FORE!!! And, um, mulligan.
I walked into Ted's office a couple weeks ago and asked him a very direct question: "Do you play golf?" His answer was "no" followed by "but I would like to." Although, perhaps, this might be a silly question to some, it’s not a absurd conversation between a couple of guys living in the golf capital of the world: Myrtle Beach, SC. We might not have the most famous courses (St. Andrews kind of has that one cornered), or a number of the PGA courses people play, but Myrtle Beach has 100 golf courses sprawling surrounding areas. Indeed, the courses are really beautiful, and players can enjoy rounds of golf most of the year. When I moved here from Indiana back in 2006, I brought my clubs with me, but later sold them after seeing nothing but one-hundred dollar-plus green fees at a few places. I couldn't afford that. Fast-forward six years, and I’ve learned about local discounts starting at as little as $15 for a round after 5:00 pm. With so many courses competing for attention, it seems like Ted and I will take up golfing again. I've only played one round in six years, and Ted's only played one in thirteen. It’s an enjoyable past time, for sure, but we needed to get some clubs first. And not wanting to pay three hundred dollars or more for a set we figured (just like pipes) the "estate" market was the place to look.
I took some time this past weekend to hunt around for used clubs for Ted and myself; pawn shops, golf shops, second-hand stores, and flea markets. The flea market proved to be the best. I picked up two complete sets of irons for a steal, purchased a used Odyssey putter (retail around $150) for $20, and enough gently-used golf balls so as to not worry when Ted and I inevitably hook and slice them in the adjacent woods, tall grass, or likely still, some unfortunate retiree’s window.
When you think about it, our golfing beginning isn't much different than one’s starting out in the enjoyable hobby of pipe smoking. My first pipes were purchased in antique shops. Later, nice estates were purchased online. Buying a used set of Ping or Wilson irons to see how well you like the brand isn't terribly dissimilar from purchasing an estate Dunhill, or any other brand for that matter - and the cost is about the same. When you look at the cost of drivers, most of them are on par (excuse me) with the price of a new pipe. A brand new driver will run you somewhere between $100 and $500, while those same gently-used drivers will run you roughly 50% of retail used (look familiar?). And just like pipes, they’ll have scratches and dings on ‘em. Obviously, broken clubs are no-good, and cracked clubs simply can't be saved. However, if we can get past the minor blemishes and give them a good cleaning, golf clubs and smoking pipes can be enjoyed for years. Just remember that if you ever want to try out a product with a big-name brand, there’s a chance you can find one pre-owned before throwing money at something new; just in case you’d like to see if it offers up what you are looking for: a better experience with your hobby.
Tonight we’ve available three dozen estate pipes from a lot of well-known brands, while we also have new pieces from Gabriele Dal Fiume, Tsuge, Dunhill, Luciano, Johs, Brigham, Savinelli, and Peterson. Additionally, we’d like to mention that our product alert system is now synchronized with our bulk tobacco offerings. No longer will we remove a bulk pipe tobacco selection from the site simply because we’re short of it. It now remains listed as ‘temporarily out of stock’ alongside a notification option. Nifty, right?
Adam Davidson: Quality Control & Pipe Inspector