Is mod­ern equip­ment lev­el­ling the play­ing field on Tour?

Golf Australia - - GOLF IS GOOD -

Is it be­com­ing harder for the truly great play­ers to win on tour? Or put an­other way, is it now eas­ier for ‘lesser’ play­ers to gate­crash the party, aided and abet­ted by their tal­ent-equal­is­ing equip­ment? As far back as 2012, Ernie Els be­lieved so. “Big-headed driv­ers al­low ev­ery­one to hit it like only Greg Nor­man used to,” he noted, adding that driv­ing the ball is no longer the art form it once was and that huge metal-headed driv­ers, and lower-spin­ning golf balls make it hard to hit a bad drive. “I look around now and see guys win­ning, guys who could never have done so 20 years ago.”

Euro­pean Tour player turned ar­chi­tect Mike Clay­ton agrees. “Mod­ern equip­ment has en­abled less tal­ented golfers to com­pete suc­cess­fully on the pro tours,” he says. “To­day’s equip­ment deskills the game the same as com­put­ers have deskilled our hand­writ­ing. We can be less pre­cise but still hit a de­cent shot.”

If this is true, a look at the PGA Tour and the ma­jors over the decades should show a far wider spread of win­ners to­day than in decades gone by. Con­sider the num­bers…

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