Can Technology Improve The Golf Club?
By Kickntrue on 12/2/10
Sure- the title is a bit silly, because of course the answer is, "yes." The real question is- "Is technology actually improving the golf club?" One big manufacturer thinks they are working on it.
To design and manufacture its next generation of golf clubs, equipment maker Callaway teamed up with the University of Washington and automaker Lamborghini to develop a carbon-based material for the crown of its drivers and fairway woods, forged composite, that it claims is lighter and stronger than titanium.
The link has a chart, some pictures and is pretty interesting. Here's my thing, and ultimately a big problem with the whole idea of really making better golf equipment. If they actually pull it off- it will almost certainly be banned in some way or another with a new rule- and honestly, it almost SHOULD be. We can't really have pros hitting the ball much further or have them getting game improvement forgiveness with the feel of a blade. If that really happens- all records and courses will become obsolete.

But- what are these companies supposed to do?! They can't sell new equipment on marketing forever. The fact is there are incremental improvements in technology that are happening, but can golf in its current state handle another HUGE breakthrough? I'm sure us amateurs could use it- but are we going to play something the pros can't?

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[ comments ]
tiger-tiger says:
Callaway is already making and selling a couple of models based on that technology. The gains are pretty marginal tho so its still more marketing hype than substance.
tcjonny says:
every time i play the crossings, its right next to callaway's compound there in carlsbad. I can see their plush private test facility and range, with a complete short game area perfectly manicured daily. I hardly see anyone on it! It's always EMPTY! arelajjkssflkjsd
Kurt the Knife says:
I suspect as manufacturers reach the limits of materials, aerodynamics will prolly be the next buzz cuz fluid dynamics is funny, complicated stuff and presents a huge window of bamboozlement.
Kurt the Knife says:
When i see the words "Reynold's Number"or "Drag Coefficient" in golf ads, I'm gonna...

well, i'll figger that part out when I see it.
mjaber says:
I'm on the fence here.

On one hand, I love any tech that is going to help me lower my score, making my rounds more enjoyable.

On the other hand, there is a certain satisfaction in knowing that if I make a birdie on a hole (and that's a BIG IF), I've used the same equipment to do it that is approved for play on the different pro tours.

I can't afford new stuff, so it's not a big deal to me either way. Oh well, companies will continue to push the envelope and the governing bodies will continue to close loop-holes to "protect par."
KVSmith59 says:
in the future, I don't see club improvements as the big game improvement breakthroughs. I see golf technology using the WII, XBox,and such as becoming so improved down the road that everyone will have a realistic simulator that will drastically improve your game. It's not there yet, but with products like the WII Personal Trainer, eventually the tech is going to get there where you'll be able to fix everything wrong with your game. It's not there yet, but I bet it will be in 20 years
Tee it High. says:
I would like to ask a general question, the above article asks "Would we be willing to play something the pros can't?" Why are golfers so serious about this? Did you refuse to use a metal bat in little league or college because the pros can't? If you played football at any point did you insist on using the larger NFL football? Did you insist on shooting from the NBA three point line?

Pros are Pros for a reason, they are better then you and 99.9% of people in the world. That is why rules are put in place that distinguish between amatuers and the best of the best. It amazes me that golfers would rather play worse, because they play like the pros, then play equipment that would make their Sunday round better.

Why do you think golf is the only sport like this and why do golfers behave this way?
Beekeeper45 says:
Because we have the belief that what the pros play will improve our game, from tee to green or driver to pro v1.
windowsurfer says:
Imagine a difficult game played on myriad locations - each site unique, but sharing common basic characteristics. The game is played using simple, well-made tools which offer players the opportunity for some choice, but within clearly defined constraints. Those tools offer essentially the same performance to each player, placing the onus on player skill, intelligence, creativity and determination. And luck.

Those who chose to test themselves in this unforgiving game would obviously not accept - never mind seek - tools that outperformed those of their fellows or that diminished the locations on which the game was contested. Doing so would skew the results and obscure their true skill versus that of their brethren.

And that game would be given a simple, one-syllable, four-letter name. Poetic and pure like the game itself. You guessed it --- PONG. Certainly not golf, cuz that f*cking irreverent game is ALL about the gear!

Or is it?
BigDoctorJ says:
I'm gonna have to +1 to Tee it High. Totally agree with you
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