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EBAY and Golf Equipment

OK – Ebay can be a bit risky.  I ordered the Cleveland CG1’s with the “Tour Issued” heads and “Tour Issued” shafts I talked about in the last post and received them fairly quickly.  They are beautifully set up with near perfect heads (marks only on the sweet spot – a great golfer had these heads), beautiful silver graphite shafts with a blue Project X logo, and blue and black half cord grips from Golf Pride (the kind I use now).  I was excited to hit them!  I went out to the range the next day (yesterday) during lunch prepared to make an objective assessment of them.  I already own the Hogan APEX’s with wonderful Graphite Design GAT 95 shafts – but they launch a little high.  I was looking for a little lower trajectory.  I hit the 7 iron 3 or 4 times…lookin’ good.  I then hit the 5 iron 3 times and the head flew off!  As I walked the 40 yards or so into the range to retrieve the head I was beginning a slow burn.  Calming myself, of course then I began the second guessing game…were these the real shafts?  Who is this guy anyway? 

The guy I bought the irons from seemed genuinely surprised when I told him about my experience with the irons he sold me.  He told me admittedly that he had kept them in the garage the last 6 months in the cold (Georgia).  He is refunding my money.  I am sending them back today.  Happy ending except for time and a little expense with postage.  I will use the process at EBay to ensure all know how this went down. 

I have had a lot of luck with EBay in both selling and buying golf equipment.  They do an excellent job of keeping people honest and structuring the process so that people police themselves.  They also have process and means to arbitrate when – if the deal goes bad for some reason – the buyer and seller get together and cannot come to an agreement to settle.   I have never had to go through this process myself, but my wife has.  I believe she was happy with the outcome. Someone had agreed to buy a product, the highest bid, and then did not pay.  The problem with that is that there were people this person outbid who would have paid.  Through arbitration, EBay allowed the next highest bidder to pay the high bid price if they desired and they did…everyone was happy in the end, but not without a little angst.

You can find some really terrific deals on EBay, but you have to know details about what you want to buy.  I always back up information with some internet research prior to pressing the “Buy It” button.  I also try and provide detailed background information, precise condition information on the specific product, and detailed photos when I sell.  To be truthful, I had a little voice talking to me about these irons.  Project X does not illustrate iron shafts in graphite on their website, however, there are some recently fielded models of irons that come with Project X graphite shafts – Nike is one of them.  Since they are “Tour Issue” I suppose I gave the benefit of the doubt that they were pre-fielding shafts…but of course, they could be “pulls” put into CG1 heads.  Likely, the case is the latter since I had the experience I did with the 5 iron.  A well mounted shaft should never let go of the head like that…even if it sat outside in the elements of Rhode Island, let alone in a garage in Georgia.  Lesson learned and little voice – I’ll try and listen to you next time.

Happy New Year 2011

Another new season is here.  It is a little difficult to watch the professionals playing on television in Hawaii, it makes you want to get out and play and therefore brave the cold weather.  I have been playing in very marginal weather here in southeastern Virginia the past couple of weeks.  A couple of Sundays ago the snow came and melted twice during the playing day.  Of course, after the first snow had come and gone, there I was out there again only to be pelted by snow once more two holes into it.  I gave up, but there were some who braved on later in the day.

I have been riding the cart a lot in recent months, a knee problem, but I walked yesterday – well, semi-walked.  That is, I don’t think you really walk a round unless you actually carry your bag.  But, now that I think of it and feel my back and knee this morning, I am going to make that rule apply only to the under 50 crowd.  If you are 50 or over, anytime you are not sitting and moving is good and should be encouraged…in fact, the mere idea of being above ground and outside moving around is good. 

I have one of those tricycle bag carts that I push.  The three wheeled cart is really very nice and kind of the best of both worlds (walking and riding) if you get the right cart.  Mine has some places to conveniently keep things like pens, glasses, wallet and blackberry (on buzz), a parking brake (yes it needs one becasue it is that smooth), and some other nice extras.  I bought it at the All Marine Golf Try-Out Tournament in South Carolina last fall.  I hadn’t realized that the tournament did not allow riding, so I purchased the push cart I have now from the pro shop.  I used a rental pull cart the first day, but that was painful – those of you who have used one of those rental pull carts before know what I am talking about. 

I am doing some experimenting with equipment early this year.  Of course, there is always room to experiment throughout the year isn’t there…?  My driver is set – PING G15.  I have changed my 3 wood and utility wood back to the Bobby Jones (I am really striping the 3 wood right now).  My irons are currently Hogan APEX FTX with Graphite Design GAT 95 shafts.  These shafts have a great feel, but a little high on the launch.  Not complaining, the irons feel absolutely terrific, just thinking.  I have some Cleveland CG1’s with Project X 6.5 Tour Issue Graphite shafts coming this week.  I am expecting a little lower ball flight, we’ll see.  With those irons ($300 from ebay seller) will come a putter as a bonus – a Taylormade Daytona Rossa putter (white).  The irons alone were a great deal, but an added treat with the putter as it goes for $129 new.  Anyway, I had found 3 classic PING putters at a flea this winter for not much each and with new grips I have found I like to use 2 of them.  We’ll have to wait for the putter choice as the game bag go to putter until the weather gets nicer and the greens get into springtime condition.

Looks like I’ll have some ebay deals for someone else in a few months.  Look for 1putt on ebay.