Sunday, July 18, 2010

In golf woman=old person?

Just a little anecdote for this Sunday morning.
Was out shopping for golf clubs Friday evening (well I was tagging along on said shopping trip mostly as a info-gathering session). So my shopping friend was looking for a rescue club and was asking the salesperson at Dick's about various brands. When she asked about Callaway, the young man said he didn't have any women's Callaways at the moment. But he did have the rescue clubs Callaway makes for seniors and noted that they are very similar to women's clubs.
Snarky me said (aloud) "'Cause being old is just as bad as being a woman." Young man mumbled something about the flex being similar.
For the record, I don't understand much about golf club technology. I assume, like in tennis, there are a myriad of new materials and composites and even gimmicks. I liked the rescue clubs because they are more lofted than their comparable irons (I guess I sound like I know a little bit).
But technology isn't being applied only to women's clubs. Or to seniors' clubs. Everyone benefits from things like graphite shafts.
So why the gendered and aged categories? If the only difference between some men's and women's clubs is shaft length then why not categorize them based on height? If some clubs are better for beginners or for people who want to add control to their drives--why not just market them that way? Why is it only women who are looking for distance off the tee? Doesn't golf pride itself on the possibility of anyone being able to play against anyone else because of the handicap system? And yet clubs are categorized in such a way as to say that women and old people cannot hit as far or need different accommodations. Tennis doesn't do this. Rackets are not gendered. You buy your racket based on your game: your swing speed, your desire for control versus power, your body (i.e. are your prone to tennis elbow?), baseliner versus all-courter.
Men, women, and old people doesn't seem a very effective system for marketing equipment in a game as nuanced as golf.

No comments: