Driver bucks the norm

BILLY POWERS

, Last Updated: 8:50 AM ET

Golfers may feel a little square this season.

The Callaway people introduced their newest change to the game this week, a square-headed driver.

Western Canada representative Ken Arkley staged a demonstration of the new big stick at the Royal Canadian Golf Association Golf Centre in southeast Calgary and it drew varied responses.

He explained that the "inertially efficient" shape would allow the club to move weight further from the centre of gravity than would be possible in a traditional driver shape.

Now I'll admit I really don't know what that means but in testing a 10-degree square-head, I was spanking the ball longer and straighter than I ever had. I didn't have a golf glove or golf shoes and was wearing a winter jacket because we were on the outdoor -- albeit heated -- driving range.

I'm not sure this is a product that will fly but I would suggest avid golfers at least give it a test. It's an odd thing to look at from the start but after 20 or so hits, I was back to looking at the golf ball and not the club.

Callaway is the first square driver on the street at some$600 a pop but the Nike people will have their SUMO2 (Sumo squared) driver on the market Feb. 1.

STATUS QUO:

The Calgary golf scene has seen little turnover in the pro shops so far this winter.

Country Hills is trying to replace long-time head professional Brian Miller, who was released a few weeks back. Normally the first one sparks a domino effect in the golf game but the talk in town is this year could be quite different in that there will be few courses making staff changes.

ON THE RISE:

A couple of city girls are looking to pad their bank accounts.

Calgary Country Club's Cindy Pasechnik has received her non-exempt card on the LPGA tour and plans on qualifying for eight to 13 events while also trying the Futures tour, some Canadian events and again hitting Phoenix's Cactus tour.

Jillian Wyne, who plays out of the Glencoe Club, has won non-exempt status on the European tour after attending a school in Spain in November. Her goal, naturally, is the LPGA tour down the line but she's planning to try the Asian tour, which she played last year, while also testing a mini tour in Sweden and she, too, will play in some Canadian events.

It's great to see local talent getting recognized.

GOLDEN MOMENT:

Walking on cloud nine still these days is young Calgarian Stephen Lines, who happens to be the assistant equipment manager and massage therapist with the Calgary Stampeders.

Lines is proudly displaying the gold medal he was awarded for his part with the Canadian team that won the world junior hockey championship.

Until next time.


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