At least in my opinion, making golf easier through advances in equipment is pandering to the emerging social issues which face the younger generations of today. It’s the something-for-nothing, instant gratification population to which I am referring. Golf doesn't fit into these categories, and trying to make it is performing a disservice to the game.
Making the game easier may initially attract more people to play, but we run the risk of losing these players prematurely. The trend is to look to technology to solve their swing problems, rather than taking the noble challenge of learning and improving, and quick fixes through technology won’t hold their attention span the same way. A new club may provide instant gratification, but in my opinion it is not the definitive answer to creating a generation of avid, loyal golfers who love the game for what it is.
Playing to a decent standard and improving is deeply linked to the overall enjoyment of the game, so giving people easier access to objective, quality teaching and knowledge is essential. A new club may give golfers a few extra yards but it won’t turn them into lifelong fans or even a good player. Golf is intrinsically difficult and anyone who takes up the challenge of the game is to be commended. You all remember the famous JFK moon speech…
I’m certain there are many ways to tackle this issue. I can say that easier-to-use equipment does have a place, but I feel that objective knowledge about the physics behind the game is paramount for people to understand their own game and improve.
Thanks to trackman and advances in teaching technology–not club technology–we have moved from an era of coaching subjectivity which was open to interpretation, to a more solid understanding of causation in the golf swing. If golf can empower people to understand the physics behind their game and why certain shots happen, this is the first step to fixing their swing issues, keep them improving and enjoying the game.
I would love to see more golfers understand the fundamentals behind golf, so they can help themselves and others either through online tools or with knowledge that is more widely documented and available.
There’s nothing more satisfying than overcoming a challenge using your own mind (and sometimes the minds of others). It’s something that young people aren’t experiencing enough and golf could be the very thing to inspire them.
I would love to hear anyone else’s thoughts on the matter.