The Five-Iron

Let us celebrate that most neglected club in the bag

By Brian Doyle | November 8, 2013


Some years ago I ceased to be able to bend from the waist, for various excellent surgical reasons having to do with the fact that we are not fully evolved yet bipedally, and our spines sag and rust and bulge and crink and dislocate as we age, so that was pretty much that for wearing socks, and casually picking gobs of cash off the floor, and cannonballing onto brothers who were sprawled on the rug snoring like walrii, and other excellent things like picking up small children and hoisting them over your shoulder like squirming mewling giggling sacks of onions. In the main I did not mind being restricted to the airy upper reaches of this world, beyond the small annoyances of dropping your car keys and having to fish after them with a broom or a rake or once, no kidding, a trout rod, and kindly people gave me a various specialized implements by which men and women like me are able to pick up wet towels and thrash for that damned jar of peanut butter on the top shelf and pinch the children from a distance while laughing like a coyote on espresso, but it was the day my son gave me a five-iron that I account one of the great days of my rigidity, for it has proven to be a club of immense range and value, and I believe we do not celebrate the five as much as we should. So let us do so.

The angle of the blade is just right for jiggling something like a beer can or a $20 bill up against the wall, to be hauled aloft; and the shaft strong enough to hold open windows and doors; and the admirable metallica of the blade ensures its longevity even when the club has been left on the lawn for three days in the most epic of the winter monsoons here in the Pacific Northwet; and you can very easily reverse the club and apply the head of the thing to the belly of the dog, which results in that lovely low dark happy mooing sound that rattles the windows and causes the children to think that a tank is rumbling down the street.

It seems to me that when we discuss golf clubs, as we all do every night over the brandy, we laud the powerful driver, and we pray to the humble but crucial putter, and we learnedly discuss the advantages of the wedge, and discourse upon the circumstances when the three-iron is preferable to the wood, and when a minor hole may be driven with an eight-iron to good effect, but we generally ignore the greatest of clubs, one that I have in hand every day, and happily so, for it is to my mind the workhorse, the unsung hero of the bag. So then this morning a toast to the five, and my god what is that rumbling sound coming from the kitchen?

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