As some of you know if you see my posts in "What Golf Stuff did you buy today" I am somewhat of a "Classic Club Ho" and have been for many years.
While I have been employed in one form or another in the Golf industry for over 30 years and have seen the progression of club design and watched head sizes and shapes change, the material that heads and shafts are made out of, as well as golf ball design and materials (which has meant more consistancy and distance) has also been a big change as well. I am sure that it has benefited the average Golfer.
That being said I have decided that with the start of 2013 I will be comparing how much the "Old Technology" affects my handicap by gaming both "The Classics" (persimmon and pre 1990 forged blades) and my modern clubs, and tracking by using the USGA handicap formula (score-rating x 113 / slope and with multiple rounds of at least 5 x .96 for my adjusted index) and keeping 2 handicaps (myself) for comparison. I will keep a running log to show the difference as it progresses.
I thought that it would be an interesting comparrison for all those out there that wonder how much the new technology really helps non-professional golfers.
My Modern set is shown in my signature
My "Classic" set will consist of the following:
John Ofer Persimmon Driver - stiff steel shaft
Wilson Staff Tour Persimmon 4 wood - stiff steel shaft
2-PW Dunlop Maxfli Australian Blades (vintage late 70's/early 80's) - stiff steel shafts
Sand Wedge - Original Cleveland 588 (first year model)
Putter - Wilson 8813 1970's vintage (belonged to one of my best friends who passed away)
My ball will be Wilson Duo
I am doing this for my own enjoyment/entertainment as well as for any who are interested in playing classics but may be worried about how it will affect their game. I for one dont think it will be to radical of a diffence other than the distance difference in Classic vs Modern I feel it will be fairly close with all said and done.
While I agree that it may affect lower handicap players less than higher, I think that over the past 15 years the average players handicap has only improved by about 2 strokes due to modern equipment and ball.
The average handicap of all golfers -- men, women and children -- has decreased consistently for the past 15 years.
The average handicap today is two strokes better than it was in the early 1990s, according to research provided to Golf Digest by the USGA's Golf Handicap & Information Network (GHIN).
Prior to that time everyone was using Wooden Woods and Forged Irons so I dont think it really changed much before. And bear in mind that most golfers (close to 80%), dont keep handicaps and are probably in the 15-25 handicap range.
Stats from the USGA. About 5 million golfers have a GHIN handicap which is only around 20% of all golfers.
Compared to the courses that I grew up playing, I would say that course design has definetly changed compared to the courses that were designed lets say 30 or more years ago as evidenced by the constant reworking (lenghtening and green redesigns ) that we see happening to the "Old Standard Greats" which the PGA Tour still competes on, but I feel that is due to the increased length of the modern professional golfer, as well as the modern equipment and golf ball. No one wants to tune into a televised tournament and watch the (mass of) pros of today shooting ridiculously low numbers, thus rendering those great designs of yesterday completely obsolete.
Another reason that design has changed is also for aesthetic reasons. Any of you that grew up on "Old Local Muni's" know that they were built with the then "masses" in mind, and even though the prices have increased somewhat on those Grand Old Muni's, the cost of designing, building, and maintaining the newer corses of the last 30 or less years has skyrocketed, and to help jusify the increased green fees, the look as well as the overall perceived value has required fancier facilities, such as Clubhouses, Cart Barns, Course Signage, Scorecards, Restraunts, Course Maintenance Equipment, and many other amenities that were just not required on the Muni's of yesterdays.
I feel that without the new "Super High Moment of Inertia Tee Bombers" (Drivers) that are being mass produced today, and the vastly improved putting surfaces as compared to say 30 years ago, that the majority of recreational golfers would really not be lowering their handicaps as much as the USGA has reported because they would not be hitting as many fairways as they do now. Also, I grew up playing on Poa Anna putting surfaces which greatly changed throughout the days play. With all the new grasses that are available, course conditions today remain more the same from morning till evening, other than the early morning dew.
As far as the "Modern Courses" being too difficult for the average player, I personally feel that far too many of todays "Recreational Player" feel an entitlement to "See The Whole Course Because I payed My Money to Play" and (most of their egos) are causing them to write checks that their playing ability cant cash!!!!
I am a 57 year old man now (7500 yard Tournament Tees are almost always out of the question for me) and while I play to a low single digit handicap, I like to play from the Men Championship Tees (Blue) some of the time, I also play from the Mens Regular Tees (White) more than 60% of my rounds, as I am secure in my "Manhood" and feel that I prove more playing from the proper tees for my driving distance ability (consistent 250-260 yards) and also increase the enjoyment of the time I spend out on the course.
11/6/12 Classics score - rating x 113 / slope White tees 6162 yards
75 - 69.9 x 113 / 125 = 4.61
11/9/12 Classics score - rating x 113 / slope White tees 6162 yards
76 - 69.9 x 113 / 125 = 5.51
11/13/12 Modern score - rating x113 / slope Blue tees 6638 yards
78 - 72.0 x 113 / 135 = 5.02
11/19/12 Classics Score - rating x 113 / slope White Tees 6162 yards
78 - 69.9 x 113 / 125 = 5.73
Cypresswood Golf Club Cypress Course
11/16/12 Classics score - rating x 113 / slope White tees 6168 yards
77 - 70.3 x 113 / 120 = 6.31
So using step 6 of the USGA Handicap System I now have 5 "Classics" scores posted and I am to take the lowest which would be 4.61 and multiply it times .96
4.61 x .96 = 4.4 would be my index with 5 scores recorded.
Edited by Johnny Hack, 20 November 2012 - 07:31 PM.