Technology and Golf: What has been the impact?

When will technology be reined in when it comes to golf

How has technology impacted on golf?

The impact of technology on golf courses remains an existential threat. Jack Holden takes a look at exactly how the sport has been affected.

Could technology make the game of golf obsolete? Imagine if Major League baseball engineered bats. They’d have to keep rebuilding stadiums. But it’s what we’re doing in golf, probably till we run out of land.

The current trends in golf are alarming. If we’re not careful, Elon Musk might create a new driver with a shaft of solar dust and consult with Titleist to manufacture golf balls with magnetic fields.

That is not likely, but you get the point of just how far technological development in golf could go.

Manufacturers of golf equipment and major tour supporters can’t survive without offering devices that increase the golf ball’s distance, accuracy and control.

So, it’s a Catch-22. But there have to be some limits imposed.

In 1997, Butch Harmon said, before the USPGA Championship at Winged Foot, that golf is the only sport where each participant can bring his own ball. That was twenty-five years ago.

Since then, countless iterations have evolved: drivers, with larger and larger heads, and faces the size of tennis rackets, irons engineered to launch shots to the moon, and new balls with enough spin to obliterate stimpmeters. And no end in sight.

Perhaps we could start with the golf ball. The manufacturers could limit their focus to creating prettier and more colorful designs while maintaining a maximum standard to keep the balls from travelling five hundred yards: the next metric to break.

If manufacturers are not careful, the answer to “what’s in the bag” will be an adjustable driver, four wedges and two putters.