I enjoyed reading this article the other day – it discusses some future ideas for the game and what can be done to make golf more enjoyable and potentially engaging for the average golfer. Tiger takes a view that many will find favourable and interesting.
The article discusses equipment changes, game formats and the future of golf. What direction should golf be headed in?
Tiger played a lot of his junior golf with persimmon woods. He mentions how the difficulty of playing them gave so much of a reward to the better players and influenced strategy so much.
In a way he is saying quality ball striking alone would allow you to separate yourself from the field. But is that just a reference to the weaker fields of yesteryear? What is interesting here is the gap between leaders and the cut mark – would equipment effect that?
He also laments the lack of creativity in the game today. Less spin from both club and balls reduce the number of effective shot options. What do you think?
The video above is a fun watch to see todays players give them a go – albeit with modern balls. I first tried golf with a blue wooden 3 wood in 2001 – I was behind the times a little 🙂 but I havent tried one since. I would relish the opportunity. This would also mean ditching light weight and easy to swing 45 inch graphite shafts!
A source of long running debate and research, the modern golf ball is condemned by many for being too versatile – better spin rates and massive distance gains!
Would we have seen players like Seve Ballesteros succeed in the modern ball and club era?
Extra spin means extra curve and lift on the ball. A help in hitting firm greens or creating extra shape it would also be of benefit around the greens – more spin and a very soft feel. But any poor shots were heavily penalised.
This difficulty removed the reward that longer hitters recieve in todays game. They are arguably less penalised for their miss hits.
The modern ball has a forgiveness on miss hits and in difficult conditions that older golfers find hard to fathom. Check out the difference on Trackman here with renowned coach Andrew Rice:
The article asks whether a half set or even four club competition could make it as a prime event on the PGA tour.
Tiger points out that in principle, the lowest score still wins. It is still normal in every other way…there is simply a greater demand on the golfer to adapt and be creative. Surely this could be a good thing?
In Scotland on the Tartan Tour there has been a well renowned one club challenge event after the Pro Am at the famed Skibo Castle for years. There are rarely fluke winners – it still rewards the best players!
FUTURE OF GOLF
What was so interesting to read in the article is to hear a player of Tiger’s calibre posses a strong desire to grow the game.
Personally I don’t believe foot golf or anything too far removed from the traditional game will work. It’s too much of a gimmick.
Golf doesn’t have to be the easiest sport to play. It’s difficulty is its appeal. The fact that you can never master it is the addictive element to the game.
But I do think some things should change at most courses. Of course private courses or very popular courses have little need or desire to change.
DIFFERENT RULES FOR AMATEURS
Many rule changes are on the horizon for 2019. It will be a topic for another blog post, but in summary, I agree with most of them.
There definitely needs to be a reduction in their complexity. But some rules should disappear for the amateur golfer. The harshness and precision of some rules are unnecssary. My best example would be the broomstick and belly putter “anchoring” ban. It has simply destroyed putting for some amateurs.
Here in Norway the VTG or “Road to Golf” scheme provides a fantastic grounding in the basics to help you enjoy and understand the game. I have heard that previously it placed far too much emphasis on the rules and driving range tests.
But now it seems to have found the right balance…it provides guidance but also mixes you in with other fellow beginner golfers. This is so important for helping beginers stay with the game….it is impossible to enjoy as a solo pursuit for many.
Perhaps courses could have beginner times, a bit like juniors have their set times. This will give the beginners some breathing room on the course and hopefully remove some of the trepidation of heading out there.
9 OR 6 HOLE GOLF
A lot of modern courses are built with the 9th hole coming back to the clubhouse. This is fantastic and these clubs could perhaps go further and create certain periods where you can only book 9 hole tee times.
The time “cost” of 18 holes at full size course is substantial….many cannot afford half a day away from work or the family.
Taking the idea a step further, perhaps 6 hole loops would work well. I know growing up and playing after work as the darkness drew in 6 holes of golf was perfect and we made our own mini course up. One hour of golf and social chat can be very rewarding!
Thanks for reading and would love to hear what you think!