Here is a little known fact about headcovers . . . they are guaranteed to add 10 yards to your drives. Maybe not, but the way I see it everything I read in the golf media offers to add some extra yardage to my drives so headcovers must do the same. With the extra 10 yards I will gain for a new shoulder turn, a wider stance and a slightly stronger grip PLUS a new headcover, that adds up to 320 yard drives according to my calculations . . . at least that’s what the lessons given in all the golf publications would like me to believe. Seriously, no one ever told me that I could get extra yards from a headcover, but I do think that their origin is a little misunderstood.
Every driver, fairway wood and utility club come with headcovers these days and it would seem reasonable to assume that they were designed to keep the heads of those clubs looking shiny and new so that they can perform their best. Afterall, everyone knows that a scratched driver head is 75% more likely to slice the ball. The truth, as I have been told, is the the original purpose of a headcover was actually to protect the club’s shaft and it goes back to the days of hickory golf. Back when clubs had hickory shafts, the longer clubs’ shafts would get dinged up by the metal heads of the shorter clubs. Over time these dings would weaken the shafts and make them more likely to snap at impact. The original headcovers were designed to be long enough that they would protect these shafts from being hit by the shorter clubs. It’s an interesting theory and one that certainly makes sense to me.
Based on this idea, it can be argued that there is no point to headcovers in today’s game of steel and graphite shafts. Of course, this doesn’t stop most golfers from using them. The pros use them and therefore we amateurs think that we should do the same. Such is the game. Of all the things that have trickled down to amateurs from the professional tour I’d have to cast my vote for headcovers being the least offensive. Personally, I’d much rather see amateurs with headcovers on their drivers than huge staff bags or white belts. I keep waiting for the white belt craze to fizzle out, but apparently there really are no golf gods or else they would have faded away with balata balls 20 years ago!