It’s no secret, technology in golf has come a long way since the days of wooden golf clubs. It’s hard to comprehend what it must’ve been like for people taking up the sport before the development of this new technology. Now, we have 460cc drivers and forgiving irons making the game unquestionably easier.
To try and get some idea, a friend of mine got his hands on a set of Dunlop Peter Thomson irons (released in 1963) and brought them into The Clubroom to compare on the simulator which has the GC2 launch monitor, against some of the new Ping G400 irons.
This helped show some of the gains made in golf clubs over the last 55 years.
Unsurprisingly the more modern Ping G400 irons outperformed the Dunlops, generating an average of an extra 15 yards with a 9 iron, and up to 40 with a 5 iron. The difference in feel were also vastly different, and he felt much more comfortable standing over the larger, more forgiving Ping irons than the smaller, heavier Dunlops.
The improvement in technology was most noticeable on mishits, which still flew a reasonable distance, and held their line, while the older, less forgiving irons shot off in all directions, making it all too obvious when less than ideal contact has been made.
Using the GC2 also got us thinking about the changes in club fitting technology.
In earlier years, it was considered unusual for anyone other than professional players to have custom fit clubs. This kind of technology measures not only distance, but clubhead speed, spin rates, strike angle and even the quality of contact.
This allows players to rely on something other than feel when picking a set of clubs, and takes the salesmanship out of it in a sense, as the numbers can speak for themselves.