Sunday, November 20, 2005

What was I thinking?

A few years ago, I bought a PING Huffer stand bag for $170, and my brother said, "How can you do that?" I thought he was wacky for questioning why I would spend that not unsubstantial sum of money on a golf bag--and a PING bag at that. Over the next year or so, I came to an understanding that allowed me to ask myself: What was I thinking spending $170 on a lousy golf bag? Was I insane, temporarily seduced by the lure of brand name products? I must have been, because since then, I've played just fine without a brand name bag (until I got a Datrek IDS bag this weekend at Out of the Closet for $25--WOW!) I remember when I was 19, and I thought buying a Ralph Lauren shirt was like touching the hem of the Virgin Mary's robe. If I am indicative of the American public, I would imagine most apparel companies make most their money off the younger crowd, preying on their fragile identities. It's sad, really, because I know plenty of guys who never shake this dependence on brand name. As they get older, they become more odd, adhering to a system of indentification they should be, at least, beginning to shed. Now I'll admit PING golf clubs are second to none in terms of forgivness and playability (and at my first opportunity, I will pick-up a used set of G2s, with the HL option) but their accessories, I hate to admit, are nothing but pure hype. There are plenty of golf bags better than PING, their apparel is nothing to write home about, but they have a right to make cash like anyone else. The only reason anyone ever wears PING golf apparel is because they, too, have been seduced, or have a connection to at-cost or free stuff. If PING wants me to wear a visor with PING emblazoned on the brow, why don't they pay ME to walk around advertising their product?

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