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When Equipment Has Gone Too Far


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#1 Pomps

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 10:41 PM

This argument likely has come up with every generation of advancement i.e. Hickory to steel to graphite, etc. or persimmon to steel to you get the point. After winning the Sentry, DJ notably remarked how hard it was to hit it offline with the M4 and the twist face. Yes, DJ is a freak and the player the most important variable. However, at what point should the equipment forgiveness stop correcting deficiencies of the player in order to get a true test of the best players. This is the case that in previous generations, the equipment didn't help as much and only the best ball strikers won the majority of times. Today, do we know the best players? Are some guys only decent ball strikers but are being saved by equipment to compete with great ball strikers? Is that how tournament golf should be? If so, how far does it go?

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#2 bladehunter

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 10:53 PM

absolutely valid questions....  my opinion is that the shark was jumped a while back....  
Dj woud be great, long and still win with anything..BUT there are players out there that couldnt cut it ( keep a card) with less forgiveness... even in putters...
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#3 cgasucks

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 10:56 PM

DJs win at Kaplua is so so similar to Els's win there in 2003 (he also won by 8 strokes).  Back then he was using the a little known Titleist club called the 983K and everyone was in awe of how much farther he hit the club with it.  As a result, there was huge buzz for that club and it flew off retailer's shelves. Looking back now, it was the indian and not the arrow that give him such a wide margin of victory (the windy conditions there helped a bit as well).

Edited by cgasucks, 07 January 2018 - 11:00 PM.

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#4 jdmorris1980

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 11:30 PM

He hits his driver better than the field 90% of the time. As for what he said about the driver......he kind of gets paid to say that exact thing whether itís truthful or not.
If that driver wasnít available to everyone then heíd have an advantage but that isnít the case. Everyone can play the new M, some choose not to for guaranteed money with a club contract, but everyone (even you and I) can use it. There were a lot more shots hit without driver (irons/wedges/putts) over the 4 days that attributed to the win as well.


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#5 Bubbtubbs

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 11:31 PM

I'm not going to hate on anybody for looking for forgiving clubs, but I'm not thrilled that they exist in the first place.

If I screw up, I shouldn't be rewarded.

Edited by Bubbtubbs, 07 January 2018 - 11:31 PM.


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#6 mxskier

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 11:56 PM

He was hitting 179-180 mph ball speed, probably hitting 1.48-1.52 each shot. That means he was hitting the center. I donít care what sort of twist face tech or jailbreak or whatever is present. If you hit it that centered, and are the #1 player in the world, and playing on a course with enormous fairways, you are going to absolutely own the driver.
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#7 Carolina Golfer 2

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 11:59 PM

I would hardly say DJ has any driving definicy.
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#8 rawdog

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 12:10 AM

View PostPomps, on 07 January 2018 - 10:41 PM, said:

This argument likely has come up with every generation of advancement i.e. Hickory to steel to graphite, etc. or persimmon to steel to you get the point. After winning the Sentry, DJ notably remarked how hard it was to hit it offline with the M4 and the twist face. Yes, DJ is a freak and the player the most important variable. However, at what point should the equipment forgiveness stop correcting deficiencies of the player in order to get a true test of the best players. This is the case that in previous generations, the equipment didn't help as much and only the best ball strikers won the majority of times. Today, do we know the best players? Are some guys only decent ball strikers but are being saved by equipment to compete with great ball strikers? Is that how tournament golf should be? If so, how far does it go?

Very well formulated post, OP. Your question is do we know the best players today?

Yes, because they are competing at playing golf, not competing at ball striking.

It may just be a different set of skills to be the "best player" today, and ball striking is relatively less important.
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#9 mosesgolf

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 12:20 AM

In the Youtube video DJ said he was hoping for 1 more fairway per round.  It seemed like he got that wish this week.  

You have to hand it to Taylormade.  They know how to market their clubs better than anyone.  Count me in as jumping on the "Twist Face" bandwagon.  I need one more fairway per round.  :D
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#10 2putttom

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 12:24 AM

are ya kiddin me, I need and will use all the help I can get.  Even with all the new innovations ya still have to have the skill to use it to it's full potential.

