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BCoggins

What Has Happened to Golf?

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I'm kind of confused by the whole thread. What happened to golf? The same thing that happened to most of the rest of the world. Technology. Inflation. Change.

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What happened to golf?  Over the past 40 years I would have to say:

1.  Television, technology, too many distractions.  Easier to do something else.

2.  Just like expansion in other professional sports--the pool of good players is only so big and the increase in tournaments and level of play has been saturated by what would really be called mediocre professionals...

3.  Lack of commitment...to be good at anything you need to practice and commit to it.

4.  In many instances, cost as compared to what you can do with the same amount of money.  Like the movie theaters, cost of admission and snacks will scare the hell out of a $100 bill todayl...

5.  Time--for many, they just won't set aside a half a day for golf...by time you travel to and from the course, play 18 holes, you have shot 6 hours...

6.  Generational differences...us older guys are not driven by how fast something is (other than women and cars) like the younger generations that wants instantaneous gratification and they tire of things quicker today.  

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12 hours ago, BCoggins said:

What has happened to golf.

I'm curious about what hasn't changed.

Today's game can be maddening on some days, and completely relaxing on others. Friends talk trash, but still compliment each other's good shots. We walk away from a really good or really poor round knowing that the next will likely be different. There's that eternal hope that our next round will be our best ever or that we'll somehow be able to figure some of this stuff out. We steal every chance we can to do something related to our game, whether it's practicing chip shots in the yard, or hurrying up to finish our chores so we can get in a quick 18. 

Despite all the differences between today's game and yesterday's, there has to be some similarities @BCoggins?

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8 hours ago, Foot Wedge said:

From work.  And with a little effort, it's not too hard to find decent rates.  Walking, twilight rates, used clubs...plenty of ways to make golf cheaper than other hobbies.

Let's start with the kids programs. We used to have a bucket of balls for $2 and playing for $5. That is not bad. Agreed that it is expensive if you need the newest M3 or G400 and PGX irons, Muira wedges and scotty putter. But you can get get a good AreoDriver or RBZ driver for under $100, Clubs on clearance from a few years ago are <$300 and a decent putter can be <$100. 

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6 hours ago, iacas said:

Huh?

It's not the scratch golfers (or the Tiger Woods types) who "need" the "high tech improvements." It's the average golfer who could use a little help getting the ball in the air.

There aren't a ton of hybrids in play on the PGA Tour, but the average golfer often has three or four of them.

True that! I don't carry an iron higher than a 6 in my bag anymore! The rest are hybrids, or "rescues" to properly accredit my TM 3 thru 5 "irons"! My 2 hybrid is a Cleveland launcher that I sincerely love! It does whatever I want it to.

I don't really understand the OP's rant. Seems like he ought to be playing hickory shafted clubs and featheries! Technology advances and so does sports and society as a whole!

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12 hours ago, BCoggins said:

Don't know if I will ever play golf again,had a major stroke, but if I do will play with real woods, and a half set of my old irons.

That's the beauty of the game, you can play with the latest equipment or hickory shafts if you want (there are tournaments/leagues for that), or anything in between.

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7 hours ago, billchao said:

I'm kind of confused by the whole thread. What happened to golf? The same thing that happened to most of the rest of the world. Technology. Inflation. Change.

I see your point

And you know what? If you want to play with historic old clubs I most golfers would think that was cool.

And it's still cheap enough. I can probably find a twilight round for $25 in San Diego. That's not expensive for 4.5 hours.

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10 hours ago, criley4way said:

Let's start with the kids programs. We used to have a bucket of balls for $2 and playing for $5. That is not bad. Agreed that it is expensive if you need the newest M3 or G400 and PGX irons, Muira wedges and scotty putter. But you can get get a good AreoDriver or RBZ driver for under $100, Clubs on clearance from a few years ago are <$300 and a decent putter can be <$100. 

Good points, and I think there's a course around here that doesn't charge under 10's if they're playing with their parent.

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To be honest my Silver Scots have been a benders vice and had their lofts and lies adjusted to fit me. So has my 8802 and R90 Sw and had a ladies shaft put in the SW.

Yes the world has changed because we let it.For example when I was a kid my mother used to drive me to the local muni and drop me off for the whole day, then come back and pick me up.Most would be afraid now to leave their kids.There are some mean cruel people in the world and every now and then we need to thin the herd.

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16 minutes ago, BCoggins said:

There are some mean cruel people in the world and every now and then we need to thin the herd.

Huh?

There have always been mean cruel people. Thin the herd? Dude…

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15 hours ago, Osnola said:

What happened to golf?  Over the past 40 years I would have to say:

1.  Television, technology, too many distractions.  Easier to do something else.

2.  Just like expansion in other professional sports--the pool of good players is only so big and the increase in tournaments and level of play has been saturated by what would really be called mediocre professionals...

3.  Lack of commitment...to be good at anything you need to practice and commit to it.

4.  In many instances, cost as compared to what you can do with the same amount of money.  Like the movie theaters, cost of admission and snacks will scare the hell out of a $100 bill todayl...

5.  Time--for many, they just won't set aside a half a day for golf...by time you travel to and from the course, play 18 holes, you have shot 6 hours...

