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Is the game of golf evolving? And is the evolution good?


Is the game of golf evolving? And is the evolution good?  

34 members have voted

  1. 1. Is the game of golf evolving? And is the evolution good?

    • The game is evolving and the evolution is good.
      20
    • The game is evolving, I don’t like it but I am changing.
      4
    • The game is evolving. I don’t like it, and I am doing nothing different
      1
    • Nothing has really changed, fittings, strokes gained, launch monitors are useless and the old ways are superior.
      0
    • All this strokes gained and launch monitor stuff is wrong. The information it provides is simply wrong.
      0
    • Other?..
      9


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I was reading an article about baseball and that teams are using an intentional balk in extra innings when they are up by 2 runs and a man is on second.  The reasoning is that they want to move the player to 3rd to avoid sign stealing and the on base player is essentially meaningless.  Golf and golf strategy has evolved as well:

  •  launch monitors have disproven the old ball flight laws.  
  • Strokes gained metrics are showing that distance is more important than accuracy.  
  • Lessons approaches have changed from in person watch the ball flight to video swing analysis to leveraging launch monitors and even online instruction.
  • Equipment is now fit to the player based on swing dynamics.  
  • don’t lay up to specific distances 

The game is changing but is it changing for the good and how do these changes impact you and the way you play the game.

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Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* w/ KBS Tour Driven
Fairway: :titelist-small: TS3 15* set  to 16.5* w/Project X Hzardous Smoke
Hybrids:  :titelist-small: 816H1 19* set at 18* w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
                :titelist-small: 915H  21*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
               :titelist-small: 915H 24*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
Irons:      :honma:TR20V 6-11 w/Vizard TR20-85 Graphite
Wedge:  :callaway-small: 54-10S   :cleveland-small: 588  58-12
Putter:  :seemore-small: mFGP2

Backups:  :bobby-grace-1: 6330, :taylormade-small:TM-180, :odyssey-small: Milled Collection RSX 2, Bellum Winmore 787

 

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I don’t have any issues with how the game is changing. Technology and its use in strategy is changing how teams or individuals gameplan. While not on the same level sports changes when teams began recording practice and games, then like in football in game photos sent from the booth to the sidelines showing formations, movements, etc.

The online vs in person lessons/coaching IMO is a good thing. It gives more access to good instructors for golfers and usually at a better price than in person for that instructor or even ones in the golfers area. Also good for the instructor as they can grow their client base and increase their earnings while also not being limited by Mother Nature.

Even with all technology and evolution one still needs to have good fundamentals

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Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

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The game isn't evolving nearly as fast  recently as it has evolved over my lifetime.

We can leave the flagstick in now but we don't have to.  I like that.

We can drop, take a two stroke penalty, and hit four instead of going all the way back to the tee when we knock one into the woods and can't find it.

That's ok, I guess.

You almost have to sell an organ to buy a dozen Pro V1s.

[ I just priced a new set of clubs and bag on TGW for $3816.91---and went economical on the driver.]

But that's small stuff.

Look what happened over a longer period of time/

We've gone from balata   to balata or surlyn     to   surlyn or urethane.

[  Simultaneously from wound    to wound or non-wound   to entirely non-wound.] 

We've gone from forged carbon steel to cast stainless steel and now to  multi-piece construction of irons.

We've gone from persimmon or laminated maple     to metal    to metal / exotic fiber...and up to a whopping 460cc... with "woods"

We've got hybrids.

A Wilson Staff DynaPowered   5-iron had 32º  loft in the 1950s and 1960s.

A Wilson Staff D7  5-iron has 24.5º of loft now.    That would cause notice if you just awakened from a long coma.

The explosion of working class golf in 1he 1960s seems to have dissipated as the game gradually becomes more elitist again due to cost.

 

I don't know if the game is better, worse, or essentially the same but peripherally different.

I've missed steel spikes for a long time, though. 

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When it comes to what you have listed I picked evolving/good.  

However, it seems other areas are evolving in a bad way. Specifically, the types of clientele and their lack of respect for the property when playing and their heckling when watching at tour events.  Anyone who yells anything after a shot at a tour event should automatically be ejected from the premises.  

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Sun Mountain C130-S / Titleist TSi4 8.25* PX HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX 70 TX / Titleist TSi3 14.25* PX HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX 80 TX / New Level NLU-01 18* PX HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX 100 6.5 / New Level 902 Forged 4-PW DG TI X100 / Vokey SM8 50,54,58 DGS200 / Scotty Cameron Special Select Newport 2

Humble, TX / Right Handed / 10 Handicap / 37.5" 6i @ 61.5* Lie

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9 minutes ago, CRW said:

When it comes to what you have listed I picked evolving/good.  

