Technology has completely altered the way golfers get fit for a set of clubs. Launch monitors, adjustable weights to alter trajectory and shot shape, and precise CNC milled driver faces have taken a lot of the guesswork out of the equation.
These days, you can go from lost-in-the-woods to completely dialed-in in no time flat, which is why you can make a strong case we’re living in the Golden Age of golf equipment. Everything is good, for the most part. It’s all about finding the product that best fits your game (and swing).
Of course, the process wasn’t always this enjoyable. During a recent GOLF interview with Tiger Woods, he revealed having to go through upwards of 50 drivers just to find a suitable gamer for competition. Then technology came along and cut down on his testing time by eliminating many of the unknown variables.
“I hit each single one about three times or so, and then we sort them out that way,” Woods said of the old process. “Then we re-test them again. That takes two days and I’m so friggin’ tired. Now it’s like click, back in and hit again. ‘Let’s go this way, let’s go that way.’ And all the sudden I have a new driver in 20 minutes.”
Lofts and lie angles were a bit cumbersome as well. Nowadays, heads are digitally-lofted to one-tenth of a degree, and lie angles undergo an exacting process by a competent Tour rep. However, back when Woods was a junior golfer, getting the loft and lie just right was a fairly crude process that required some creativity and a keen eye.
“If you didn’t like it, you’d take it over your knee and bend it, and adjust it,” Woods said during a TaylorMade shoot. “You’d keep bending it to how you liked it. And then you’d grab more heads and hit it like that and then say, ‘OK, I need to bend this one just like that. That was your loft and lie.”
— TaylorMade Golf (@TaylorMadeGolf) May 2, 2019
Woods revealed loft and lie machines were part of his golfing life by the time he was around 10 years old, but it’s still wild to think that some of the titans of the sport — Ben Hogan comes to mind given his demanding standards — were using an inexact process to build a set before manufacturing tolerances were even a thing.
If anything, listening to Woods reminisce on the loft and lie bending process should make you grateful for today’s technology and how quickly wholesale changes can be accomplished with the click of a wrench.
To receive GOLF’s all-new newsletters, subscribe for free here.