By Joe Passov
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Sure, your equipment is better than the stuff that was in your dad's golf bag but how much better? We put GOLF MAGAZINE Contributing Player Luke Donald on the case, turning him loose at Desert Forest Golf Club in Carefree, Arizona, armed with 45-year-old clubs: MacGregor's Eye-O-Matic 60 driver and Tourney Velocitized fairway woods, Wilson Staff Dyna-Powered irons and sand wedge, a Ben Hogan Equalizer pitching wedge, a Bulls Eye putter, and an original Ping 1-A putter. He used two types of Titleist balls his current model, the Pro V1x, and a new sleeve of Tour 90 balatas from a decade ago, the softest ball we could find that we were sure wouldn't implode. For comparison's sake, he also hit shots with his current clubs, including a 365cc titanium-headed driver with a graphite shaft.

Here is Donald's report:

Great Moments In Gear
1963 Golf Pride's Victory slip-on rubber grip catches on.
Wrapped leather loses its chokehold as rubber proves cheaper, easier to make and just as effective.
1967 Spalding debuts modern solid-core, two-piece ball.
The technology behind that pill, the Executive, is now at the center of virtually every golf ball.
1969 Jacobsen rolls out Greens King triplex riding mower.
Produces smoother, more consistent greens than hand mowers, in a fraction of the time.
1969 Ping K1 cast, cavity-back irons forge a new path.
New manufacturing method yields perimeter-weighted irons less expensive and more reliable than forged blades.
1972 Aldila ushers in the graphite-shaft era.
Aldila makes the exotic acceptable; company sales are $79,000 in 1972 and $8.6 million in 1973.
1979 Led by TaylorMade, woods turn to metal.
Gary Adams unveils the first modern metalwood; in the ensuing quarter-century, "wood woods" are relegated to collectibles.
1982 True Temper creates the gold standard in steel.
Consumers buy more Dynamic Gold steel shafts in the next 20-plus years than all other shafts combined.
1988 Cleveland's 588 series hits the scene.
Sixteen years later, the best-selling wedge is still going strong.
1991 Callaway introduces the Big Bertha.
The first thin-walled, oversized steel driver, named for a German cannon from World War I, creates an industry powerhouse.
1994 Softspikes plastic cleats tiptoe into the picture.
Wynstone Golf Club in Illinois becomes the first course to ban metal spikes; over the next decade, the rest of golf follows.
1995 Titanium drivers cast their spell.
Callaway's Great Big Bertha, TaylorMade's Titanium Burner and the oversized class of '95 pave the road to 460cc heads.
2001 Titleist's Pro V1 ends wound balls' reign.
Tiger Woods's switch to Nike's solid-core, multilayer, urethane-cover ball changes the benchmark on Tour, but Titleist's entrant soon dominates the category. -Rob Sauerhaft

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