However, it seems other areas are evolving in a bad way. Specifically, the types of clientele and their lack of respect for the property when playing and their heckling when watching at tour events.  Anyone who yells anything after a shot at a tour event should automatically be ejected from the premises.  

Don’t disagree but I was more interested in peoples strategy and approach for how they play.  Kind of looking at the I want to hit iron and hit the fairway crowd over hitting it longer and maybe getting into trouble.   Understand that some people struggle with certain clubs.  

  • Like 3

Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* w/ KBS Tour Driven
Fairway: :titelist-small: TS3 15* set  to 16.5* w/Project X Hzardous Smoke
Hybrids:  :titelist-small: 816H1 19* set at 18* w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
                :titelist-small: 915H  21*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
               :titelist-small: 915H 24*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
Irons:      :honma:TR20V 6-11 w/Vizard TR20-85 Graphite
Wedge:  :callaway-small: 54-10S   :cleveland-small: 588  58-12
Putter:  :seemore-small: mFGP2

Backups:  :bobby-grace-1: 6330, :taylormade-small:TM-180, :odyssey-small: Milled Collection RSX 2, Bellum Winmore 787

 

Member:  MGS Hitsquad since 2017697979773_DSCN2368(Custom).JPG.a1a25f5e430d9eebae93c5d652cbd4b9.JPG

 

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4 minutes ago, cnosil said:

Don’t disagree but I was more interested in peoples strategy and approach for how they play.  Kind of looking at the I want to hit iron and hit the fairway crowd over hitting it longer and maybe getting into trouble.   Understand that some people struggle with certain clubs.  

That's my problem. My distance off the tee is an advantage, but accuracy a disadvantage. There are times a 3W or hybrid is a smart play (or really the only play), but I'm sure there are times I pull a driver where it may be a mistake. On the other hand, I made a concerted effort this year to hit MORE drivers instead of less (if nothing else, to try to figure it out), and my scoring average on my league course is down and my league handicap is down. How much of that improvement is me slowly self-correcting with a better fitting driver versus getting a little better on approach, etc. or is it the long-term statistics of strokes gained with, on average, shorter approaches helping me out. Hard to say, but I'm likely to keep doing it.

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Driver:  :callaway-small:Epic Speed 9* (set -1) Mitsubishi MMT 70X
3W: :bridgestone-small: Tour B JGR 15* Recoil 460ES
3H, 4H: :bridgestone-small: Tour B JGR 19*, 23* Recoil 780ES
4-AW:  :bridgestone-small: Tour B JGR HF2 Modus3 Tour 105
SW: :cleveland-small: Zipcore Black Satin 54*
LW: :cleveland-small: Zipcore Black Satin 58*
Putter: :odyssey-small: Stroke Lab Marxman
Bag: BigMax Dri Active Lite
Ball: :taylormade-small: TP5x Pix
Pushcart: BigMax iQ+

2021 Test - Callaway Epic Speed

 

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2 minutes ago, MaxEntropy said:

 On the other hand, I made a concerted effort this year to hit MORE drivers instead of less.

Please hit a few extra for me, Max. 

 

I hit driver on three holes--these holes have safe landing areas approximately the size of Jacksonville--

and I wear out my driving iron everyplace else.

Every time that I take myself out of a hole on the very first shot,

I wish that I were skinny enough to try the tennis courts.

I'm told that there are lots of horny old widows hanging out over there.

 

 

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Information is evolving, but I don't know how much the game is. Club & ball rules haven't changed in a long time, so manufacturers have to work within those confines. It's up to players and their coaches/fitters to figure out what works best using the evolving information capture tech.

I do think Strokes Gained is a bunch of jank for non-tour/high level am players.

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I'm new to the game so I can't speak about the evolution and strokes gained and stuff, but I do know this:maddux-glavine.gif.3762dd3e2aee9bf4e9c304f192e01365.gif

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Dunlop 3 wood

Nickent 3DX 3 hybrid

Cobra AMP 5-PW

Pinemeadow 52° 56° 60° 64° wedges

PIng Anser putter

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On a more serious note, the game is absolutely evolving.  We've witnessed it in baseball with the push towards "three true outcomes": walk, strikeout, homerun.  Its happening in basketball where layups and threes are king.  Golf seems to be turning into more of a long drive competition.  Is this all making the games "easier" or more efficient?  Absolutely.  Are these things making the games "better?"  That's debatable and in the eye of the beholder. 

