The Equipment Ceiling

Just_Hacking

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When and where does equipment hit the "ceiling" in regards to the rules of golf? I mean every year the driver's released are faster, longer and more forgiving that the last model. Same with irons, hybrids and fairway metals. Same with the golf ball.

Please don't misunderstand, I am all for equipment continuing to evolve and improve our games and I am not trying to stir the point, but at some point don't we reach a point where the equipment maxes out what the USGA rules will allow? What would be the next step when the ceiling is hit?!?
 

DG_1234

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Mostly it's marketing creating an illusion of improved golf shots. As far as I know player scoring averages have remained the same for decades.
As long as players are required to actually swing the clubs, I doubt the USGA is at all concerned about equipment becoming "too good".
 

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Start pointing the Laser pointer at another area to create sales. For now it's Distance. Next it might be Forgiveness. Then they will emphasize Accuracy. Because they can't change the COR :Puma: limit.
 

Johan185

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So where's the Money :geek:
 

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Dave Pelz sold these designs on Balls and Putters over 20 years ago.
 

Johan185

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Screenshot_20200116-074920_Chrome.jpg
 

JB

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Mostly it's marketing creating an illusion of improved golf shots. As far as I know player scoring averages have remained the same for decades.
As long as players are required to actually swing the clubs, I doubt the USGA is at all concerned about equipment becoming "too good".

This is false. Not only have player averages gone down over the last 30 years, courses have become longer and harder.
And the USGA is concerned, see the groove rule that eliminated equipment becoming too good.

And they have gone down further since 2015.

DWsLvKwUQAMpqiL.jpg
 

rallo

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I think there is plenty of room to improve. Especially with discoveries of new materials and new manufacturing processes. To think how much the ball and shaft have improved in the past 10 years is mind boggling.
 

fairwaynut

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I think I passed that ceiling since I joined THP. I'm now in the attic somewhere.

Not complaining though, I have loved every minute of both THP and buying new equipment. ;)
 

fupresti

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The Speed Limit of my local roads hasn't changed in 20 years so I guess there is no reason for me to buy a new car.
 

Just_Hacking

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The Speed Limit of my local roads hasn't changed in 20 years so I guess there is no reason for me to buy a new car.
I am certainly not implying that new equipment shouldn't be made nor purchased.
 

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I am certainly not implying that new equipment shouldn't be made nor purchased.
I personally try to purchase new equipment every single day.

Just ask her. 20200102_210040.jpg
 

DG_1234

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This is false. Not only have player averages gone down over the last 30 years, courses have become longer and harder.
And the USGA is concerned, see the groove rule that eliminated equipment becoming too good.

And they have gone down further since 2015.

View attachment 8923022
In my area of amateur play and amateur tournament play I have not observed lower scoring averages.
I also don't see "longer courses" because adding yardage to an older course and, or, building a new course at extra long yardage really just seems to mean a set of tee boxes that relatively few people play.
As for the 2010 Groove Rule, the USGA's Dick Rugge told me that Arnold Palmer repeatedly called USGA offices complaining when he saw Tour pros hit greens from a lie within the rough. He said the groove rule was done to appease Palmer and he was embarrassed about it. Technical equipment director Rugge himself did not have any problem with the older grooves.
 

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In my area of amateur play and amateur tournament play I have not observed lower scoring averages.
I also don't see "longer courses" because adding yardage to an older course and, or, building a new course at extra long yardage really just seems to mean a set of tee boxes that relatively few people play.
As for the 2010 Groove Rule, the USGA's Dick Rugge told me that Arnold Palmer repeatedly called USGA offices complaining when he saw Tour pros hit greens from a lie within the rough. He said the groove rule was done to appease Palmer and he was embarrassed about it. Technical equipment director Rugge himself did not have any problem with the older grooves.
Well, as mentioned, despite what you are seeing locally, scoring has gone down.
Its not an opinion that courses have gotten longer, they have. More courses have been built that dont need lengthening.
And the Groove Rule did in fact happen, which took away easier equipment for all players.

I am not saying this to be argumentative, but none of those things are debatable. So to say that scores haven't gone down and the USGA isn't doing anything is just not accurate.
 

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I don't think we'll see a "ceiling" per se. I think there will be incremental improvements, but I doubt the average player will see a great change from cycle to cycle. I'll likely keep my M5 in play for a while. Might change it in 2022 to the 2021 release. We'll see.