6.  Generational differences...us older guys are not driven by how fast something is (other than women and cars) like the younger generations that wants instantaneous gratification and they tire of things quicker today.  

I can tell you this, I'm coaching a boys golf team this year (high school) and I have two players. I have had one match cancelled because the school we were playing doesn't even have a team and the other match only had 6 total players (including my two). Most golf teams numbers are down. It's actually the same for football in this area (numbers are down). Why go out and practice and be good at something when you can sit in your living room, eat junk food, and be a legend on X-box. I'm a physical education teacher...and I'm here to tell you are kids are getting fat...really fat. I didn't have one 7th grader (180 kids) who could do 20 push ups. It's sad.

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40 minutes ago, Bucki1968 said:

I'm a physical education teacher...and I'm here to tell you are kids are getting fat...really fat. I didn't have one 7th grader (180 kids) who could do 20 push ups. It's sad.

I have a friend who's a nurse, and she's been investing in pharma companies that treat diabetes. She sees the health trends firsthand every day. 

I see very few kids playing, most beginners are in their late 20's early 30's (and some older). I was watching a golf clinic at the range yesterday and nobody was college age or younger. 

 

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23 hours ago, BCoggins said:

Don't know if I will ever play golf again,had a major stroke, but if I do will play with real woods, and a half set of my old irons.

Best of luck with the health issues - persimmon, forged blades and a Bullseye have been proven to cure many a malady!

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19 hours ago, BCoggins said:

To be honest my Silver Scots have been a benders vice and had their lofts and lies adjusted to fit me. So has my 8802 and R90 Sw and had a ladies shaft put in the SW.

Well, I understand the enjoyment of playing with an old kit. I have a set of Wilson Staffs from 1979, and a set of Hogan PC's from around 1988. I have collected around 20-25 pieces of persimmon of various ages over the last few years. The Staffs cost $260 new for 2-PW in 1979. I paid about $30 a couple years ago for the Hogans, and around $6 per club for the persimmons. Although I haven't had any of them out for a spin lately, I played with them a good bit up until last year. You can still buy very similar equipment new, and it cost about the same as any other new equipment. A new persimmon driver or fairway from Louisville Golf will cost around $250 and up. Several manufacturers make irons very similar to my old Staffs, and they are around $1,000 per set, the same as any other modern iron.

You can see my signature, and I have been playing modern stuff almost exclusively for the past couple of seasons. All this stuff is easier to use, though admittedly there is nothing like the sound and feel of a well struck persimmon. I have found a Scotty that gives me most of the intuitive feel of my old Wilson putter.  Your 8802 and R90 if they are original are likely non-conforming, as was my treasured Wilson.

As to the cost, golf is actually less inflated than some other things. In the 70's, I bought several new persimmons at discounted retail of around $125 or so. A modern price point on a driver is around $500, so an inflation of about 4 times. In 1976, I got a new Chevy as a graduation present from my parents. It was a fairly nicely equipped Monte Carlo and was $5,800 out the door. A similar car now would be over $30K, so at least an inflation factor of 5 times.  If I recall, it cost around $15-20 for 18 with a cart at my college course, and I can play the same much improved course now for around $50, so only 2-3 times inflation. Premium balls are the same; about $1.25 in the 70's and about $4 now, but you can still buy the equivalent of the old Acushnet Club Special for around $1.50 or so. And while new equipment is expensive, used equipment a couple of revisions old and in great shape is probably 25-30% of the cost of new.

Certainly the world is not as safe as it once was, but there are still places where at least older kids would be fine dropped off at the course.

I hope you do recover well enough to be able to play again. If you do, give some of the newer stuff a try, you might find you like it. Or make some mods to your old stuff ( which works just fine with the softer of the modern balls). Either way, golf is in pretty good shape, actually.

 

 

 

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Mr. dbuck you hit my nail right on the head. Right next to hitting persimmon was nailing my old Haig Ultra 1-iron. Yes my old 8802 and R90 are non-conforming, but by who those sell-outs at the USGA? Golf is not abound tourns. it's about the walk.Walked a few great course: the Old Course at ST. Andrews, Harbor Town and Yeamens Hall, CC, which is right up the road. Seen a few celebs there: Bing Crosby and Henry Picard.

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15 hours ago, iacas said:

Why?

Some of the 8802's with the original grip are non-conforming because of the grip.  I guess it is more accurate to say the grips are non-conforming. This was in about 1988, I believe, and had to do with the combination of round and flat sections on the front of the grip, if I understand. If there is a flat section, it has to be flat all the way or to within 1" of the top of the grip, and cannot be concave. I have a Wilson repro of the Geo Low Wizard from 1980 that has its original non-conforming grip. It is round at the top for a couple of inches then flattens out. Also if you look from the side, it is slightly concave at the start of the flat part.  I think there was another type of grip commonly used on these putters that was the real target of this rule, but the wording of the rule made the leather ones I have described non-conforming.  Obviously, they can be made conforming by changing the grip, but some folks don't want to do this for aesthetic or historical reasons.

I am not sure about the R90, but I think Laura Davies had a similar wedge that was ruled non-conforming at the 2018 Womens' British Open, I think.

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