The Future of Golf And Its Equipment
Notes from Ralph Maltby Thinking on The Edge
- Distance will be finally limited by the laws of physics. There is only 17 more yards to go according to Frank Thomas.
- 5, 6 and 7 piece golf balls will be developed that will improve even more for better feel, more bite, better trajectory control, better directional control and easier to play and score with. Also, they will all putt absolutely true with every ball having its center of gravity exactly in the middle of the ball.
- Regarding woods, irons and putters, ease of playability will increase and consumers will know the playability factor (MPF) of every golf club to eliminate any trial and error or guesswork when selecting clubs.
- Shafts will be designed with variable compensating flex points, bend points and torque depending on the input force during the swing. Shafts will be more consistent and have better feel.
- Grip materials will allow fingers to sink into them when first used and will maintain memorized personal fitted positions. They will be initially legal because the positions will not be visible or noticeable until normal grip pressure is applied for each and every swing. This will allow the golfer to grip the club the same every time. Of course, the USGA will immediately talk about banning them in a typical knee jerk reaction as they have done throughout the history of golf.
- Unique, unheard of utility clubs will be developed with specialized shot making abilities to take the fear out of difficult lies and situations. Sharp cutter blades on utility clubs will actually mow a path through the rough.
- Golf shoes will have cleats in the left shoe that release (slip) during the swing and a right shoe that never can move. The perfectly timed left foot release will allow better weight transfer and thus more force applied at impact resulting in increased distance (think Happy Gilmore). Shoes will be custom fitted to the golfers’ weight distribution during the swing and have built-in digital force readouts that are downloadable to your PC for evaluation.
- Golf Gloves will be designed to specifically grip best to a specific golf grip material. You would buy a different glove if you played a cord grip or a velvet tour grip or a Kraton grip. Gloves will have line up devices that match a special grip design so players will always have the correct grip to hit it straight or to hit fades and draws. Each glove will have a pressure indicator letting the golfer know their exact grip pressure on each finger ( think Bob Toski teachings).
- USGA announces that computerized data chips are legal in golf clubheads. A data port allows downloading to a special analysis program that provides impact force and impact location data along with clubhead path and face angle data. Also vertical and side spin is analyzed. This is done after every round or practice session. Launch monitors of all types are immediately made obsolete.
- Putters will have almost weightless wire shafts which maintain rigid qualities due to a special force field built in under the grip. This will allow the golfer to stroke the putter slower to impart the same force to the ball at impact. Off-center hit loss of distance and poorer directional control are now things of the past. The only putters sold will have the absolute highest moments of inertia and thus the highest playability factors. Golfers will finally accept that blade putters are obsolete.
- Women will only buy clubs that are designed specifically for them so that they can actually play better golf. The golf industry quits trying to sell women golf club designs for men that only have a blue or pink medallion change in the back. No women golfer in the world will allow their husbands to pick out clubs for them. Women’s’ average handicaps come down 5 strokes.
- Parents who buy junior clubs finally figure out that juniors need real golf clubs specifically designed for their kids because they hit real golf balls just like their parents.
- Riding carts for two golfers (being social is a must in enjoying golf) will split apart at the touch of a button so each player can go to their ball and hit it. At the touch of a button, the two carts will join up and latch together completely on their own for the drive to the green or next shot (Of course, Lexus developed this technology).
- Play Station 12 will plug into the golf cart and play celebrity golf. This is a 3D hologram or some way to make a real looking person sit next to you. This celebrity actually talks to you in real time and is aware of the current situation, so they can help you with your game or whatever (Tiger Woods turns out to be the only celebrity that anyone wants to play with, while the Bill Murray version gathers dust on the shelves).
- Golf carts will be equipped with a potty button. You simply push the button and a portable toilet pops out followed by a curtain which drops down around it. Also, the refreshment cart is eliminated from bothering us as we play because every golf cart is equipped with a mini bar. You simply ask for the key when you go out to play. Good news here is no tipping and waiting. Bad news is still the ridiculous cost of food and drinks.
Hey, this stuff is fun. If you have some brainy ideas I would love to receive them. Just post them in the comments below. Who knows, they may show up in a column like this someday.
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