The weather finally cleared up on Friday, so I decided to stop at the driving range on my way home from work. It was my first time out this year. I warmed up with a pitching wedge, first with some short chip shots, then some cut shots, and finally about ten full swing shots. The last few landed within a couple of yards of the 100 yard target flag, so I moved up to a 6 iron. I hit about 20 shots, working on getting a little bit of a draw going, and three of the last five landed within five yards of the 150 yard flag. So, I switched to the driver -- my Callaway Great Big Bertha II driver, which I had purchased with Amex reward points three years ago. The photo shows the result of the very first swing. I was on a driving range mat, but the ball was teed up high on a wooden tee. It was a clean swing. The clubhead never touched the mat. Contact actually felt good, but the follow through felt very strange. The ball flew off very weakly -- on a good trajectory, but with no energy. I don't know how far it flew. I know it can't have been that far, but I stopped watching when I noticed that something large had hit the ground about ten yards in front of me. That's when I realized that I was holding just a grip and shaft in my hands, with no clubhead. The shaft had shattered right above the hosel. I have no idea what happened to cause it to break.
Update: There was a golf equipment show at a local range this past weekend. I talked to the Callway reps there, and they told me that the warranty on the club was up, and recommended that I have the local shop re-shaft it. But the guy in the shop (a different shop, actually, not the one where the show was taking place) told me to call Callaway customer service, because they might do a free repair even though the club is out of warranty. Between the nature of the damage and the fact that I bought through the Amex program, he thought they might decide to accept responsibiliy. So I called, and they did. I'll be receiving a mailer to send the club back, and I should have it returned in a few weeks. Now, the question is whether I should practice with my old TaylorMade persimmon driver in the interim, or just practice with the irons and forget the driver until it comes back. And the phone wait time was juet a matter of seconds, too. So all in all, this was about as good a customer service experience as one could hope for.
1. Andy Broyles04/22/2007 01:08:24 PM
I've had this happen to me twice. Once on the range, once on the course...both times it happened just like you said...noticing something big hit the ground in front of me...very disconcerning.
I looked at it as a good thing since I had a reason to upgrade technology
2. Lars Olufsen04/23/2007 03:19:39 AM
It's such an odd feeling when that happens.
I've had a 6 iron collapse on me during the downswing. At address and in the backswing there was no problem, but as the downswing began, the shaft just snapped as if somebody had deliberately bent it.
Of course that meant a full swing with no ball-contact what so ever, since the shaft no longer pointed back to the ball. A very odd feeling.
But I'm with Andy on this. It's a great opportunity to take your clubhead with you to the proshop and GET PROPERLY FITTED with a brand new Aldila or Fujikura shaft with the right weight and kick-point. 30 yards added to your drives over night. Brilliant.
3. Carl Tyler04/23/2007 10:26:30 AM
Same thing happened to me and it does feel very weird. I'd had the club 11 months 15 days, so I got on the phone quick to demand a replacement. They were good enough to replace it free of charge.
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