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Is technology hurting golf?


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I am watching videos of DJ from last week and his crazy drives for around 400 yards were fun to watch and I realize some of his distance was gained from a downhill slope down the fairway but with all these bombers like DJ, Bubba, Brooks Koepka, Rahm and the list goes on and on, is golf equipment hurting the game?  I think even Tiger said recently the golf ball technology is getting kind of ridiculous with how much spin and how aero dynamic it is.  Do you think if guys like DJ are the future of the game on tour, will it destroy the game of golf when guys are putting for eagle all the time?

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42 minutes ago, RWalker84 said:

I am watching videos of DJ from last week and his crazy drives for around 400 yards were fun to watch and I realize some of his distance was gained from a downhill slope down the fairway but with all these bombers like DJ, Bubba, Brooks Koepka, Rahm and the list goes on and on, is golf equipment hurting the game?  I think even Tiger said recently the golf ball technology is getting kind of ridiculous with how much spin and how aero dynamic it is.  Do you think if guys like DJ are the future of the game on tour, will it destroy the game of golf when guys are putting for eagle all the time?

In a word? No. Dustin Johnson or any of the big hitters aren’t anywhere near resresetative of the primary golfing community. The largest arguement is that golf design will be made obsolete by distance, and the statistics for the average golfer prove that just isn’t the case. Also, DJ and the big hitters aren’t always putting for eagles. It gets a lot of attention when they do drive a green or when they do make multiple Eagles in a round, but it’s just the way the media presents it to us. I’m sure technology can be hurtful, but right now it’s not. 

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A good question.  My default answer is no.  If the average hack could hit a ball 500 yards; it would likely result in more lost balls...not lower scores.  It would make a mockery of the game as we know it; but would not alter the fundamental necessities.  No one, to my nahledge, markets a "distance' putter or a sand wedge that cures one's slice.  Technological advancement is inevitable...and so are double bogeys.

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3 hours ago, RWalker84 said:

Do you think if guys like DJ are the future of the game on tour, will it destroy the game of golf when guys are putting for eagle all the time?

No, I don't. Golf will always win. Even in today's world of bombers, guys like Zach Johnson, Brian Harman are still able to compete. Every sport evolves. Athletes get better. Golf has so many components to it, distance being critically important yes, but it's not the sole criteria for being competitive. Leave the golf ball alone. Zero logic in trying to roll back the ball. Dumb idea.

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11 hours ago, RWalker84 said:

I am watching videos of DJ from last week and his crazy drives for around 400 yards were fun to watch and I realize some of his distance was gained from a downhill slope down the fairway but with all these bombers like DJ, Bubba, Brooks Koepka, Rahm and the list goes on and on, is golf equipment hurting the game?

It's not technology, it's the golfer.

https://www.golfdigest.com/story/new-usga-randa-study-finds-unremarkable-increases-in-driving-distance-on-pro-tours

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In today’s study of data from the PGA Tour, Web.com Tour, European PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions, driving distance since 2003 increased approximately 1 percent, while on the LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour, and Japan PGA Tour, it decreased by about the same amount.

There are more golfers today able to hit it over 300 yards. The average driving distance hasn't changed much.

No, technology isn't hurting the game of golf. When you have 6'3"+ tall athletes, who are able to swing the club at 120+ mph, the ball will go a long way.

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This is simply the evolution of golf. 

You also need to remember that golf courses are getting longer and more difficult.

When I played the Regional College Championship last year in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They were afraid that the course was going to be too easy for us so they made the course more than 7800 yards with extremely fast greens and ridiculous flag positions.

Add fast wind to this and on the second round, Jon Rahm, played really good and was the only one to shot under par (-1).

They can always make the courses even longer and in fact, I see this as something very exciting. There is something special about seeing DJ and Bobby smashing their drivers and out driving the other golfers. 



 

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Absolutely not. Technology is not hurting golf. Its helping in my opinion, with things like launch monitors and 3D modeling, we know more about the golf swing now than we ever have before. 

Interesting you mention Bubba Watson in your statement, he finished 20th in driving distance but 91st in money earned last year and 113th in FedEx Cup points. Distance doesnt automatically equal success.

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Did golf suffer when hickory shafts gave way to tubular steel? Or when the feathery ball gave way to the Gutta Percha and then the Haskell ball? No! Golf fans have always loved the big hitters, no matter the era. As for the rest of us, we can simply choose the set of tees where we are comfortable, and we can putt for birdies and eagles as well!

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No would be my answer. The PGA long knockers' games are not representative of the majority of the amateur ranks. I'd couldn't even guess how many really good amateur players are around, who can't make a living on a tour some where. 

I think alot amateurs welcome technology too. Anything that is advertised to save strokes, and increase distances, are probably at the top of the list for alot of amateurs. 

