I listened to the interview with Rod Morri, and I think some good points were made. Shackleford makes the point that people look to the experts for inspiration. Not fellow hackers. Making the game easier makes golf less of a game. This may attract more people, but I don’t think there was anything wrong with the game say in the 1950’s or 60’s even through the 1980’s when players, courses and gear were all working harmoniously together.
Rod makes the distinction that it is not golf that is hurting as much as “The Golf Business”. The business end is not the game. It may provide a platform for the game to be played, but it is not the game itself. Calaway, or Taylor made could close their doors tomorrow and it would make zero difference to most golfers with a tee time next week.
Shack brings up the point that maybe a big correction needs to take place, courses need to close, the players who were attracted to the game for all the wrong reasons go away also… and you might be left with a game where courses are less crowded, the game more affordable, and I would argue that sometimes less is more.
I still enjoy playing persimmon and blades. I just wish I could play a balata golf ball again so I could fully enjoy my own skill set. I certainly keeps my swing fit, and in good shape, something the modern gear could not offer me. I like using the same swing from wedge to driver. It’s simple and it feels good.
John Huggan brings up the point that in the last 20 years, he has never felt the connection to any modern club that he had for his oil hardened persimmons.
The round they all played together with Jeff Ogilvy using hickory and a gutta percha or feathery found Ogilvy only 20 yards ahead of their tee shots… not 80 yards or more that would be the case with the modern gear.
The modern game suffers such a disconnect from common player to tour player in a way that is unprecedented in the game’s history.
Barkow told me a while back how he would watch the tour guys play, and would see that they were playing from only a few yards ahead of where he would… often only 10 yards… sometimes 20. It made one feel more connected to the game… and in a way, false or not, that if you had a good day… you could play the hole basically the way they would.
It’s good that more and more people are starting to think about fractioning the game in some way. It’s a shame it needs to happen, but monopolies tend to work irresponsibly at times.
I think the TRGA is a better solution because it simplifies, yet maintains the games essential traditions… and brings relevance back to the great historic courses, and both pros and amateurs can play off the same rule book from top level competition to a solo round in the late afternoon… same rules, no need for officials, and perfectly self regulating.