Technology changing the game of golf

By: Jonathan Martin
By: Jonathan Martin

Some golfers have been critical of the course changes at the Augusta National.

But some courses are making changes to keep up with new technology.

While some sports have altered rules over the years, that's not the case with golf. It's more the new equipment that's changing the way the game is played.

Since the golfing days of greats like Arnold Palmer, the game has really changed.

Longtime golfer Richard Reynolds says that's due largely in part to new golf club technology

"They hit straighter, they're easier to hit, it makes the game a lot more fun," Reynolds says.

Golf pro Lee Hammett says that over the years there have been many improvements, mostly with the clubs. Once wooden, they're now titanium.

They're also two inches longer.

"The biggest thing with the new clubs that give you more distance is the length. It is not just particularly the head," Hammett says.

And perhaps one of the most noticeable enhancements is the size of most drivers.

Hammett says the bigger the head, the harder the hit, and the farther the ball will go.

Does that mean they'll get even bigger?

"I don't think it can go bigger as it stands today," Hammett says. "460 is as large as it can go."

It's not just the clubs changing...many golfers are no longer wearing traditional golf shoes, opting for more of a tennis shoe style.

Balls have changed too, as new technology is said to give them that extra spin.

And with the top golfers using the latest equipment, Reynolds says he no longer can use his old stuff if he wants to stay competitive.

"Doesn't matter how old you get, you don't want to do that," Reynolds says. "You want to play with the young guys, so that's where technology has really helped us out a lot."

And keeping up with the new technology is costing golfers a lot more.

20 years ago, a set of Ping golf clubs would cost you about $280. Now they run cheapest around $800.

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