More information is always better and the internet helps makes that info much easier to access.  I believe the bigger issue is how people interpret that data.  Like others have mentioned, I'm hitting it farther than before and my scores are dropping.  Does that mean distance is king, or am I just getting better at golf (ie, fewer chunks and such)?

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Titleist 385k driver

Dunlop 3 wood

Nickent 3DX 3 hybrid

Cobra AMP 5-PW

Pinemeadow 52° 56° 60° 64° wedges

PIng Anser putter

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Yea. The game is evolving.  I like technology as much as anyone... 

The evolution that I don’t like has been mentioned already.  Plus a few other things that will just start an argument, so.  
 

Other.

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1 minute ago, Shankster said:

Plus a few other things that will just start an argument, so.

+1

 

Evolving.. Yes.  

better or worse?  IIWII.

Unless you are still playing Eye-O-Matics, Dyna-Powereds, a Bulls Eye and a Dunlop 65.....  you are a part of the evolution.

Edited by Tiftaaft
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I voted "other".  The game is evolving, and evolution is natural, so my feelings are fairly neutral.  Looking back several hundred years I can see huge changes, I'm not sure that the more recent changes are all that significant.  Take away the top 0.01% of golfers, the rest of us are playing pretty much the same game as anyone has over the past 50 years or so.  We're not hitting it a lot longer, we're not playing a lot better (or worse), we still have slow players and fast players, good players and not-so-good players.  The "science of golf" changes seem natural to me, people have always been looking for a little edge, technology and statistics are developing tools to help them along the way.  

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:callaway-small: Rogue SubZero, GD YS-Six X

:vokey-small: 52, 56, and 60 wedges

:ping-small: B60 G5i putter

Right handed

Reston, Virginia

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19 hours ago, DiscipleofPenick said:

I do think Strokes Gained is a bunch of jank for non-tour/high level am players.

I understand your perspective, but don't entirely agree - I just think that us non-pros/scratch golfers need to understand that it may take a lot longer for the statistics to work out in our favor and in some cases it might not ever help due to circumstances (aging, injuries, etc.). Now that I have over 2 years worth of data in Arccos, I see that my 3W dispersion off the tee is only 3 yards less than my driver dispersion, on average. If I ever need a really accurate tee shot, I need to get down to my 4H before my dispersion off the tee gets good enough to make much of a difference. At that point, I am giving up 60 - 80 yards of distance. Depending on the hole layout/length, it may make zero sense to NOT pull driver. The problem is, I know this, so I probably err to the side of being aggressive more than I should, which is why we've spent so much time talking strategy while we've played together.

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Driver:  :callaway-small:Epic Speed 9* (set -1) Mitsubishi MMT 70X
3W: :bridgestone-small: Tour B JGR 15* Recoil 460ES
3H, 4H: :bridgestone-small: Tour B JGR 19*, 23* Recoil 780ES
4-AW:  :bridgestone-small: Tour B JGR HF2 Modus3 Tour 105
SW: :cleveland-small: Zipcore Black Satin 54*
LW: :cleveland-small: Zipcore Black Satin 58*
Putter: :odyssey-small: Stroke Lab Marxman
Bag: BigMax Dri Active Lite
Ball: :taylormade-small: TP5x Pix
Pushcart: BigMax iQ+

2021 Test - Callaway Epic Speed

 

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20 hours ago, DiscipleofPenick said:

I do think Strokes Gained is a bunch of jank for non-tour/high level am players.

Would love to hear the reasoning behind this thought?

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Everything has changed as technology has advanced. If you look at what the launch monitors did to the game just based on ball flight laws its a little mind blowing. I think the progression is natural and trying to stop progress is usually a slow march to death. Baseball has been mentioned and it is in a weird place right now. There are parts of the old ballgame that I definitely miss. The curious part for me is what happens with the next generation of golfers or the one after that and where is the breaking point. 

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:titelist-small:                     Vokey SM8 55 08 M (KBS 610)

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11 minutes ago, THEZIPR23 said:

The curious part for me is what happens with the next generation of golfers or the one after that and where is the breaking point. 

The breaking point was the innovation of the gutta percha ball, or the end of hickory shafts, or the invention in-ground irrigation systems, or.....

