Golf goes hi-tech with its equipment

2012-11-09 00:00

OVER the past few years, technology has played a big part in making the game of golf more enjoyable to play. It’s fair to say that never before in the history of the game, have so many improvements to golf equipment taken place over such a short period.

The word “equipment” covers most of the things that one would need to play golf and many of these things have genuinely improved. For instance, today we have durable golf balls that travel much further and don’t cut. There are huge-headed titanium drivers with graphite shafts that are capable of driving the ball enormous distances. In fact, professionals using the new drivers and balls are driving distances that were impossible a few years ago. There are oversize irons with heel and toe balance that are very forgiving of poorly struck shots. Even modern golf shoes are far more comfortable and light, and are genuinely waterproof. The list doesn’t end there. There are electronic gadgets that accurately display the distance to the green being played. This is made possible by GPS (global positioning system). This gadget allows the golfer to select the correct club for the approach shot to the green, providing he knows how far he hits each iron.

There are also specialised computers with video analysis that are used at driving ranges. These units can measure your swing and recommend the ideal shaft and type of club that best suits you. There are other changes to equipment that don’t necessarily improve the golf scores, but help to make playing the game more enjoyable. We have golf bags that are hard-wearing and much lighter than the bags of the past. Ride-on carts are now popular which, of course, allows you to concentrate on your game, especially on hot, energy-sapping, humid days.

What other sport has seen so much overall improvement in the equipment?

However, you can spend money on the best available equipment, but you still have to putt and get the ball into the hole. You still have to hit the ball straight and by the way, the further you drive the ball, the further it goes into the bush! You can still frog that little chip and you can still shank the ball. Hooks and slices are still possible. Those wonderful new Titleist golf balls that fly forever, still sink at R40 apiece.

Golfers will happily pay for all of these improvements and gadgets in the quest to play better golf because they believe that this will ultimately result in more enjoyment. Isn’t that the reason we play the game?

From the 19th hole

Two old golfers, Sam and Harry, were sitting together after their weekly game of golf.

These are some of the things they were overheard saying to each other.

Sam: “Did you hear about the fat alcoholic transvestite? All he wanted to do was eat, drink and be Mary.”

Harry: “Never join dangerous cults, always practise safe sects.”

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