Golf is a game tailor-made for obsessives. The late, great Ben Hogan is said to have examined each of his golf balls twice for imperfections: first, in a buoyant bath of Epsom salts, and then beneath a magnifying glass. And these were his practice balls. On any given day at Golfsmith, one can find a clutch of equally thorough--if less illustrious-- golfers, each honing their equipment to razor-sharp specs. Sure, you can buy a set of clubs straight off the rack, but you can also buy a suit at the Salvation Army. Golfsmith caters to the inveterate fiddler, the guy who's worried about the swing weight of his four wood and is ready to do something about it. High-quality grips, shafts, and heads are sold a la carte. Tungsten inserts? Got 'em. Lead tape? Check. Nowhere in the world of retail golf does the DIY ethic flower more fully. (For the mere dilettantes among us, there is a wide array of ready-made, cash-and-carry gear at competitive prices.) A caveat: Once you've emerged from the basement with your custom-built clubs in hand, there's no one else to blame for your miserable performance on the links.


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