This week, one of golf's greatest tournament returns to our lives in the form on the 2016 Ryder Cup. This year's event - being held at Hazeltine National Golf Club, Minnesota - will prove to be characterized by whether either team changes their approach from tournaments previous.
Europe, with the wind in their sails from three Ryder Cup wins in a row, need change very little. Their ethic of team work above star names has led to success, whilst the US team find themselves desperate to put the wrongs of recent years behind them.
Whilst we will soon see how each of these teams have evolved since the last Rider Cup, it is a great time to look back at how golf itself has changed and how it may change going forward.
The evolution of golf across time has brought about the game we know today. From its beginnings in Scotland, the game has seen multiple subtle but important changes brought about by the needs to keep one step ahead of the curve. What's more exciting is how we can measure and predict any changes to golfing culture in future. Where do any improvements come from and how can they improve the game going forward? I'd like to take a look at the past and the future of golf.
Golf started as a royal sport for royal people. The first, great evolution in golf was to open the sport up to amateurs. This meant more attention, more players yet more importantly: more money. As the equipment was such an expense, golf still kept its elitist core yet opening it up further meant that it could grow as a sport but also grow as an event. The rolling stone was beginning to gather pace.
In 1931, golf found itself with a different revolution. Billy Burke was the first man to win the US Open with a steel shafted club. Even though mass usage didn't begin until much later in the century, the steel shaft made more a more consistent (if even heavier) club, meaning that you essentially knew what you were getting with what you were playing with, thus allowing a higher rate of control with their shots. Subtle, yet important.
Take yourself forward through the years and the evolution of the golf club has meant that they've moved from wood to titanium, allowing a more spring-based effect as the head hits the ball, giving it more of a bounce and further reach.
Technology in golf has mainly revolved around the clubs, making them lighter but stronger, but making sure the skill hasn't been removed from the game with the advancement of technology. But where does golf go next? And where does the evolution of the game bring us outside of the golf club?
The role of a caddy in golf is one that can never be replaced in the realm of the professional because of the particular and expert advice given by them. They aren't merely staff who carries the clubs, they're a word in the ear and knowledge that is much needed. But as for the amateur, or the player striving for the top, what is there out there to use?
A technology that is worthy of a mention is a GPS navigation system aimed at giving the player a technological helping-hand when approaching a course or a hole where more information is needed. The yardage, hole number and even shot distance are but a few attributes that are offered by certain GPS watches or GPS devices. A comprehensive collection of the best GPS devices can be found here.
The problem with technology in clubs themselves means that it's actually tough to keep improving them within the boundaries of a particular size. Rules govern innovation, but there is something that could be able to help in the future thanks to advances in other areas of the world.
Callaway are already leading the way in using 3D printing to produce different parts of golf clubs with the technology not even fully evolved and widely available. The future of 3D printing could open doors to different materials and weights that improve a swing, a hit and even a hole-in-one.
One improvement that could see golfers - professional and amateur - improve their game is the use of in-app technology. Carrying a devise that surveys your swing and speed (maybe an evolution of some of the GSP equipment found on the link above?) could have you capture data that helps you improve your game on the green whilst siting in the club house or your living room. The improvements in golfing may end up coming from places we lease expect it.
So the above are just a few things that have allowed the game of golf to change and improve over the time, with a couple of other things to think about whilst working away at your own game in the future. Whatever happens right now, the Ryder Cup players of the future may become familiar with an altogether different approach to the fairway.
The link above was provided by ubergolf.net. Uber Golf is a review and advice website that aims to take personal passion and create an unbiased and thorough breakdown of what's in the golfing market today.
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