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#11 jll62

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 12:46 AM

View PostPomps, on 07 January 2018 - 10:41 PM, said:

This argument likely has come up with every generation of advancement i.e. Hickory to steel to graphite, etc. or persimmon to steel to you get the point. After winning the Sentry, DJ notably remarked how hard it was to hit it offline with the M4 and the twist face. Yes, DJ is a freak and the player the most important variable. However, at what point should the equipment forgiveness stop correcting deficiencies of the player in order to get a true test of the best players. This is the case that in previous generations, the equipment didn't help as much and only the best ball strikers won the majority of times. Today, do we know the best players? Are some guys only decent ball strikers but are being saved by equipment to compete with great ball strikers? Is that how tournament golf should be? If so, how far does it go?

To me, the old tech didn't identify the best players; it just identified a certain type of player whose game fit that era's equipment the best. Look at the hickory to steel transition. If a guy couldn't play with hickory but was great with steel, does that mean he had deficiencies? Of course not. If he was a strong player with a great swing and simply couldn't time hickory shafts, that doesn't mean he had a deficiency in his game. It just meant it was better suited for one tech than another. Neither is inherently better or worse, or more of a "true test" than the other.

Any time there is a technological revolution in the game, some players benefit because they have earlier access to the new tech. Some players are better with the new tech than they otherwise would have been. Some players don't benefit as much as others and get left behind. And finally, some players grow up in the era of the new tech and blow past the prior generation because it allows them to learn the game a different way. This has happened before and will continue to happen. And that's okay.
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#12 WidespreadPanic

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 01:21 AM

definitely paid to say that. DJ was hitting the middle all week, and not to mention playing on 70 yard wide fairways.

Edited by WidespreadPanic, 08 January 2018 - 01:23 AM.

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#13 cliche

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 02:49 AM

i'm not even blaming the gear.
the game has gotten to easy for the pros, because of the course layout. the fairways are to wide and to hard, and the greens are manicured to perfection.
i would really like to see tournament courses, where the pros struggle, the semi is ankle high and the fairway is narrow.

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#14 MattyO1984

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 04:20 AM

I'm not buying DJ needing a club with much forgiveness at all. I would accept that he might be more confident with his new driver but that's it. The Taylor Made M4 is not the club that took things too far.

I hadn't been convinced about the need to roll back the ball. The arguments were all sensible I just didn't think that it could be done and that reduced the effectiveness of the arguments for me but when you see DJ driving a 433 yard hole or whatever it was, questions need to start being asked. I get that it was downhill, downwind but even with all of that, it is madness.
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#15 Wriggles

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 06:59 AM

DJ or any other pro golfer could go to the Goodwill, assemble a bag of the cheapest, beat up clubs imaginable, and win tournaments.  I bought a set of King Cobra woods that Shark Norman touted as being "literally impossible to slice."  That was back in 1998, for over $600.  Believe me, I sliced them.

Never believed that pro hype after that.

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#16 Itsjustagame

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 07:56 AM

Endless threads about how drivers/clubs haven't changed in 20 years and endless others about how technology has ruined the game. Which is it?
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#17 bladehunter

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 08:32 AM

View PostItsjustagame, on 08 January 2018 - 07:56 AM, said:

Endless threads about how drivers/clubs haven't changed in 20 years and endless others about how technology has ruined the game. Which is it?
Yes.  I wonder this too.  I know itís changed a lot.  But bothers me to no end that some wonít acknowledge how much easier Driver and modern irons are to hit.

Edited by bladehunter, 08 January 2018 - 08:33 AM.

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#18 scooterboy59

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 08:48 AM

Best players in the world. Still have to hit it solid. Equipment is fine as with the ball. They are just that good. As far as equipment keeping players out on tour, I don't think so. All of these guys are so fit into what they play and it's up to them to execute.

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#19 new2g0lf

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 08:59 AM

Let's see DJ in an post tournament interview (which he won) states how difficult it was to hit offline shots using the new driver he's paid to promote and now the internet claims golf is "too easy".  

