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The Duf

What if Tour Pros Used Wooden Clubs?

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Hi everyone, new to thesandtrap, but it seems like a great site! Woo-hoo, first post!

But anyways, I was talking to someone in the clubhouse at my local course and we got on to talking about USGA regulations/rules. Why is it that MLB players cannot use easier to hit, more forgiving metal bats, yet Tour players are able to use high-tech modern golf clubs?

Forcing Tour players to use old fashioned wooden clubs would really weed out the field and show who the truly elite players are. If you can hit those, you can hit anything. And I'm not saying getting rid of modern clubs altogether though; make those clubs available to the public, but force the players on Tour (maybe even college...) to use wooden clubs. Jason Dufner even said he'd be on board as long as courses are shortened to reasonable lengths.

Just wanted to see what other people's opinions are about this, thanks!

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Metal heads are here to stay. I don't think restricting them to wooden woods would make that much of a difference anyway. I think we should send them out with a set of 3 clubs, that would make interesting viewing.

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Hi everyone, new to thesandtrap, but it seems like a great site! Woo-hoo, first post! But anyways, I was talking to someone in the clubhouse at my local course and we got on to talking about USGA regulations/rules. Why is it that MLB players cannot use easier to hit, more forgiving metal bats, yet Tour players are able to use high-tech modern golf clubs? Forcing Tour players to use old fashioned wooden clubs would really weed out the field and show who the truly elite players are. If you can hit those, you can hit anything. And I'm not saying getting rid of modern clubs altogether though; make those clubs available to the public, but force the players on Tour (maybe even college...) to use wooden clubs. Jason Dufner even said he'd be on board as long as courses are shortened to reasonable lengths. Just wanted to see what other people's opinions are about this, thanks!

Just out of curiosity? What if the wood that they use on a particular wooden club delivered a COR of higher than the current USGA rules? Then the opposite would be true. I can imagine that the adhesives they use to laminate the wood might be the next material for distance. They could use paper thin layers of wood, and the adhesive becomes the primary material in the club, while the wood gives it the structure. Potentially, could give you a club with a really high COR. Engineers will find a means to bypass artificial restrictions, as they are doing already. Let's just say we like challenges, even if they are artificially set. It might be more entertaining to let the COR be unlimited for the club and ball and see golf progress to the next level. People love distance, and pros hitting drives 500+ yards will be pretty impressive. Might attract more people to the game. It is a simple metric that anyone seeing can enjoy. "...Bubba hits over a small forest 6 football fields long and lands the green... On the 65th hole for the day Dustin hits straight onto the green...". Walking the course could be an issue. For the existing short courses, even I don't use the driver on all par 4s, anyway. Most people will use a shorter club off the tee and it should not change the game. Many people will be thrilled that they can hit 200+ yard drives, especially if their swing speed is only 80mph. I know kids would. ;-)

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Originally Posted by The Duf

Hi everyone, new to thesandtrap, but it seems like a great site! Woo-hoo, first post!

But anyways, I was talking to someone in the clubhouse at my local course and we got on to talking about USGA regulations/rules. Why is it that MLB players cannot use easier to hit, more forgiving metal bats, yet Tour players are able to use high-tech modern golf clubs?

Forcing Tour players to use old fashioned wooden clubs would really weed out the field and show who the truly elite players are. If you can hit those, you can hit anything. And I'm not saying getting rid of modern clubs altogether though; make those clubs available to the public, but force the players on Tour (maybe even college...) to use wooden clubs. Jason Dufner even said he'd be on board as long as courses are shortened to reasonable lengths.

Just wanted to see what other people's opinions are about this, thanks!

Metal bats are not any easier to hit than metal bats, and if you hit the sweetspot, and the bats are the same weight, they go about the same distance.  Now then when you miss that sweetspot things change big time, so maybe you meant that metal bats are a lil more forgiving.  Wooden bats aren't used in college because their budget for bats would have to be probably 20 times what it is now because even batting practice and regular practice would eat up a bunch of bats.

Pro baseball players don't use metal bats because of the initial velocity off the bat is higer than that of wooden bats.

I'd be willing to bet if you put wooden clubhead on today's shafts that most pro's would be able to shoot about the same.  You could make a "wooden rocketballz driver" that would probably be a lil smaller because of the weight, but if you put a good shaft on it I  bet a pro would still crush it and wouldn't see too much of a drop off in total distance or scoring average.

