A Rose by Any Other Name...
By bkuehn1952 on 2/3/11
We asked for readers to send in blog posts- and Brian "56" Kuehn didn't disappoint. This is his 12th article to oobgolf. He's probably going to expect to be on our payroll soon... You can read the other 11 here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
When you have a four or five month off-season in golf, many of us spend a lot of time thinking about golf instead of playing. That’s what I found myself doing the other day.
My first set of golf clubs had heads made of either wood or chrome-plated steel. It made a lot of sense to refer to them as Woods and Irons. When we hit it “on the screws” it was literally true; woods typically had screwed on inserts in the center of the face. I am not old enough to have used the traditional terms like “Spoon” or “Mashie”. Any experience I had with those words only came from “Three Stooges” re-runs:
“Caddy, hand me my spoon!”
“Soytenly! Do you need a fork too? Nyuck, nyuck nyuck.”
I continue to call my “woods” by that term even though the last club I owned that had any wood in it was in 1985. When announcers insist on calling a 3-wood a “3-metal”, it really grates on my ear. If “3-metal” more accurately describes the club, shouldn’t they also call the other clubs “steels” or “copper-berylliums”? Nope, the announcers seem to reserve their need for accuracy to the fairway wood category.
Since it seems hard to form a consensus whether to use “metal” or “wood”, maybe we should revert back to the traditional names for clubs? We still call it a “Driver” instead of a 1-metal or 1-titanium. Certainly the names “Wedge” and “Putter” have more panache than 10-iron or 11-iron. There is something sort of retro cool in saying, “I hit my spade mashie stiff” or “he carved his baffing spoon on to the green from 185 yards.”
Here is a listing of the traditional names for clubs as pilfered from Wikipedia:
• Driver: 1-Wood
• Brassie: 2-Wood
• Spoon: Higher-Lofted Wood
• Baffing Spoon: Approach Wood
• Cleek: 2 Iron
• Mid Mashie: 3 Iron
• Mashie Iron: 4 Iron
• Mashie: 5 Iron
• Spade Mashie: 6 Iron
• Mashie Niblick: 7 Iron
• Pitching Niblick: 8 Iron
• Niblick: 9 Iron
• Jigger: Very low lofted iron, shortened shaft (aka “a chipper”)
Let’s all start a movement to bring back the traditional names. Long live the mashie niblick!
This was written by Brian Kuehn, a reader/follower/fellow oober and the opinions are 100% his and do not necessarily reflect those of oobgolf in anyway. Enjoy! I'm sure he's ready for your feedback.
photo source + Hickory Golf info
[ comments ]
Yeah same here. Hearing "three metal" or "fairway metal" makes me wanna puke. This is golf since when do we care so much about semantical integrity. It's a wood dammit. I mean we don't literally "dial" our phones anymore, and recorded video isn't really "on tape" but the terms still work just fine. Not everything in the world has to be updated for modern sensibilities!
That said I like the idea of calling the driver a "one-wood" and while we're at it, let's start calling the pitching wedge a "ten-iron", cuz these days its really more an iron than a wedge.
I use my Mashie Niblick alot
We don't "roll down" our car windows with a handle anymore either. Long live the 3-wood!
@Neo: we don't? :-D
Anyway, I wholeheartedly agree. A 3 wood is just that: a 3 wood. A 3-metal... could just as well be a 3 iron, no?
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