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Equipment Used for Golf -- golf balls and golf clubs from the days of Bobby Jones to Tiger woods.
By Bob Usherwood

Equipment used for golf has evolved like most technology, in that it has improved, but the advancements is golf have been extremely linear. In other words - slow and gradual. Yes, there have big changes made to the approach at the design stage of golf clubs in the 1980's, but over all, the equipment used for golf has stayed a steady course. The popularity of the game however, has spiked a few times in the last century

One of the earliest problems that confronted the pioneers of golf is the difficult task of creating a golf ball that was user friendly and easy to make. The very first golf ball bashed around Scotland was a wooden ball. At the best they could maybe get 80-90 yards distance. I'm talking a perfect stroke, on a perfect day and the wind on your back. They put their heads together regarding the equipment they used for golf and the conversation went something like this:

"I ya say, we had better be thinking of a way to construct these horrid little bastards balls, or that English swine will-a-be comin' up here and beatin' us at ha-war own game".

While these fine gentlemen discussed their golf equipment problems over a pint or 6, a keen Scottish fella figured he had the answer. He decided that since birds can fly so well with their light feathers, he would pack up a tight ball and wrap/sew it in leather.

After a few hundred ducks later they had a new golf ball that they could hit over one hundred and 30 yards. Well this guy was a real innovator in his time, but the golf balls took a long time to make, and if you played alot of goat pastures with slice swing, you would bespending the whole week "making" more golf balls.

At this stage, equipment used for golf was now a hobbie of passion. Making golf balls was paramount to fly fishing of modern times. Each golfer would craft these personal beauties and proudly whip them out on the weekend to show the rest of the foursome. (hmmm....that does'nt sound good does it) Anyways, the point being that equipment used for golf in these days was a local village art. Soon after this our humble pioneers grew tired of making golf balls all the time, (and their wifes were fed up) so they tried packing dried tree sap for the core and wrapping them in various covers. Messy yes.....but I like to. Then they discovered something amazing. They noticed that golf balls that were scuffed up would fly further and handle better on the green. This led to them creating wee little craters all around the golf ball. What we now call "dimples". Bizarre huh!

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Now the other equipment for golf they needed to improve upon was their golf clubs. They had wooden shafts of course and leather grips, and the art of keeping their golf clubs dry was always a critical concern. Once again, each local community had craftsmen that could make fairly crude shafts and grips, but the club heads were awful. The industrial revolution fixed that in a big way. Equipment used for golf changed at this time faster then ever before in history. We think the internet has changed our lives, but nothing as powerful as the industrial revolution.

Soon the art of metal forging changed the equipment use for golf 100 fold. These new golf club heads were far superior, and so were the new wooden golf club shaft. The grips were still made with a leather wrapping design. As the decades past until the early nineteen hundreds golfers were quickly improving their game in drastic measure. Along with this, golf courses were now becoming manicured so well, the fairways and greens were bordering breathtaking. Very rough by todays standards, but the equipment used for building golf course was improving by leaps and bounds. The sport of golf soon began growing in every free society on the planet.

As golf equipment, golf courses and golfers, improved through the early nineteen hundreds so did the celebration of organized competition. Arguably the best golfer to gain massive exposure world wide, was the famous Bobby Jones. Though golf equipment was still somewhat crude compared with todays standards, Bobby Jones was pure magic in his time. He was said to be unbeatable for a period of three years. He did'nt have the endorsments and financial gain from golf equipment manufacturers like the golf pros now, but he had "the gift and the fame".

It did not take long before this would change forever. As decades went on golf equipment did improve with the onset of steel shaft golf clubs and engineer designed golf balls. Soon there was a coasting period in the improvement of equipment, the growth of the golf industry was still booming. Then along came golfers like Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer (I know....I know....I'm leaving a lot of great players, but this will do for my point) As golf equipment companies began pursuing ways to market their products with the general public, they paid golf pros to "endorse" their golf balls, golf shoes, golf bags, etc. This strategy, of course, paid off, and a new world in golf began. Soon amateur golfers rushed in droves to buy golf clubs that had Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus logos and signatures.

The massive amount of profit these golf equipment companies started to make pumped up their design and manufacturing budgets. By the time the 1970s came along, there was a new golf shaft coming out. The first graphite golf club shafts became all the rage, due to their amazing flex characteristics and their light weight. All sorts of scientific golf equipment also started creeping into the market by this time. By the early 1980s a new company was on the horizon, now know as Callaway golf. Their user friendly golf clubs made a huge impact on the market and soon their clubs became a mainstay in America. I will go into further detail regarding the history of Callaway golf in my next article.

Now, in the new century, golf is actually growing in popularity beyond what anyone could have imagined. Thanx to the icon status of Tiger Woods, a whole new generation has been exposed to golf like never before. Along with this, many major retailers have leaped in to the fray selling golf equipment. A perfect example is the Nike brand. Their growth in golf gear has hit the market like a bomb, leaving the classics like Ping, Wilson, and Titleist scrambling to maintain their ever shrinking market share. I don't believe for a minute these golf equipment companies are going to dry up and blow anytime soon. On the contrary, their future is bright as well. They have embraced the new world, online shopping paradigm, and will be around long after you and I have gone to that 19th hole in the sky.

Learn more about new golf technology including how to select a new Driver with the goal of hitting the ball farther. A new Driver can definitely give you the added distance that you need, especially on mishits. Learn what you need to select the longest golf ball on the market.

Thank you for visiting this fine golf site and I hope you are having a great season on the fairways, in your city, state, county, or country. It's always a pleasure writing these quick golf articles, especially regarding some of golf's history. I always enjoy sharing some info with the readers of Probable Golf Instruction and I highly recommend bookmarking their site.

As my dear grandfather use to say when he taught me the game........keep your eye on the ball!

Bob Usherwood is a successful author and publisher, who provides researched content for fine golf equipment websites......just like this one.

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