Right, but then you're just getting into however different people value different things (including money, the performance of their golf clubs, the looks of the golf clubs, the value of a name brand, etc.).
People have different values. For something like this, there's rarely any agreement on those, nor is there any "right" or "wrong" answers.
I use a set of muscle backs that could just as easily be from the 1950s as now. The tech on those isn't really improving much (though the shafts are undoubtedly much better).
We went round and round a bit on this last year, but I don't remember seeing decision 15-3b/1 mentioned. The difference between this decision and 27/6 seems to be that B's ball is found in a timely manner. The finding of the "other" ball makes it virtually certain that A's ball was moved by an outside agency (Player B). In the other thread, B's ball is never found. 27/6 allows the same kind of relief as long as the "other" ball is found within the 5-minute search limit. As I read the rules and decisions, this is a timing issue, the rules require a decision to be made within 5 minutes of beginning the search for A's ball. If the "other ball" isn't found, its presumed lost.
In a way this is somewhat similar to another discussion we had, where a player's ball apparently hit a cart path and went much further than anticipated. He searched and didn't find it at the expected distance, went back and played another tee shot for the lost ball, and eventually found the original much closer to the green. He couldn't then put the original into play and "negate" the second tee ball, as he'd already searched for 5 minutes.
I don't know if the difference in the timing of the discovery is adequate justification for the different outcomes, but that seems to me to be the defining factor. It would be interesting to get the take of some of the USGA rules experts on this, not on what the rules say, but on why they draw the distinction.
I'd have thought there would be a sliding scale, akin to a volume discount. Not just $x/18 = per-hole cost.
Or if there are obvious points where it's not terrible to get back to the clubhouse, make 3-hole, 7-hole, 11-hole, 15-hole, and 18-hole rates. Then you could even consider the par of the holes. Heck, if the course started par 5, 4, 5 I'd be tempted to just play the first three holes three times. I'd get more for my money than playing holes 4, 5, and 6 which are pars 3, 4, 3.
As straight to the point as always, been one of those days? .
The advances in tech always amaze me in what they can do given the limits set by the rules. Yes, of course there differenced between Acer and Taylormade. One is a comparatively small company and the other is a huge company with enormous R&D budgets. However, speaking from a the average recreational golfers point view im not sure those differnces in performance will be that noticable to the majority.
Sure guys like yourself will be able to notice them as, lets face it, you probably hit more balls with different types/makes of clubs in a year than i will in my whole life.
I just wonder how many people use the older stuff and why (other than its cheaper than buying more gear)