Monday, May 20, 2013

'Old Coot' Parents, A Font of....

Despite 40 years of experience and an athletic background, my father is a terrible golfer - a 29-handicap!

But that's what happens when one never practices, never studies the golf swing, won't experiment, etc. And now old age is afflicting his game too.

He told me that he recently bought new clubs. Yeah, that will help!

He ordered the clubs you see above from Amazon for $700.

Say what?

Why is he spending this much money? This is the same guy who won't turn the heat on in his house (bedroom record low is 43 degrees!) - the same guy who wouldn't so much as buy a pack of gum for me and my siblings to split.

I told him he had no business spending that much on clubs and that mine, top-of-the-line Titleists, pre-owned, and 6 years old cost me only about $180.

Then it got ridiculous.

He claimed that he *got screwed* because the irons came and bore a price tag of $600.

I asserted that he was not passively screwed, that he in fact SCREWED HIMSELF for not shopping around.

Obviously, someone is acting like a reseller on Amazon. They are advertising things marked up from where they know they can buy them....and hoping for suckers that don't know how to Google!

I did a 2-second Google on my cordless cellphone and found the same exact set for $350 (see above).

But I could not, I'm sure, make a dent in his staunch belief that he had been victimized.

Changing the topic, slightly, I proceeded to berate him for ordering clubs online that he had not tried out first.

In his mind, after 40 years of golf, he maintains that it's impossible to try out clubs before you buy them. Now, understand that due to its 5-month golf season, Massachusetts does not exactly have many golf stores with indoor practice ranges. There are some, but very few.

But his lack of resourcefulness was appalling. I told him that when I was driver shopping, I simply scanned the range for people with decent looking clubs....and I asked if I could take a few whacks. No one has ever said no. Of course pro shops let you do this too. They put tape on the club, you try it out, and then go buy it somewhere else where its cheaper.

Oh....what are you going to do. My parents pinched every penny for years and now that they have a little they spend it like it's water.

What I've realized is that there are 2 categories of cheap people.

In the first are people that are cheap by necessity - i.e. they don't have any money.

And in the second are those that are cheap because they appreciate the value of money.

(Probably a third category of mentally ill misers too....)

The problem inherent with income-strapped pinchers is that they also get used to spending nearly 100% of what comes in. So new money (Social Security, mortgage paid off, inheritance, etc.) simply burns a hole in their pocket.

No comments: