https://www.thelostartofgolf.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Range-techno.jpg 350 500 Gary Nicol https://ncg-live-assets.ams3.cdn.digitaloceanspaces.com/uploads/2021/08/TLA-C32tuqjr_400x400-copy.png Gary Nicol2019-11-12 11:11:012021-08-23 22:04:33Better tech but not better results?
I keep hearing stories about players in their 40s, 50s and 60s claiming they’re hitting the ball as far, if not further now than they ever did.
I know this rings true for numerous players on the Staysure and PGA Champions Tour as there is sufficient data to back this up.
While a lot of these players are obviously in pretty good shape, I can’t imagine they are a whole lot fitter and stronger now than they were in their prime.
That being the case, it has to be down to advancements in golf club and ball technology.
I am all for progress if it makes the game more enjoyable to watch and play. However, I’m not entirely convinced that is the case.
If modern golf clubs and balls have progressed so much over the last twenty or thirty years, why have the average handicaps and overall standards of play not moved on at the same pace?
Oversized drivers, perimeter weighted irons and high MOI (moment of inertia) putters should make the game easier to play. The modern golf ball spins less and travels further than ever before, again theoretically making the game easier. Generally speaking, golf courses are better prepared and presented than ever before, thanks in part to technological improvements in greenkeeping and agronomy.
So why have handicaps and playing standards stagnated?
It would appear that more golfers than ever hit balls on driving ranges and take more lessons than in years gone by but still they struggle to make any real progress.
My belief, based on 30 years of coaching golfers of all standards from newcomers to the game to Tour Pros and Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup players, is that the golf industry culture is to blame.
In order to find some answers, I want to ask questions of that culture and of you the golfer.
My intention is not to bad mouth anyone and everyone, merely to question why real improvement remains so elusive for the majority of people who invest time and money in this great game.
We are encouraged to get our clubs custom fitted through the bag from driver to putter, something I wholeheartedly agree with, so again, this should make playing golf easier and more pleasurable.
It would appear that the vast majority of golfers of all ages and genders can hit the ball relatively solidly and pretty much in the right direction. That is if we are to believe all the ‘great swing positions’ and numbers posted on social media to confirm how much progress ‘students’ are making on the range or during a lesson or fitting.
Throw in an abundance of information (which is often conflicting, contradictory and therefore confusing) on YouTube and various other social media channels and you would think that golfers of the world are better informed, better equipped and theoretically, better prepared to shoot lower scores.
Everything the industry is selling the golfing public, largely hope and distance, would suggest that golfers should shoot lower scores as a result of the advancements in technology and “teaching methods”.
That, according to the statistics, is not the case. Golfers in general are stagnating at best and walking away from the game in many cases. Why? Simply because they are not improving. They might have better fitted clubs, golf balls that fly straighter than ever before and “better” swings but they haven’t learned how to actually play the game. How to put a score together. That art has been lost somewhere along the way.
No golfer in the history of the game learned how to get up and down from a nasty lie for par on the driving range.
If working on THE way, or someone’s opinion of THE way is hindering rather than helping you, perhaps it’s time to find YOUR way.
YOUR way of hitting the fairway, YOUR way of creating a shot that hits the green. YOUR way of holing putts. YOUR way of enjoying this great game.
The best, most interesting and exciting players have always been golf smart. They learned how to play shots, a vast array of different shots. If you are working on your swing rather than your shots, golf will become boring and uninteresting.
Learn how to play different shots. Learn how to get up and down from awkward spots. Learn how to hole more putts. Learn the Lost Art Of Playing Golf and you will see your scores come down and your enjoyment levels go up.