Written by Liam Whyte
Golf Equipment – Then and now?
Golf brands are pushing the limits in all aspects of the game by innovating and developing their products. Players are hitting the ball dramatically further since brands such as Titleist, Callaway and TaylorMade have been investing in the innovation of golf equipment. With the current technology, equipment designers now possess the opportunity to manipulate the parameters of a golf club to achieve the desired aim. The manufacturing methods and processes around designing and prototyping golf clubs are constantly improving.
Players such as Bryson DeChambaeu and Rory Mcllroy are notoriously known for hitting the ball the longest on the PGA Tour and taking a more direct approach to the game which is aided by the research and development which golf brands undertake. As they are hitting it further, they are able to bypass elements of the course such as water, trees and bunkers.
But where did it all start?
With the state-of-the-art technology that is adopted to make golf clubs today, it is easy to forget where it all began.
It all started with a wooden stick that had a round head attached to the end and a golf ball that was composed of three pieces of leather sewn together. There was no technology in making the clubs and were only replaced when the material was wearing out, whereas most people upgrade their clubs nowadays not because there has been a significant technology change.
However, at the end of the 1970s, brands introduced steel irons and drivers and the cavity back iron which were a big breakthrough in the sport. Cavity backs have larger heads on the irons meaning it could give a larger hitting surface, boosting the likelihood of solid contact with the ball for the ordinary golfer like me.
With the introduction of strong lightweight titanium, clubs were able to be created with larger heads that could improve distance and accuracy. Taylor-Made was the first company to produce metal club headed woods. The popularity of metal club heads over wooden club heads did not become popular until Callaway introduced the Big Bertha in 1991.
Golf Equipment now…
The latest trends in woods and drivers is the use of titanium clubheads combined with graphite shafts. Another trend is the adjustable driver, which gives the golfer the ability to adjust the weight of their driver, helping a golfer more easily hit a draw or fade, depending on how it is set. The golfer has evolved from making their own clubs from wood to now having them manufactured with the most advanced technology, giving them the ability to personalize them to their individual needs.
The golf ball has also advanced in the sense that you can buy a different ball depending on how you hit the ball and how you want to play. For example, the famous Titleist pro v1 is a three-piece ball that is designed to produce more spin as it is a softer material where a Srixon Soft is designed for beginners who are wanting distance and durability.
In summary, golf is a sport that is constantly evolving, thanks to brands using modern technologies in order to improve golf equipment and make the sport accessible for all levels of golfers.