We've had breaking points in golf for centuries, and the game is still doing just fine.

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:callaway-small: Rogue SubZero, GD YS-Six X

:vokey-small: 52, 56, and 60 wedges

:ping-small: B60 G5i putter

Right handed

Reston, Virginia

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2 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

The breaking point was the innovation of the gutta percha ball, or the end of hickory shafts, or the invention in-ground irrigation systems, or.....

We've had breaking points in golf for centuries, and the game is still doing just fine.

I get that but there is still a point from a speed perspective that faster won't equal better. That is the breaking point I was referring to. 

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:titelist-small:                     Vokey SM8 49 08 F ( KBS 610)

:titelist-small:                     Vokey SM8 55 08 M (KBS 610)

:titelist-small:                     Vokey SM8 59 04 L  (KBS 610)

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"One thing Golf has taught me, is that my muscles have no memory."

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6 hours ago, MaxEntropy said:

I understand your perspective, but don't entirely agree - I just think that us non-pros/scratch golfers need to understand that it may take a lot longer for the statistics to work out in our favor and in some cases it might not ever help due to circumstances (aging, injuries, etc.). Now that I have over 2 years worth of data in Arccos, I see that my 3W dispersion off the tee is only 3 yards less than my driver dispersion, on average. If I ever need a really accurate tee shot, I need to get down to my 4H before my dispersion off the tee gets good enough to make much of a difference. At that point, I am giving up 60 - 80 yards of distance. Depending on the hole layout/length, it may make zero sense to NOT pull driver. The problem is, I know this, so I probably err to the side of being aggressive more than I should, which is why we've spent so much time talking strategy while we've played together.

Right , and even though Arrcos has strokes gained data, I don't necessarily consider what your doing with it Strokes Gained. To me, you are using technology, probably the best way the game has advanced, to better understand your misses and strengths. You're not focused on a number that your 9i is .6 strokes worse than whatever blah blah. 

Not my term, but I think this falls under the Strokes Shaved. This is just understanding your game and making smart s*** selections in the moment. Like the driver vs. 3w example, if you miss them both about the same, it make sense to just rip the driver, unless it's a very short, tight hole where backing off to the iron doesn't cost you.

Like for me, I don't need some fancy formula to know I should hit more greens. I can just look at my stats on GHIN and see how low the number is and know I gotta work on my irons.

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Take Dead Aim

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17 hours ago, DiscipleofPenick said:

Right , and even though Arrcos has strokes gained data, I don't necessarily consider what your doing with it Strokes Gained. To me, you are using technology, probably the best way the game has advanced, to better understand your misses and strengths. You're not focused on a number that your 9i is .6 strokes worse than whatever blah blah. 

Not my term, but I think this falls under the Strokes Shaved. This is just understanding your game and making smart s*** selections in the moment. Like the driver vs. 3w example, if you miss them both about the same, it make sense to just rip the driver, unless it's a very short, tight hole where backing off to the iron doesn't cost you.

Like for me, I don't need some fancy formula to know I should hit more greens. I can just look at my stats on GHIN and see how low the number is and know I gotta work on my irons.

I have to agree with this assessment.  I don't want to start an argument, but some of strokes gained just doesn't apply to weekend hacks (and I'm talking about myself).  I know with 100 percent certainty(regardless of what strokes gained may say) that my chances of hitting many more  crap shots, ones which may only make it half way to the green is exponentially higher from 145 yards in 4 inches of rough (8I), than it is from 155 yards in the fairway with my 7I.

The one part of Strokes Gained that Brodie's book did make clear to me, and I think applies to all golfers is the knowledge that I don't care how good you are, on any putt over 10 feet your only real focus should be to not 3 putt, period.  If you want to make more putts, those are going to come in the sub 8 foot distance, practice those.

I did read Brodie's book.  Don't forget when speaking of dispersion, and all that shot link data for the pros, that your drive (and every other shot) likely has a  zero percent chance of being stopped by a spectator, before it bounds into the woods, costing you a stroke to get back into play, and my pitching wedge crap shot skull, from the hardpan underneath a tree, has an equally high zero percent chance at being stopped by the grandstand behind the green.  I'm going to continue to make good common sense decisions, and most often error on the side of  giving up some distance in order to play from the short grass.

Edited by stuka44
add line
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Putter:  :ping-small: Scottsdale Wolverine

Woods:  Gigagolf  3W, 2H, 3H

Ball:  :bridgestone-small: E12 Soft Yellow 

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