Normally, if you were to turn me loose in a golf equipment store and tell me to have fun looking around -- even without the promise of something shiny and new to take home with me when the browsing was over -- I'd be more than okay with that. Who doesn't love to drool over the latest #Titleist driver or the flashy new #PING wedges?
Okay, so maybe the drooling is a bit of an exaggeration but its done for a reason: 99 times out of 100, I'm all for a trip golf shopping.
This is about that 1 in 100. Yeah, I'm going there.
Shoe shopping. Words that when said in that sequence will make any grown man's testicles shrivel up and not come out of hiding for weeks on end. Root canal sounds like a far better use of our time than shoe shopping. Without the drugs.
To those who know me, they know I hate shopping. I'm the guy that gets his Christmas shopping dusted off before the fall colours have come out, and most of that is of the quick & dirty kind of shopping. Okay, that came out wrong. I'm efficient -- there, that's better.
If I know I've got to shop for something, I do my homework before I even start the car. Check for a good price and stock quantities. Any colour options are already noted. Gift certificates when necessary. Dust my hands off and prepare for wrapping at light speed.
If only shopping for my new golf shoes had been so easy. Insert heavy sigh here.
So, let's set the table with a quick story as to how I arrived at this particular Hell's gate: during my last round, up in Seaforth where I was busy abusing trees and some lawn care equipment, my beloved Adidas AdiPure golf shoes I've had for around a decade gave up the ghost. As I transitioned into my downswing, I felt the seams in the one shoe begin to give -- a small but noticeable floppy feeling resulted. Apparently asking for a 12th season out of these trusted spikes was one tee box too far.
And in spite of my better intentions (my back-up shoes are, shall we say, less than waterproof?), I found myself here: in need of new golf shoes. If only I had a dentist on speed dial.
Being in the middle of a year-long (or more -- I've lost count at this point) pandemic, I can at least be grateful that I have been spared the in-person shopping experience. I hate trying things on, and shoes are even less fun to sample in the store for a slew of reasons: trying to find the right size and width among the myriad of messed-up shoe boxes, wondering if whoever tried them on before you had their own socks on (or if they had to use the 'store' sock), and my favourite one being the 'let me check to see if we have those in another store'. Nothing says false hope like waiting for the possibility that the one you might actually possibly want is at another nearby location just waiting for you.
And then ... not.
So, my search this time was confined to the vast reaches of the internet. I will admit that not being able to physically try a shoe on is risky and could be costly in more than one way given our current situation, but I see it the same way Phil Mickelson looks at punching out of the trees while going over water and past a swarm of angry bees: what could go wrong?
So I checked one site to no avail. Then another. Tried a third that I remembered from a previous golf necessity (they weren't online any more). Saw a few that might be something, but they either just missed on the size/width requirements, or they had them but were only available in hot pink with purple and silver accents. Now, if I plan on playing golf at the Toronto #Pride Parade I'd be all set ... but, not this time.
Then, luck. The last website I thought of had a number of decent options within my price range, and a few of those met all the other criteria I had. After doing a little secondary research to make sure what I saw listed on this website was genuine and not a scam, I took the plunge.
And now, I wait. Mind you, the recent extension of restrictions here in Ontario that included golf courses means I won't have to wait breathlessly at the mailbox for them to arrive (I'll save that for my next round when I wait to see if my driver leaves me wanting). In all, I was able to minimize the pain in this experience - at least until I have to pay the duty.
Yes, friends, greener days are ahead for all of us. We just have to see the forest for the trees and we'll all be fine in the end.
Now why did I have to mention trees again...?