I remember receiving my first set of golf clubs when I was eight-years old.
They were a Christmas gift from Santa, and I was fascinated that he was able to build the ‘perfect’ set of golf clubs for me. My set consisted of a driver, 5-iron, 7-iron, pitching wedge and a putter.
I immediately began spending time perfecting how to use each club. I learned to hit my driver far, my 5-iron kind of far, my 7-iron not quite as far, my pitching wedge high, and my putter would make putts.
I had the game figured out by New Years.
Today, however, the game seems to be a bit more complicated.
We are both blessed and cursed with everything that is offered to help us learn how to play better golf these days. On the other hand, technology has advanced to the point where golfers can be fitted for equipment that is measured precisely to their tendencies — regardless of age, or ability.
But, because technology is so advanced, I find that golfers are constantly questioning whether they are using equipment that is the right fit for them. With drivers these days, a simple tweak of the wrench here or there can “supposedly” get you hitting the ball with more speed and accuracy.
Let’s not forget about range finders.
You know what these are, right? They are the little binoculars that measure precisely how far your golf ball is from the hole. Regardless of how many fairways off line you may have hit your last shot, you still know the exact yardage you have to the hole.
Oh, how the times have changed since I learned how to play golf.
When I was younger, we had yucca’s strategically placed around our golf course at the 150 yard mark. When the course got “fancier,” we began seeing a giant red dot on the cart path measuring 100 yards, and a giant blue dot measuring 200 yards.
This was all very helpful when you found yourself in your own fairway. However, on the occasion that you were a bit off line with your last shot, it became much more challenging to guess your distance to the hole.
I wasn’t much for Geometry growing up, but I certainly learned to appreciate it when I was configuring distance and angles from a couple of fairways over.
I don’t mean to come across as a guy who is not in favor of the technological advances so readily available to us in golf these days. However, I do believe that such advances have done just as much to complicate this game, as they have to simplify the game.
Heck, now you can purchase different sized tees depending if you choose to tee off with your driver, fairway wood or even an iron.
The next time you find yourself flipping through a golf magazine, do yourself a favor and turn to some of the back pages. This is where you will find many of the latest and greatest gadgets designed to simplify your golf game.
Some are probably more effective than others, but I will never find anything more simple and productive for my golf game than that first set of golf clubs left for me by the man in the red suit.