This is a pretty cool rundown of golf inventions over the years and sprinkles of Hale Irwin’s thoughts amongst the read is good stuff
I love Hale’s comment about the young guys who don’t need to throttle back with the plastic golf balls…
but if they played a balata, they would have to learn to do that. It really is true, and not something newer golfers
are going to know unless they played in the age of persimmon and balatas.
I really believe necessity is the mother of invention, and without the necessity, it doesn’t happen, and this is why we are not seeing the next “Hogan”.
I would love to have a look at that 23 ounce ‘freak niblick’ that Horton Smith used…
An interesting article. As a historian, one of the first things I teach my students is that almost nothing is new under the sun. While I am no golf expert, it seems as if debates over club weight, distance, ball flight, and design have operating in a circular fashion. Sometimes designers say people benefit from light clubs and and other times from heavier sticks. It is not as if we are on some pathway to greater and greater “improvements.”
Another point is about the nature of technology. It seems that throughout most of the 20th century, the “user” could adopt the technology to his or her purposes. This was true in golf and even in automobiles. Just look at the catalogs for “Model T” accessories that ran into the late 40s. Now, many golfers are prevented from tinkering with their equipment by design and told that “experts” need to fit them to clubs.
Anyway, just some random musings. Thanks for posting it twomasters.