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Dan Sollom | Form vs. function

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Back in the day, before Harley-Davidson improved the quality of their motorcycles, my buddies and I used to refer to those riders as choosing ‘form over function,’ or choosing style over reliability just because they like the look and sound of their ride.

Never mind breakdowns and incessant oil leaks that kept them on the side of the road. It was just cool to ride a Harley. We all get that. I remember attending a motorcycle rally and seeing a T-shirt that read: “If Harley-Davidson made an airplane, would you ride in it?”

Today, the HD brand has vastly improved over its predecessor in both quality and design, and it can be said that those riders are choosing both form and function.

But I digress. This is about golf shoes.

I spent most of my adult life shopping for price rather than comfort and style when it came to buying golf shoes. If I could find a pair for under $50 and they passed the ‘they look and fit OK, I guess’ test, I bought them. Two years ago, all of that changed. I got to the point in my life where I wanted the most comfortable pair of golf shoes the golf shop had to offer. So I asked the pro what he would recommend and he pointed me to a pair costing $179. It was more than three times my comfort zone but I somehow was able to justify at least the consideration. I tried them on and it was like walking on a cloud. (I’ve always wanted to say that). So I bought them. The very next day, wearing my shiny new expensive golf shoes, I approached the first tee and came up to two guys I didn’t know and asked to join them for a round of 18. This is where it gets good. While waiting to tee off, one of the guys (I’ll call him Bob) struck up a conversation with the starter/marshall. Bob said to him, “You know, I was just in your pro shop looking at golf shoes and saw a pair in there for $179!”

The starter replied “OK?”

Bob says, “What kind of an #$%& pays $179 for golf shoes?”

At that, I lifted one foot off the ground and pointed at my new un-scuffed shoe smiled and said, “Do they look like these?”

Bob looked down at my feet, paused and looked up and said, “Nice shoes.”

True story. It was a bit awkward for Bob for a few minutes, but later we all had a good laugh. It’s a story I have repeated many times since, so apologies if you have heard it from me before.

At some point in our lives we make the deliberate decision to choose function over form, even if it costs a bit more. Quality is always better than style. But if you want both quality AND, style then be prepared to spend $179 or as much as $25,000.

See you on the first tee.

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