Is golf too easy now? Jack Nicklaus says that the march of technology is killing the game. He points oiut that not one of the top five players is in the top 120 in driving accuracy and the game has become a matter of hitting it as long as you can without regard for the fairway.
Nicklaus blames the ball, but I think that there are a lot of factors involved here: giant drivers with sweet spots the size of Texas encourage go-for-broke swings; graphite shafts increase swing speed; and other technologies such as launch monitors and digital video analysis has allowed them to fine tune their games.
I also think that one of the most important factors may be that many of these guys are just bigger, stronger and better athletes than the great golfers of the past.
Nicklaus was 5-11. Watson is 5-9; Palmer, 5-10; Trevino, 5-7; Player, 5-7.
Singh, Woods and Mickelson are all listed at 6-2; Els is 6-3. Factor in more muscle tone, training regimens, better diets, etc., and you arrive at the same reason that athletes in other areas are setting new records.
Are today’s sprinters faster because they have better shoes? (Nike would like you to think so). Or are the speedos of the swimmers that much better? No. Is there some revolutionary leap in football equipment that makes the players run faster and hit harder? No. The athletes are just better (we can leave steroids out of this for now).
I don’t think we need to go about limiting the ball just yet.