To Rent Clubs Or Not To Rent, That Is The Question
My default position on club renting is ‘no’. It is to be avoided at any opportunity. I don’t like it. I have had exceptions to this rule in the past and will admit I am developing an increasing distrust against airlines ability and capacity to manage golf club shipments. Interestingly enough my experiences with rentals have been positive. I played in Arizona in 2011 with rental clubs on two separate rounds, the experience being so positive with the Ping G10 rentals I was sure to buy those as my next irons. In a recent trip to Mexico I rented Nike clubs and was pleased to have access to a SQ Sumo driver which is similar shape to my current (and old but effective) Callaway FT IQ Tour square head driver. So, despite some positive experiences renting I remain very reluctant to do so. The fact is I love my clubs. They feel right, perform well and they are mine.
If I am not coming across as a walking contradiction this next statement may do so. I am traveling next week on business and will make time for a round of golf in St. John’s, Newfoundland and will purposefully rent clubs. The leading reason is fiscal. Value matters to me. It would cost me over $55 to ship my clubs on Air Canada (which does include the return costs). I am able to rent a full set of clubs for under $20 at Pippy Park. I’ll save the money and put it toward seafood! Fact is this is going to be a casual, enjoyable round. If it was a bucket list course (for example, if I was traveling to Corner Brook or Deer Lake and was making time to play Humber Valley) I would pay to bring my clubs for the experience. The qualitative filter is an important one for me.
I am good at managing my expectations. I suspect I will get an old set which may have a couple brands of clubs involved. For the purposes of a recreational round and a new experience that will be ok. Now, I will bring a shoe bag in my luggage which will have a glove, some tees, divot repair tool, shoes and about 6 golf balls. While renting clubs is something I’d consider, playing golf without golf shoes sounds unfathomable to me.
I inquired about the emerging company ShipSticks, based in the USA. Their business model makes doing in business within Canada impossible. And for a casual round on a municipal course, I’m not going to worry about the additional expense of getting my clubs there. If I was able to make two rounds, perhaps adding Clovelly Golf Club, to my golf itinerary than I’d bring the clubs along.
The forecast is looking almost summer-like for St. John’s next Wednesday; sunny and 15c. I’m excited to tee it up and enjoy a unique golf experience. Sometimes we need to consider exceptions to the rule and I am comfortable doing so next week. I’m curious to know how others feel about club rentals?