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Golf Australia Express : March 2013
HUMANS HAVE always sought evolution. And technology has been there every step of the way to help us to achieve it. Yet it seems golf as a sport is starting to view the role of evolution as a bad thing. We need look no further than the recent proposal to ban anchoring as but one brick in a vast wall of contentious decisions to limit the impact of technology on our game. In the midst of swirling opinions rests the question of purpose. Why do we need to restrain the influence of technology on golf? At every turn, golfers and manufacturers have sought ways to make the game easier. While past examples might thrill the history boffins, they can also be instructive in explaining how governing bodies deal with the constant barrage of change and innovation as we look to (and for) the next generation of golfers. When steel shafts started to come to prominence in the early 1900s, the then recently-formed Royal & Ancient and United States Golf Association opposed their use until 1926, when they caved in to the demands of golfers, manufacturers and the scarcity of hickory. For more than a decade, players were forced to use materials that were clearly inferior to the best available. Steel shafts freed players from the limitations of fragile hickory, and in doing so introduced massive change to the style of play. Is there anyone calling for a return to wooden clubs on Tour? Adam Scott is clearly front and centre of the anchoring debate. Having displayed a sharp improvement following his switch to the long-handle putter, he questioned the reasoning behind the proposed anchoring rule. “My opinion is that the governing bodies are in place to protect the integrity of the game, not the traditions of the game,” Scott said in November. For more than a decade, players were forced to use materials that were clearly inferior to the best available. GEAR the GEAR the
April 2013-The Masters