When I can hit the drives DJ hits then maybe we can say golf is too easy, until then it's simply called, "marketing".
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#20 Andrew Bond of Glencoe

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 09:05 AM

There are maybe 5 guys on the tour that are physical and perhaps genetic freaks. Dustin Johnson is showing the world what happens when a truly gifted ďathleteĒ plays the game of golf at the highest level.
Donít blame the equipment for this one and donít make it sound like his outlier is the norm. Letís not forget that his playing partner hit driver as well and was 150 yards behind him.

What hasnít changed much is the average driving distance on tour. What is changing is the group of outliers who through physical fitness and training are maxing out the speed potential of their bodies.


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#21 puttingmatt

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 09:19 AM

At the professional and better player levels, I do not see so much
Of an equipment advantage.

At the average and beginner levels, its where I see a potential
Equipment bonanza. And honestly,that is where the marketing
Is targeted for.

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#22 jasonp87

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 09:30 AM

View PostAndrew Bond of Glencoe, on 08 January 2018 - 09:05 AM, said:

There are maybe 5 guys on the tour that are physical and perhaps genetic freaks. Dustin Johnson is showing the world what happens when a truly gifted ďathleteĒ plays the game of golf at the highest level.
Donít blame the equipment for this one and donít make it sound like his outlier is the norm. Letís not forget that his playing partner hit driver as well and was 150 yards behind him.

What hasnít changed much is the average driving distance on tour. What is changing is the group of outliers who through physical fitness and training are maxing out the speed potential of their bodies.

This 100%  but not even just that. Remember these courses are also setup for pros they have caddies paid to analyze every square inch. Look at some of the holes especially some of the par 4s. If u hit the proper side of the fairway your ball catches a speed slot and rolls another 80yards. Carry it the same distance but hit the other side of the fairway and u get 10y of roll only. Explain how theres 520y par 4s but then a 540y par 5. Its because the way the hole plays. Heck even at 520y and a 300y drive the pro is left with a 220y approach...remember elevation slopes etc come into play and made some of those holes play a lot shorter then stated.

But us the viewer love seeing 350-400y drives.

When people complain about the game and the ball/equipment making it so courses need to get longer and longer is malarchy. We the viewer like watching the bomb and gauge style. Yet there are some courses that are sub 7000y that are quite difficult for even the pros as the fairways are narrow and the rough is long. Theres doglegs and strategic fairway bunkers. So an emphasis is placed on accuracy and shot making not distance.

More courses like this is what the pga needs but us the viewer doesnt want that. We want to see DJ hitting it as far as he can then some moron yelling Mash Potatoes
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#23 Davidv

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 09:39 AM

You either have the skills to be among the best or you don't. The equipment is there for everyone, it certainly is not going to perform magic and transform a bogey golfer into a scratch one. Still need SKILL. Get tired of hearing Gary Player, Jack, and other Pros from the day crying about the distance the ball travels and the so called modern equipment.

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#24 gioguy21

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 09:44 AM

View PostPomps, on 07 January 2018 - 10:41 PM, said:

This argument likely has come up with every generation of advancement i.e. Hickory to steel to graphite, etc. or persimmon to steel to you get the point. After winning the Sentry, DJ notably remarked how hard it was to hit it offline with the M4 and the twist face. Yes, DJ is a freak and the player the most important variable. However, at what point should the equipment forgiveness stop correcting deficiencies of the player in order to get a true test of the best players. This is the case that in previous generations, the equipment didn't help as much and only the best ball strikers won the majority of times. Today, do we know the best players? Are some guys only decent ball strikers but are being saved by equipment to compete with great ball strikers? Is that how tournament golf should be? If so, how far does it go?

great post -- but i have to jump in here and say that his driver didn't win him the tourney -- certainly helped, but he had to putt, chip, and hit irons in order to shoot so low everyday.

remember - other people in the field had M4 drivers.

lets not jump the gun - lets see how he and his driver do once they get on tighter tracks.

