chisag, on 13 November 2017 - 03:09 PM, said:
"I would argue the reverse is true. The modern technology showcases "true talent" much better than the old. Somebody is always going to drive it further - Jack was longer than the field, relatively speaking, than anyone is now. Modern technology helps people play golf swing better. True talent is playing golf. Golf is a mental game, not a physical one, and the new technology allows those with less-than-optimal swings to compete."
... How old are you? (I wish everyone put that in their profile) Golf is a mental AND physical game. Show me the strongest willed but completely non athletic guy in the world and I doubt he would play well in 1971. I ask how old you are because if you played with balata balls, persimmon drivers and small MB's you would know how much harder it was to control the ball. Virtually nobody played a straight ball flight because it didn't exist. Blade a TP5x and it gets in the air and runs a good ways, but blade a HT-100 and if it didn't cut completely showing rubber bands, the cover was cut and not only didn't go very far but curved tremendously. And it's not like there was no mental aspect to the game back then, it was as much or arguably more important because the ball had so much movement with a poor swing. Skill was at a premium and those that could control their ball flight AND hit it far had a huge advantage.
... I do not compare players then to players now because either group would change their game to match the equipment if they have real talent. But golf was not played by the masses back then because it was just so dammed difficult, as opposed to today when anyone can pick up a 460cc forgiving driver and have at least some success as well as hitting SGI irons compared to some Wilson FG-17's that gave you no help getting the ball in the air.
35, but I played tennis my whole life until I gave it up due to injury. About five years into golf.
Everything you are saying here makes sense, if the goal of the game was to make the best swing possible.
If the winner in golf was the guy who made the best golf swing, stripping away the technology would absolutely make the cream rise. There is no doubt about that. None. We just disagree what "true talent" is when it comes to golf. You think its how someone swings a club and hits a ball. I think its how someone navigates a course and handles their emotions. The technology does, indeed, hurt "talent from rising" under your definition - the best pure swing won't win nearly as often. Under mine (a mental, course management and guts game), it helps "true talent" beat the guy with the flawless swing.
In tennis, there are tons of guys who had better strokes than Jimmy Connors. Were they "more talented" ? Maybe. They won a lot less. As the racquets got better, players like Federer and Nadal (ever seen Nadal hit a first serve?) started to dominate through mental toughness and being better at the actual game, not just the tennis strokes.
Technology hurts talent if talent is defined in terms of the swing (technology evens the playing field for those without perfect swings). Technology helps talent if talent is defined in terms of the intangibles of the game (technology allows a slower swinger to compete where they would otherwise be completely unable to).