipment and clothing that has been stocking the golf shop shelves at Big Meadow and Glaze Meadow. Clubs, balls and Black Butte Ranch logo apparel will be offered for 30 percent to 70 percent off retail.
It might be the best time of year to grab a bargain.
Even, if a golfer is not ready to buy and just wants to see what is new in golf and chat with other like-minded golfers, the Demo Days & Tent Sale is well worth the visit to Black Butte Ranch.
“Overall, it’s a really cool weekend,” Fought says.
And who knows? Maybe one of those manufacturers has finally figured out a way to dispense a locally made craft brew from a 10-degree driver. We can dream, can’t we?
The demo days will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. The tent sale will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Everyone is welcome and admission is free.