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Aldila Tour Green ATX 60TX

Even Flow White T1100 75 6.5

T1100 65 6.5

Rogue Platinum 130 MSI 75X


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#25 cgasucks

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 09:48 AM

View PostDavidv, on 08 January 2018 - 09:39 AM, said:

You either have the skills to be among the best or you don't. The equipment is there for everyone, it certainly is not going to perform magic and transform a bogey golfer into a scratch one. Still need SKILL. Get tired of hearing Gary Player, Jack, and other Pros from the day crying about the distance the ball travels and the so called modern equipment.

You got a point there.  Despite all the ball and club tech advancements you still gotta put the ball in the hole in the fewest amount of strokes.

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#26 Pomps

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 10:00 AM

Perhaps I misspoke. This isn't a knock on DJ just a commentary on club forgiveness. I shouldn't have included his name because it's causing confusion as to the point. Any tour pro could have said the same for marketing. He's clearly one of the best drivers and players.
The real question is how much more tech advancements and forgiveness a  club provides is okay, regardless of any level? When does the technology advancement go too far so that a great strike and a good strike yield close to the same results and should that be the case? Will there be a point when anything hit on any part of the face have the same speed and accuracy? Is that okay?

Edited by Pomps, 08 January 2018 - 10:03 AM.

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#27 thesaxemachine

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 10:01 AM

Kapalua is a great course to debut new gear and golf in the new year. Primetime audience plus a course setup that makes these freaks seem even freakier. Debuting a driver at Torrey probably wouldn't come with the same amount of buzz.
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#28 SixSixGolf

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 10:06 AM

View PostPomps, on 07 January 2018 - 10:41 PM, said:

DJ notably remarked how hard it was to hit it offline with the M4 and the twist face.

It's almost like Taylormade pays him millions of dollars to say stuff like that.

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#29 North Butte

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 10:14 AM

View PostPomps, on 08 January 2018 - 10:00 AM, said:

Perhaps I misspoke. This isn't a knock on DJ just a commentary on club forgiveness. I shouldn't have included his name because it's causing confusion as to the point. Any tour pro could have said the same for marketing. He's clearly one of the best drivers and players.
The real question is how much more tech advancements and forgiveness a  club provides is okay, regardless of any level? When does the technology advancement go too far so that a great strike and a good strike yield close to the same results and should that be the case? Will there be a point when anything hit on any part of the face have the same speed and accuracy? Is that okay?

That would sure be fine by me. I can assure you the tech is nowhere remotely in that ballpark yet, as my dispersion pattern illustrates clearly.

And even if they made the ball react the same on 2" off-center impact as on sweet spot hits it doesn't nothing about pulls or pushes, you know?

As for "at any level" I like seeing the guys on TV playing the same equipment as I do. If they were off playing with different equipment under different rules (just to keep from embarrassing hackers, apparently) I'd lose whatever minor interest I have in seeing the televised version.
Everything has its drawbacks, as the man said when his mother-in-law died, and they came down upon him for the funeral expenses.

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#30 dbuck47

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 10:27 AM

The tech has made drivers much better. I am 60 and probably hit the ball further than when I was 30. I am not DJ, nor even in the same universe as any other pro. DJ is just hitting the ball phenomenally well. Research has been done and quoted ad nauseam; the consensus is it is a combination of the driver and ball. But as has been said, the average pro distance reached a plateau a few years ago. DJ is an outlier. I don't need a less forgiving, shorter driver. If I do, I will play my persimmon (which I do sometimes and enjoy!) The average golfer needs all the help he can get, and if he(me) hits the fairway more often, it speeds up play for everyone.

Anyone in the top 100 on the PGA Tour hits the ball VERY well. If they had to start playing with persimmon and Hogan Apex PCs, they would adapt eventually. But that wouldn't sell clubs.

As to irons, many PGA Tour pros play irons not that far removed from irons in the 90's or even further back.

As far as the ball, I think Nicklaus was on the right track. Have a "game" ball that all manufacturers have specs for. Don't necessarily roll it back, but base it on the current ProV1 or equivalent Bridgestone, TM, or whatever and hold it at that for the future. Bifurcation of sorts which I don't like, but would make everyone shut up. The rest of us would go on hitting our ProV1s at half the distance the pros do (or less) and be happy. I know there are scratch golfers among you who hit closer to the pros than I do, but I don't think you are complaining that golf is too easy.

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