Wooden shafts would be a completely different ballgame though !!

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Originally Posted by Righty to Lefty

Metal bats are not any easier to hit than metal bats, and if you hit the sweetspot, and the bats are the same weight, they go about the same distance.  Now then when you miss that sweetspot things change big time, so maybe you meant that metal bats are a lil more forgiving.  Wooden bats aren't used in college because their budget for bats would have to be probably 20 times what it is now because even batting practice and regular practice would eat up a bunch of bats.

Pro baseball players don't use metal bats because of the initial velocity off the bat is higer than that of wooden bats.

I'd be willing to bet if you put wooden clubhead on today's shafts that most pro's would be able to shoot about the same.  You could make a "wooden rocketballz driver" that would probably be a lil smaller because of the weight, but if you put a good shaft on it I  bet a pro would still crush it and wouldn't see too much of a drop off in total distance or scoring average.

Wooden shafts would be a completely different ballgame though !

Wooden shafts really would make a difference. But my point is, with wooden clubs, the truly elite golfers would separate themselves. I'm sure the Tiger's and Rory's of the world would fare just fine, but there wouldn't be any Louis Oosthuizen's, so many flashes-in-the-pan. But those clubs are also so much less forgiving. I think it was Ben Hogan who said he practiced 6 hours every day on the range just to stay at the level he was; and any day he missed or did not practice his fully, he practiced twice as hard the next day. Players today don't have to do that because the clubs are so forgiving and easier to hit.

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Wooden shafts really would make a difference. But my point is, with wooden clubs, the truly elite golfers would separate themselves. I'm sure the Tiger's and Rory's of the world would fare just fine, but there wouldn't be any Louis Oosthuizen's, so many flashes-in-the-pan. But those clubs are also so much less forgiving. I think it was Ben Hogan who said he practiced 6 hours every day on the range just to stay at the level he was; and any day he missed or did not practice his fully, he practiced twice as hard the next day. Players today don't have to do that because the clubs are so forgiving and easier to hit.

Not convinced that golf benefits as a sport from this. Long distance = wow factor. Also, more "normal" people being in the tour is also good, because it gives slightly more than normal people hope that they can get to pro level. Good for the golf business, and good for spectators. This of course means more golf courses for us to play on, and cheaper equipment for us to play.

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Uh, they're professional golfers.

How would they do hitting wooden clubs?

Better than anyone else.

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Uh, they're professional golfers. How would they do hitting wooden clubs? Better than anyone else.

Right. The keyword is they're professionals. This would only hurt us normal golfers.

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There are a lot of great golfers who put up very great scores with wooden heads. I got a buddy that is a scratch golfer that swears by the feel on them. I would be willing to bet that if there was $ in it, a pro or two would run them. Most of those guys could hold their own with a shovel and a hockey stick.
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The tour pros would rebel vociferously. Not because it makes the game too hard, but because they'd lose out on all their money. There's no money in selling wooden clubs, so the OEMs wouldn't be able to make everyone buy a new set every 2 years. And if they still sell the metal woods, fewer people will buy them since it's not what's on TV. Plus purses would drop off at least a bit. Therefore they couldn't pay pros millions of dollars. They could make their swing work with any clubs, but this would kick them right in the bread and butter. The best players would manage to make a tidy living, but there's no way the average pros could afford to travel and play like they do now, living off endorsement money rather than winnings.

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The tour pros would rebel vociferously. Not because it makes the game too hard, but because they'd lose out on all their money. There's no money in selling wooden clubs, so the OEMs wouldn't be able to make everyone buy a new set every 2 years. And if they still sell the metal woods, fewer people will buy them since it's not what's on TV. Plus purses would drop off at least a bit. Therefore they couldn't pay pros millions of dollars. They could make their swing work with any clubs, but this would kick them right in the bread and butter. The best players would manage to make a tidy living, but there's no way the average pros could afford to travel and play like they do now, living off endorsement money rather than winnings.

There is a most likely some way to re-engineer wood clubs with the same performance as the titanium clubs today. Not easy, but engineers love a challenge, and companies stand to make all this money when the market completely shifts over to "wood" clubs. Maybe I was wrong about the marketing aspects? Doesn't sound like a way to make golf more widespread.

