The Bengal's Purr
Golf - technical to technologicalTuesday, May 29, 2012 By Seth Miller
The driver bursts past its fellow competitor racing toward the finish line. Neither of them even knows what entails them at the end. To the best of their ability they prepare hours before the competition attain the best advantage by improving speed, durability, workability, forgiveness and performance. Does the preparation and increased advantage weigh enough for the driver, or does the driver rely directly on pure skill pulls in the victory? The driver competes in a much more difficult task - hitting golf balls not driving cars. The game of golf, known as a “gentleman’s sport” over the ages, proceeds a major change in her history recently- the creation of technological advances. These advances changed golf overnight and violated her purity in many parts of her character. “People aren’t playing the game like it was meant to be played,” said Bengal golfer Andrew Dodge, senior. The true essence of the sport changes as she shifts her weight from a technical sport to a technological sport. “The golf industry has exploded over the last few years,” said club fitter Mike Roters. “People are coming in for the next best technological advance in golf club engineering every year.” Nike, Titleist, Callaway, Taylor made and Cleveland representatives all claimed they provided the best clubs on the market to supply the weekend golfer an advantage over their golf buddies. A study directed by Golf Digest concluded that equipment clearly matters. If an average 20 handicap golfer received custom fitted, brand new clubs, he or she tended to drop up to four strokes. If the same golfer acquired lessons from a club pro, he or she drops up to five strokes. This test depicts that the new technology in clubs determine an equal amount of loss in strokes in a round compared to a beneficial swing change. “Back in 2000, I was one of the longer hitters, but with the new driver technology and more athleticism, more people are bombing their drivers 320 on a regular basis so I have recently dropped way down in driving distance,” said Tiger Woods, in his book, How I Play Golf. “ Before I really didn’t worry about how far I was hitting it, then everybody else was hitting it long so courses had to lengthen and I fell back. I had Nike fit me for a new driver to get me back on the right track, and now I’m on the higher end of the driving board.” This year’s Master’s champion Bubba Watson agreed with Woods when Golf Digest magazine reporters interviewed him. “With the new driver’s forgiveness, people could use that “kill swing” that 20 years ago would have sacrificed too much accuracy,” said Watson, “but now we can swing out of our shoes and still hit it straight with the new drivers.” Many terrible ball strikers at the range tend to hit shots that displease the eye, but they go the intended distance and direction. “I hit a low ball, but with my new irons, I can hit a piercing mid-height ball flight that has a lot of spin,” said Junior Cody Schumacher. This gives the average golfer an unusual competitive edge. Most sports require athleticism, but golf allows the non-athletic people to play effectively by weakening the shaft to supply more club head speed thus adding more distance to the player. “When I was younger I remember a 420- yard par four was thought to be long.” said the winner of the Snake River Amateur, Jacob Miller. “Now for longer hitters it’s a driver, wedge hole.” Golf elects herself as a game of challenges, so golf course managers required the addition of length to their courses to keep up with the ever- changing game. Augusta Nationals, home to the Masters, the mecca of keeping the game pure, invokes a constant remark of change. The beautiful course changed a par four’s distance three times in its history. The direct reasoning from Augusta’s change lays on the addition of distance of the tee that players add from the new technology. Distance off the tee from the current drivers changes the course’s format and offers more of a challenge Golf cycles-the next best item- change the sport even more and more. “It [golf] evolves slowly but surely, but I think that’s just the nature of it,” said Dodge. Golf desires diversity and it welcomes in many different types of people. Purists and “techies” fill the local courses all around, but that fits her description. The sport lives to be pure in any way even if she shifts from a pure technical sport to a pure technological sport.