Golf’s Greatest Game Changers

Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was no Internet, no cell phones, no iTunes, no Netflix and no Golf Channel.  How did we survive?!  🙂

It sometimes feels like we are travelling at warp speed through every aspect of our lives – at home, at work, at play and even on the golf course.   

photo6One day we are getting up from the couch to change the channel on the TV in order to watch Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player on Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf; and the next we’re using satellite imagery and global positioning systems to calculate yardages to greens, hazards and lay-ups, plan our next shot, enter scores, track stats and trash talk with golf buddies over social media…all from our smartphones.  It seems the only thing our golf GPS app doesn’t do is swing the club for us. 

Driven by game changing technology, globalization and the influence of those with inexplicable talents, every aspect of golf has evolved, including, clubs, balls, course design and even fashion.

fashion evolution in golf

  • Bobby Jones gave us The Masters and some of the best instructional videos ever made
  • Jack Nicklaus raised the Major’s Bar too high for most mere mortals to ever aspire
  • Arnold Palmer was/is golf’s greatest ambassador and arguably golf’s first sex symbol
  • Se-Ri Pak put Korea on the golf map where it’s become a domineering force in women’s golf
  • Tiger Woods took golf to a whole new level, not only with this talent as a golfer, but by his effect on the media, sponsors, viewership, TV ratings and purses. 

Yes, these game-changing champions have had a huge influence on its popularity and global expansion, but it’s technology that has probably had the greatest impact on the day-to-day lives of today’s weekend warrior.

Through innovation in engineering and physics we’ve seen shafts change from hickory to steel to graphite, while club heads evolved from persimmon to metal to titanium.  Golf balls progressed from feather-stuffed leather, to gutties, haskells, balata and suryln.  Today, they actually employ wind tunnels to determine how many dimples a golf ball should have.  

The digital revolution is also having a profound effect on golfers.  Instead of watching the sport on TV, we’re catching it live on our phones on the subway, while we simultaneously book our next tee time online, share our “expert opinion” on our favorite golf forums and download the newest updates to our favorite golf app with features that are going to shave points off our handicap and put us in contention at our next club championship.

Social Media and GolfMeanwhile, social media has gotten us up close (and maybe a little too personal), to the players and media personalities we love, or love to hate.

Twitter has become the go-to site for golf news and gossip including break ups, breakdowns, engagements, rules debates, formal apologies and tattle tailing on player misbehavior on and off the course.

Golf may have been around for centuries, but never has there been a more exciting time to play the greatest game on earth.  Everything you need to improve your golf game and have more fun is right in the palm of your hand.

So get off the couch, grab your smartphone, get out and make 2014 your best golf year ever!

Your friends at Striker