I'm afraid a post of mine started this debate. I do not hate technology, it has indeed enabled many a weekend duffer to enjoy the game more and play well into older age. Including me. The game is more fun when you can execute shots without having to spend 12 hours per week on the range to hit a sweet spot the size of a pencil eraser.
My post was more towards PROFESSIONAL golf, in which people make their living competing in the sport. The balls are probably the biggest difference. Put some limits on professional golf ball characteristics. I believe that woods were never meant to be hollow. Make a professional rule that says whatever your club is made of it has to be solid material and not hollow or bi-material outer shell and inner body. Those two changes would make a huge difference in professional competition.
I agree there is merit to having one game and one set of rules for all, but what is the answer? Perhaps it is course design and architecture. Courses do not have to be long to be tough. Risk and reward characteristics can force players to play 2 irons again. Rough can make a guy think twice before busting his shoe laces with a driver. Doglegs that can't be carried are indeed a force equalizer when it comes to distance.
There are other sports in which there are rules governing consistencies in equipment. Nascar has a car template that defines the overall shape all of the cars must be regardless of make. The names (chevy, ford, toyota) are merely sponsorship stickers and mean nothing to the shape of the car or the motor. There is nothing at all "stock" about stock car racing as it was back in the day. They don't race the same cars we drive. They race machines that were hand built from the ground up that share nothing at all in common with stock cars.
I don't know what the overall answer is, but it would be interesting none the less for there to be a professional tournament once a year in which today's professional golfers used persimmon woods, blade irons, and balata balls with no graphite shafts, hybrids, metal drivers, etc. Call it the Old Geezer Retro Throwback Tournament. Make it fun. Perhaps that would at least satisfy the curiosity of a few of us remaining old school golfers that used to play with this stuff and appreciate the challenges and skills the old school equipment presented.
By the way, I still use an old set of forged Golden Ram Tour Blade irons with steel shafts...not because I have to, but because I want to. The new fangled oversize cavity back graphite shaft composite crap that I have (several sets of them) stays in the garage. You cannot work the ball (including controlling trajectory as well as shaping left and right) with a forgiving club. I still like workability over forgiveness. My old amateur carcass does enjoy the benefits of a big headed lightweight hollow driver though.