Pro baseball and cricket for example are still using wood at the professional level. It pretty much takes care of the COR issues without having to access high tech testing equipment to control the manufactures.
I agree, convincing the masses to switch back to what they would believe to be archaic gear is not in any way realistic.
I don’t know how many golfers there were playing the game in 1970 or 1990, but I think the game exploded in the 90’s … as the number of golf courses seemed to quadruple or maybe even 20 fold. For instance, I think there are over 50 courses now in LV.
When I played there in college I think I could name them.
Could golf have exploded in the Tiger era with Tiger using persimmon and not using Metal Woods?
I think the additional influx of golfers over the last 20 years have been driven by a very different motivating factor than
individuals that gravitated to the game from the caddy yards, or as a father- son generation pass me down game. Golf was
more of a niche sport, but we can see big crowds following around the tour events many decades ago.
Personally I think a mistake was made in the late 70’s when metal woods were allowed into the game. But they didn’t really change the game… so no one really put up much of a stink about them because persimmon players were still winning a decade later.
I think the head size is the number one problem. With a smaller head, not many players even on tour would be able to control the ball with with a 46 inch shaft and 10 ounce dead weight.
In the age of early metal wood drivers… the only reason my contemporaries played them was they felt they could hit them off the fairway easier. Not a game changer. I had one I would use from time to time but it made zero difference in playability. It looked like a persimmon with a fake wood grain finish on it also, molded off a vintage MacGregor head. The owner of the company was from Japan and was a member at my club.
I agree with Bradley in that I don’t notice the new ball rocketing off the face of a persimmon any more than a balata did.
In the age of balata, they did make “durable” balls with surlyn covers and some would go farther like the old Top Flites, Molitar or Pinnacle balls. Good players didn’t use them because they wouldn’t spin and you couldn’t shape shots with them very well. There was some debate then about players switching balls during a round because some guys would pull out a topflite on a long par 3 so they could use an iron. They would go about a club longer off a long iron… not so much with the shorter irons. Just very hard unfriendly rock balls. To me… all the new balls feel like these balls and don’t play any different than those old surlyn balls of the past… long flying rocks with no feel.
The first real high tech driver I saw was a Yonex graphite head and shaft combo with a giant head that Todd Hamilton showed up with at PGA Tour Q school. We were paired together the first two rounds and he was suddenly hitting the ball 20 yards by me or more… when I used to hit it by him by just a bit. He was telling me how this saved his game and he was able to win in Japan with it.
I remember seeing it and thinking… this is not good… I hope the USGA acts and bans this quickly… obviously they didn’t.