High-tech drivers put new life in old golfers

2008-10-14 00:00

EVERYONE who hits a driver off the tee is hitting the ball further than they did 20, 30 or 40 years ago. Of course, newcomers to the game don’t realise that years ago we had marshmallows for balls and wooden drivers that were powder-puffs in comparison to the drivers of today.

Golfers in their 50s and 60s are driving longer than they did in their 20s and 30s.

Equipment manufacturers know how important distance is to all golfers, and their drivers are being marketed with distance as the selling point. There is no other facet of the game that has changed as radically.

Nothing inflates the male ego like a really long drive off the tee. Modern golf balls help a great deal, but those huge shiny black drivers that are the size of Ozzy Osborne’s liver blast the ball to distances that in the past used to be a drive and a wedge shot.

No doubt about it, the further you can hit the ball and the closer you can get to the green with your drive, the easier the game becomes. The big-headed titanium drivers have been with us for close to 10 years, but manufacturers conitune to convince golfers worldwide that the latest model is better than the previous one, even though the “old” one is only a year or two old.

Golfers have been known to change putters fairly frequently, but these days it’s the driver that has taken over and is changed more often. Why should this be? It must be either ego or the striving for those extra few metres, or both.

Driving the ball very long has almost become more important than playing well.

In the clubhouse, one will overhear the post-mortems: “My score was awful, but I’m enjoying my new driver, I’m hitting it out-of-sight”, or “Sam isn’t a good golfer but he drives the ball miles”. It seems that the chest is pushed out further when a golfer is told that he is driving the ball long, more so than when told he is playing well.

So go ahead, speak to your local pro and buy that new driver that has caught your eye.

Last weekend’s results:

Victoria Country Club on Saturday held the Bill Roberts Brokers Monthly mug. The A division was shared between Dave Sutton and Jon Skead on 73 net. They will play off next month. The B division was won by Andrew Smythe on 68 net with Barry Kauffman second on net 69. Brian Meredith and Clive van Niekerk both scored 70 net in the C division and they too will play off next month.

Maritzburg Golf Club also held their Bedstore Monthly mug on Saturday. The A division was won by Darryl Trodd on 67 net. Second was Bradley Pridmore with net 68. The B division was won on a count-out by Attie Els on 69 net, second was Hugh Dean. The C division was won on a count-out by Roger Pridmore on net 67 from Harold Horsley.

19th hole: Jimmy Tarbuck said after a round: “That was terrible. The only two good balls I hit all day was when I stood on a rake.”

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