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There seem to be a few threads following the theme of "handicapping" the pros in some way ... wooden clubs, no prior access to a surprise course, etc.

What's the deal?

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Sorry guys but theres no comparison in performance from metal to wood.  Thats why metalwoods got made in the first place.  Think about it this way: Im going to hit you over the back with something and you get to choose between a baseball bat or a metal pipe.  Obviously, youre going to choose the bat because it has more give to it than a metal pipe.

With wood you would never be able to get the COR or MOI of a metalwood because its wood.  Theres things you can do with metal that you simply cannot do with wood.

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Originally Posted by WWBDD

There seem to be a few threads following the theme of "handicapping" the pros in some way ... wooden clubs, no prior access to a surprise course, etc.

What's the deal?

It's a phenomenon known as TPI - The Patrick Influence.

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Originally Posted by The Duf

Wooden shafts really would make a difference. But my point is, with wooden clubs, the truly elite golfers would separate themselves. I'm sure the Tiger's and Rory's of the world would fare just fine, but there wouldn't be any Louis Oosthuizen's, so many flashes-in-the-pan. But those clubs are also so much less forgiving. I think it was Ben Hogan who said he practiced 6 hours every day on the range just to stay at the level he was; and any day he missed or did not practice his fully, he practiced twice as hard the next day. Players today don't have to do that because the clubs are so forgiving and easier to hit.

I don't think going back to wood would make that much sense but I can't let your comment about Louis Oosthuizen go without saying this guy has one the best, most conventional swings in golf.  He is no flash in the pan.  He will win more events and he will win more majors because his swing is freaking perfect.  If there's somebody out there who is a flash in the pan and could probably not hit a wood driver very well - it would be Rickie Fowler.  It might be Tommy Gainey.  Dustin Johnson without all that length.  But Louis, I believe, would do just fine. Seriously - check out a youtube analysis of Oosthuizen's swing and tell me it's not as close to perfect as it gets.

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Originally Posted by zipazoid

It's a phenomenon known as TPI - The Patrick Influence.

Anyone - barring ZIP - can shoot under par with 14 fitted clubs!

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I agree with the idea that you cannot get the same performance out of wood as you can with metal... wood is not nearly as consistent as metal. It has defects and a mind of its own... trust me, I'm a woodworker and Luthier...

As far as making pros play woods that are less forgiving, many already play blades, which have not changed much at all in the last 50+ years... the shafts have but the heads have not... the sweet spot is the same size, and they don't have a problem hitting it. I think making the sweet spot smaller on woods would have a very slight changer in distance, but Bubba does not hit it 330 with miss hits.... same with COR. the ball is still gunna go.

We as mortals would suffer because the endorsements and r&d; would drop off because the best are not actively engaged in driving the development... why would a company like taylormade work to develop newer tech if the average joe is not going to get to see the big names hitting it on TV... I guess it may be like cavity backs vs blades, but I don't think there would be near as much hype in the metal wood department. Tiger plays Nike clubs, but his irons are custom made blades, but if you buy some Nike irons, your still playing the same brand as Tiger. If Tiger chooses them, then they must have their heads on right in the R&D; department... I don't think this will translate in the wood department, because there is no advantage to playing the same brand as X because that club is designed to limit and not do anything specifically better for the player.

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Hi everyone, new to thesandtrap, but it seems like a great site! Woo-hoo, first post! But anyways, I was talking to someone in the clubhouse at my local course and we got on to talking about USGA regulations/rules. Why is it that MLB players cannot use easier to hit, more forgiving metal bats, yet Tour players are able to use high-tech modern golf clubs? Forcing Tour players to use old fashioned wooden clubs would really weed out the field and show who the truly elite players are. If you can hit those, you can hit anything. And I'm not saying getting rid of modern clubs altogether though; make those clubs available to the public, but force the players on Tour (maybe even college...) to use wooden clubs. Jason Dufner even said he'd be on board as long as courses are shortened to reasonable lengths. Just wanted to see what other people's opinions are about this, thanks!

It's easier to build a longer golf course than a bigger stadium and there isn't a prone opponent 60' 6" away, but the sound of a wooden bat cracking into baseball is amazing.

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