Mike Clayton's Article on Old Verses New with Geoff Ogilvy


This is a great article and a good way to kick off the forum here… I have certainly made the same arguments like a broken record, and I commend Mike for putting this out there for folks to ponder. It almost seemed like I was writing the article as I was reading it!

I could see a day when the golf ball you play would have a core that goes a certain distance like a driver. At some point people will have to realize that if the golf ball and equipment keeps getting longer than the only thing to combat the problem is to make the courses get longer and longer. Which would eliminate almost all of the courses that are less than 7,000 yds. Now you can say so what maybe that is a good thing but, here is food for thought who pays for these longer courses to be built and maintained? We do the golfers that have to pay the higher green fees. Where I live the new courses have gotten longer and longer you can’t build a course shorter than 7200 yds no one would join or play it. You have to have the word championship in your description which means great than 7200 yds. To give you an example the GA Tech course built by my home is over 7400 yds from the tips. It is so hard to play that they have lost almost all of their members no one likes to shoot high scores (our ego is to delicate), the GA Tech golf team whom the course was built for won’t even practice or play out of there. A friend of mine that is a professional golfer who made it through 2 rounds of Q school shot an 80 from the tips. So there you have it a supped up course with tricked out greens that is so hard to play it really is not even fun, I guess it will test your short game that is for sure. One last thing like supped up lofts on irons these days, golf course architects are stretching holes that don’t need it just to get the yds in.

Extremely interesting article Lag. Only if you stop for a second and look at the big picture you see where golf is going and that, indeed, everything revolves around money money money. I, for one, had never even looked at old clubs thinking they were ok and actually better for my game until I came across your thread on the other site. Thanks for posting it, I’m sure other newcomers will enjoy reading it.

I don’t agree with different balls for pros and amateurs though. Wind back balls for both, that’s what handicaps and forward tees are for.

There are a lot of wonderful 6400 and 6600 yard championship golf courses located in some of the choicest areas right in metropolitan areas… that are now completely obsolete for top tier competitions.

Nothing wrong with having to use all the clubs in your golf bag.

10 par 4s…

Three long ones (2-3-4 irons for approaches)
Four mid range (5-6-7)
Three short (8-9-wedge)

what was wrong with that?

silly silly silly…

Ball, ball, ball, ball, ball… For all the scientific MOI, everything under the sun showing how much further ti drivers go than steel or fiber inserts, it’s all the ball. If you put speed and proper angle of attack into any club, it’ll go a long way. Finally, 20 years later everyone is finally screaming about the ball.

First time I noticed a huge change in a golf ball was when Maxfli updated the Tour Ltd Balata for the Tour Balata HT. They changed the dimple pattern, hardened the core containing the liquid center and gave the ball a more durable (synthetic I think) cover. It had a more parabolic trajectory and self correcting ball flight. Every time I would hit a cut shot it would draw half way back coming down, and fade back on right to left shots. At first I thought I was going insane as I had never seen this before save hitting a ball out of round. Then everyone else on the golf team who tried the new ball got the same result. I hated it; and after a couple of months switched to Titleist Tour 90’s even though I didn’t like how they played around the greens. Then a year or so later Titleist introduced the HP2. The first time I played it I knew the age of the wound golf ball was OVER. Titleist was by a mile the dominant ball maker and it was obvious that as soon as they figured out how to make a solid core ball with any spin and playability (as bad as it was with the HP2 at the time) that it was going to way cheaper and faster to make them than wound balls and that computers would make them into personalized 1.62 inch nuclear missiles real quick. Well guess what, here we are. I hung on longer than just about anyone else. I hung on to the Tour 90’s way after everyone else had switched to the Professionals (Hated those too, worst ball Titleist ever made) and I was the last to switch to the ProV1’s too. The first round I played with the ProV’s was at Brookside in Pasadena and I lost 4 of them blowing them 50 yards over the greens. I almost got lynched by joggers that day who thought I was aiming at them while they were running around the outside of the golf course property.

At the same time I absolutely refused to change equipment, save the driver. I had what was for my money the best forging the Hogan Company had ever made, shafts that were tuned to my swing and no club contract. No reason to change. It got harder and harder to club off my competitors, but who cares. They were getting new stronger lofted iron sets every season and couldn’t figure out why they had these huge gaps between all the short irons and wedges. Like when everyone tried to talk me into switching to the Taylor Made Midsize Burner Irons. ‘You can hit an 8 180…’ But why on earth would I want to? Then the same guys have no club from between 95 and 135. Just what I always wanted.

I had to keep switching drivers, I figured. I switch from the Tour Burner 8.5 to a Titleist PT Midsize 9. Then to the Taylor Made Midsize 8.5. Then to the T-Zoid. Then to the 975D. Then to a Callaway VFT 8. Then I quit. And I was always catching up on the newest toys because I financed myself and didn’t play more than 18 or 20 events a year. Plus it is so frigging hard to find a graphite shaft I trust under the gun, every one is so different. And God forbid the shaft snaps on the plane or the range. Or the face caves in because it sucks to begin with. Then I’m back to the 975 with a steel shaft I keep for practice and can’t hit out of my shadow compared to the new cannons.

I hope that eventually they start making the Maxfli Tour Ltd Balatas again. It’s still the best real golf ball I’ve ever played. I’ll even keep the cannons err drivers everyone needs for vanity if I can just get a great ball again. I’m glad that everyone is catching up on the fact that solid core golf balls are ruining the game, I’ve gotten so used to the looks like I’m crazy when I mention it that I stopped. I could care less about yardages for everything, I just want a ball that looks and sounds and feels and flies like a golf ball. And they shouldn’t cost $6 a piece.