The rule makers of golf and the manufacturers have got themselves into a real pickle. The performance of equipment is restricted creating stagnant research and development departments leaving new materials and technology on the shelf. Current materials used in today’s golf balls and clubs can already exceed these restrictions. Imagine what you could be playing with if these performance handcuffs were removed? Obviously these rules are in place to try and prevent the relatively small number of golf professionals from hitting the ball too far, rendering many classic golf courses obsolete, unless the diggers come out to lengthen the holes. Brands obviously use their expensively sponsored players to sell equipment to you and I.
This state of affairs is not sustainable. It’s no good for the vast majority of golfers, whose practise time and lessons are limited with work and family commitments. Golfers should have access to the very best technology, to increase their performance and enjoyment of golf within time limitations. And the professionals are still managing to hit the ball too far.

Golf Refugees suggest a solution to this predicament and ask you to discuss and share you own thoughts.

Instead of the stated rules of golf equipment for all players from professional, amateur and beginner, we propose two categories for golf equipment;

1)      Unrestricted. Where there are no limits on COR or MOI or the initial velocity test for golf balls. And no conformity to a general form.

2)      More restricted. Where the current limit of COR and MOI and initial velocity test for golf balls are lowered from there current levels.

Both of the above categories could have identical dimensional restrictions for balls and clubs based upon the current set of rules.

How would these two equipment rule categories combine for professional golfers on tour?

Golfers would be able to use unrestricted balls and clubs on all par 3 and par 5 holes, leaving the more restricted equipment to be played on all par 4 holes.

Selecting 14 clubs would now become more challenging as you would have to decide upon say taking an unrestricted driver for par 5’s and then another more restricted driver for par 4 holes. This would create more diversity between tour golfer’s bags, with a mixture of unrestricted and more restricted clubs.

Unrestricted golf balls and clubs would need to be clearly identified by a new mark, and if a golfer used an unrestricted ball or club on a par 4 hole, there would be an automatic penalty of two strokes.

Spectators at tour events also have the opportunity to judge the advantages of unrestricted balls and clubs. For example you could have one professional using both unrestricted balls and driver on a par 5, with another just playing with an unrestricted ball.

It would be left to organisers of amateur events and individual golf clubs to decide whether they would follow the format of tour events or allow unrestricted equipment on every hole.

Golf Refugees acknowledge this solution adds a complexity to golf equipment rules, but we believe it is a price worth paying. To enable golfers to use equipment designed to the limits of physics rather than arbitrary rules. Par 5’s and 3’ would become more exciting to play and watch on tour, as the possibility for more eagles, birdies will be increased. Professional golfers will be restricted more on par 4 to help preserve courses. Brands still get to market their equipment through sponsored players. Every one is happy or not? Please let us hear your views.

1 comment:

  1. Golf professionals practise and play every day while the majority of golfers perhaps only play at weekends because of work and family commitments. Why do golf equipment rules treat them the same?