Annoyed At The Golf Industry

Have you ever sat down to read some interesting articles on golf and been bombarded by ‘white noise’ advertisements on anything relating to golf. The challenge facing the golf industry is that they have embraced social media as the medium of choice for advertising. I mean, who can really blame them because that is how the new generation of players communicate. However, as an older established player, I am not swayed by the hollow promises that new technology or a revolutionary ‘swing fix’ will dramatically improve my game. Golf has and always will be a game of incrementalism for improvement and as such, the golf industry has bolted from its roots.

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Saving The Cup From Damage

A while back, I asked several questions about golf course maintenance and how we as members could help protect our playing field. One question that was asked dealt with if the cup is being damaged more now that the pins are left in, than before when the pin was always removed. It is a valid question being asked all over because a person has developed an method to alleviate this potential hazard.

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Can Golf Technology Be That Innovative?

It is the start of the golf trade show season. This is where all the golf companies, new and old, bring out what new developments in equipment, accessories and swing processes have to offer. It is an exciting time to see the manufactures have to offer, but I left to wonder if all this new kit is just a smoke and mirror shell game designed to sell the same ole golf stuff.

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Golf Technology – Helping or Hurting

Golfplan International Golf Insurance asks a very interesting question: “What has been the best technology advancement, and what has been the worst in the game in the last 10 years?” They want to know what drives the golf industry and what slows it down. After some considerable thought, discussion, and research, here is what I believe are the best and worst advancements in golf over the past 10 years.

Best Technology Advancement: Distance Finding Devices


The introduction of GPS distance finding devices to golf are shaping its future!

Not really new to golf, distance finding devices have grown in popularity in the past 10 years. The use of a distance finding device was adopted by the USGA in 2006. Since that time, popularity has grown exponentially. The most popular are the laser range finders because they provide exact line-of-sight measurement. In the past 5 years, the GPS devices such as the GARMIN Approach 6 have started to be “must have” equipment. As technology continues to grow in this area, smart phones, watches, and devices that voice the distance are becoming even more common place. As long as the device does not provide course conditions such as wind and elevation changes, it is legal for use in a tournament.

Distance finding devices are good for golf. They help all golfers, regardless of skill level, with course management, speed of play, and club selection. Of the two categories of devices, the GPS gets my vote as the better of the two. It provides accurate distances on blind shots, significantly helps when playing a course for the first time, and can measure the distance from one point to another. Overall, GPS devices are the way of the future.

Worst Technology Advancement: Innovation

Innovation is an overly used word. It is defined as the act of innovating; introduction of new things or methods. There is no question that golf paradigm shifts have occurred due to innovation. The innovation of steel (then graphite) shafts, metal heads, golf ball design, etc. are innovative changes that have actually shaped the golfing industry. Today, innovation is the most overused word in golf.

When a major manufacturer makes a minor change (which they try to pass off as a technological change) to their club – it is called innovative. New innovative ways to swing a club, lower your score, or fix your golfing woes pop up everyday and disappear just as quick. Even if someone wanted to keep up with all the “so called innovative changes” they could not….unless they were extremely rich and had unlimited time.

It is perfectly understandable that manufacturers continue to try and develop the best equipment for the average golfer, however it is unlikely that new innovative equipment can be developed every six months that will dramatically change the face of golf. The cost of buying new innovative equipment, in my opinion, is hurting the golf industry! There is a point where feeling the need to purchase new equipment will scare off new players, due to the costs involved; the difficulty is determining what that cost is!

What is considered the best and worst advancements in golf in the past 10 years, varies from person to person. It is challenging to pinpoint which are the best and the worst. For me, the best is distance finding devices; the worst is innovation.

What do you think are best and worst golf advancements in the past 10 years?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!