I have been playing golf for over 40 years and still compete in high level amateur events. When I started playing the superstars had to work very hard to control the ball flight. Now the elite golfers don’t have to work so hard to perfect their game because of equipment today. In my mind the game has gone to pot.
I agree that modern equipment is more forgiving than it was 40 years ago but don’t think that it has reduced the overall personal challenge that makes it so attractive. Any significant advances in golf technology are limited mostly by the laws of physics and to a lesser extent the Rules of Golf. However, it is still possible to slice, hook, or even duff a shot without much effort.
The laws of nature and the rules will never allow you to hit the ball straight and far every time. You will still have to work at it, to become reasonably efficient, but perhaps not as hard as you did 40-years ago.
Derek, I am sure you are not using a persimmon driver which tells me that modern technology may have made equipment a little more forgiving. It has not spoiled the game to the extent that you are going to give it up.
I have not heard of a golfer giving up the game because he/she is hitting the ball too far or too straight. The governing bodies are in most cases trying to protect the challenge more than preserving the game as some of us remember it.
I have been focusing on researching putting — for 16 years since leaving the USGA – as this is the most significant part of the game – approximately 40% to 45% of our score – and where improvements can easily be made.
We should spend time understanding the putting stroke based on sound scientific principles and stop worrying about the game getting too easy.
Golfers know very little about the putting stroke and don’t recognize it. After all, even a child can sink a long putt on occasion, but they cannot hit a 260 yard drive.
If we spend a little more time working on our putting and understood what makes a simple natural stroke we would enjoy the game even more than we do, build confidence on the green and score better.
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