First Person: Forced Patience Nets Golfer a Great Deal

Serious golf requires serious tools

I once spent a couple of years playing serious golf. I had marginal jobs that paid small amounts of money. But that was fine with me because all I needed was enough money to keep me in practice balls and greens fees. That is until I decided I wanted a new, serious set of irons, and then I was forced into finding a way to get what I wanted at a price I could afford.

Price for new irons laughable

A set of Ping i3 irons sat at the top of my wish list, but I was open to other makes and models provided the price was right. I looked at a new sets and laughed because the price was so far out of my range. I started hitting the shops that carried used clubs where the prices didn’t cause laughter, but where they were still more than I was comfortable spending.

Buying when I want, not what I want

Financial patience had never been a virtue I possessed when I was younger. Once I decided I wanted to buy something, I bought it in a hurry and wound up making quite a few regrettable purchases. It felt as if I had to get rid of my money rather than hold onto it and trade it for something that would be valuable to me for a long time.

I used to set a deadline on purchases. “I’m buying that thing today,” I would say to myself. And that would force me into settling on an item that was close to what I wanted but did not exactly satisfy my desire. I was getting less for my money because I had imposed an arbitrary deadline for acquisition.

Deliberate to a fault

The mental shift I achieved as I shopped around for a set of golf clubs marked a major development in my financial maturity. I can still be lured into the odd impulsive purchase every so often, but on the whole I am annoyingly deliberate in the way I spend my money.

The search

In my job I drove all over the city and was able to stop at several golf shops to see what kind of used irons were on sale. I found sets of irons I liked but didn’t want to and couldn’t afford to pay the listed price. I’d ask for a deal, but the clubs were popular and so the prices were firm.

I walked into a shop and found a set of shiny Cleveland TA2 irons. They were on the used rack but had been hit just a few times. I looked at the price and thought there had to be some mistake. The clubs were counterfeit or they had been trimmed down or something. I pulled the six iron and set it next to a new Cleveland six iron. The clubs were the same.

Stay quiet; I’m hunting golf clubs

As I was paying for the irons one of the clerks mentioned the price. I was afraid he would figure there must have been some mistake, but all he said was “That’s a good deal.” I made sure to keep my mouth shut.

My patience paid off. I bought a set of high-quality irons that have helped me win bets and shoot low scores for the last six years, and I got them for a hundred bucks.

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