I disagree, @DG_1234, that the USGA doesn't care about the clubs. If they didn't, then they wouldn't have limits on drivers, groove guidelines, bans on anchoring putters to ignore, etc.
 

T0AD

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The Speed Limit of my local roads hasn't changed in 20 years so I guess there is no reason for me to buy a new car.
That's a total apples to bananas argument.
You don't drive the road, you drive your car. The equipment is your car. Cars have gotten better (arguably, based on your needs) and there is still room to grow (hybrids, MPG, materials, etc).
The OP relates to the equipment you drive on the course, and it obviously can only go so far. I agree, and it's why I've been slow to move away from the G400, because how much better could it really get!?

C'mon.
 

DG_1234

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I don't think we'll see a "ceiling" per se. I think there will be incremental improvements, but I doubt the average player will see a great change from cycle to cycle. I'll likely keep my M5 in play for a while. Might change it in 2022 to the 2021 release. We'll see.

I disagree, @DG_1234, that the USGA doesn't care about the clubs. If they didn't, then they wouldn't have limits on drivers, groove guidelines, bans on anchoring putters to ignore, etc.
OG, sorry if I did not communicate my point very well. That is I understand a major part of the USGA's work is establishing Rules which to make equipment conforming. Also, to establishing Rules governing technique used by players.
My point was that within the context of the OP's "ceiling question" I expect that the USGA believes its COR limit (.830)is sufficient, and I doubt the USGA pays attention to the marketing claims of "faster" , "longer", or "more forgiving" that are consistently made by various companies.
 

fupresti

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That's a total apples to bananas argument.
You don't drive the road, you drive your car. The equipment is your car. Cars have gotten better (arguably, based on your needs) and there is still room to grow (hybrids, MPG, materials, etc).
The OP relates to the equipment you drive on the course, and it obviously can only go so far. I agree, and it's why I've been slow to move away from the G400, because how much better could it really get!?

C'mon.
It's a completely relevant comparison. While the COR hasn't changed in many years, there is a number of other areas equipment manufacturers have consistently improved upon. CG and club shape, weight distribution, shaft flex and fit and many more.

And most manufacturers dont epxtec you to upgrade every single year. The vocal minority on golf forums does and amplifies a small signal.
 

T0AD

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You're still talking about the car, not the road. The course is the road.
Maybe my midwest upbringing and old age is clouding my mind. Or not.:unsure:
 

OGputtnfool

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This is false. Not only have player averages gone down over the last 30 years, courses have become longer and harder.
And the USGA is concerned, see the groove rule that eliminated equipment becoming too good.

And they have gone down further since 2015.
While I agree with the equipment part of this conversation, I think it's difficult, if not impossible, to quantify that average scores have gone down over any period of time. While it's clear that handicaps have dropped, I wonder the percentage of people who play the game and actually track their handicap. I'd guess it's low. On that note, I'd guess that the ones that do track handicaps represent a greater share of the better players in the game simply because I think the better you get, the more you want to quantify that ability. Is that clear as mud?
 

DG_1234

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I personally try to purchase new equipment every single day.

Just ask her. View attachment 8923025
She is wearing #59 for the Jacksonville Jaguars because she is a fan of Preston Brown, linebacker who played a game for the Raiders last season ?
 

jvbart

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I don't see an end to equipment improvement anytime soon. The question is when do they put restrictions on what the pros can play.
 
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When and where does equipment hit the "ceiling" in regards to the rules of golf? I mean every year the driver's released are faster, longer and more forgiving that the last model. Same with irons, hybrids and fairway metals. Same with the golf ball.

Please don't misunderstand, I am all for equipment continuing to evolve and improve our games and I am not trying to stir the point, but at some point don't we reach a point where the equipment maxes out what the USGA rules will allow? What would be the next step when the ceiling is hit?!?
Every year it is "5 yards more" so eventually when those 5 yards equal a standard Par 4 I think we hit our ceiling (looks like that will be just down the road based on the claims)
 

Just_Hacking

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I'd really love a premium brand for 'illegal' clubs for the masses
Sean King, former CEO at Taylor Made, actually floated the idea a few years ago, but nothing ever came of it that I recall.
 

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