The pros, for the most part, are entertainers. Technology, if anything, makes them more entertaining. Everyone loves to see the long hitters. The better they entertain, the bigger the fan base is for the game.

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No. I think, for us mere mortals at least, the opposite is true. Tech, whether its 460cc drivers, hybrids uber forgiving irons and even specialised wedges, chippers etc. allows more people to take up, and more importantly, stick with the game.

Give the newbie a set of proper "butter knife" blades and small headed driver and many would probably walk away not long after starting. I know there are some who prefer these style of clubs and its testiment to their will power (or stubborness) for sticking with them.

I dont think i would be playing now if i didnt have hybrids and fairly forgiving irons. Heck, even my uncle who grew up playing in the 60's and 70's now uses modern tech to enjoy the game, give him the clubs he used in 1969 and he could still wipe the floor with a lot of guys but there is less room for error than with the Pings he now uses. Fun should be the main reason this game is played and it tech helps with that then surely its helping, not hurting golf?

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Listening to No Laying Up and Fried Egg and those guys and many of them think that rolling the ball back by 10% is almost an imperative at this point. I don't agree. Longer hitters are still going to be longer hitters. If you nerfed the clubs by 50%, the problem would be the same. 

I like the bomb-and-gouge school of golf, because, well, that's how I play, so I'm biased. But I don't think I'm the only one who thinks that watching Dustin Johnson bomb a ball is more exciting than watching, say, Tim Clark ham-and-egg it around the course.

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2 hours ago, jbishop15 said:

Listening to No Laying Up and Fried Egg and those guys and many of them think that rolling the ball back by 10% is almost an imperative at this point. I don't agree. Longer hitters are still going to be longer hitters. If you nerfed the clubs by 50%, the problem would be the same.

Well, if the golf ball was suddenly 50% shorter tomorrow, even if we played holes 50% shorter, things would be out of proportion: fairways would be too wide, water hazards too long, greens would be entirely too large.

Take it to an extreme: pretend we drove the ball 280 feet instead of 280 yards, and from 50 yards out (150 feet) we hit 8-irons. The greens would be HUGE from 50 yards. Fairways would be wide as heck if our longest bombs of a drive went 100 yards.

At 10% it doesn't seem like it would be out of whack, but it still would be a little.

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It's important to also remember that technology enriches golf for many of us, I personally find it fascinating, can't get enough of it. 

I changed from my winter ball (supersoft) back to Chrome soft this week to see if I could more spin with wedges and noticed an immediate and marked difference - tinkering about with that adds another dimension to the game for me. Same on tour, i want to know about what equipment the guys are using and how it's helping them. 

The various authorities need to see that the balance of game is preserved , but that would be just as true I think if improvement came from non technological factors. 

 

 

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The pros hit the ball much farther than most of us do and also have a more complete than most of us. I could see the professional golf associations perhaps going to a shorter ball, but not for the amateurs. The USGA and R&A are the ones concerned about the distance the big boys hit it and seem to forget that they are the minority and we are the major amount of golfers in the world. 

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On 1/17/2018 at 3:38 PM, Erik Tedfelt said:

This is simply the evolution of golf. 

You also need to remember that golf courses are getting longer and more difficult.

When I played the Regional College Championship last year in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They were afraid that the course was going to be too easy for us so they made the course more than 7800 yards with extremely fast greens and ridiculous flag positions.

Add fast wind to this and on the second round, Jon Rahm, played really good and was the only one to shot under par (-1).

 

I think that you have cause and effect reversed.  Courses are being made longer because the golfers are hitting the ball farther.  Before the titanium driver and, balls that are engineered to be straighter off the tee, a 7000 yard course was long, even for good players.  In the late 1980's I was one of the longer hitters in my club, at just 250-270 yards.  Now on the same course, the guys I play with from the same relative age group are disappointed when they only hit 270.  Less than 10 years ago, when I was in my early 60's, I hit the longest drive of my life, measured at 323 yards, and I put the credit for that directly on the equipment changes.  I never broke the 300 yard barrier when I was in my 40's, but had a better swing and I scored better.... go figure.  

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They can always make the courses even longer and in fact, I see this as something very exciting. There is something special about seeing DJ and Bobby smashing their drivers and out driving the other golfers. 

Actually they can't in many cases.  A lot of courses simply don't have any space for expansion, or they can't justify spending the money to do it.  

That said, I can't say whether the technology is hurting the game, but it certainly has contributed to changing it.

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I do think too many instructors making vids online use Trackman/Flightscope too much in their instruction. Might just be where I live, but i think they over-estimate how many have access to this tech. 

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No, everyone plays the same course and plays by the same rules. They same technological wonders are out there for everybody. What isn't the same are the players and how they use it. They still have to know their strengths and weaknesses and that's what separates the good from the great.

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