"The net effect of the 460cc driver limit on golf has been devastating, all around the world"

September 21, 2012
Because many are you are looking for some light golf reading this Friday afternoon.



There have been a lot of people commenting on the astuteness of this article by Darius Oliver on the abomination that is the 460cc driver and the damage it has done to golf. Yes, damage.
In a time when most golf pundits are calling for a ban to the belly putter, Oliver claims the 460cc driver has done more damage to the game.

“During the first three rounds at Firestone earlier this month, for example, there were 24 drives recorded over 400 yards, and more than 300 that flew in excess of 350y. No matter your debating prowess, it’s virtually impossible to mount a serious argument that golfers ought be able to hit their tee shots that far.”

… 

“The truth is there are no reasonable arguments for golfers being able to hit tee shots 400 yards, nor that our royal and ancient game should be played with such enormous driving instruments. The view that older or weaker players wouldn’t enjoy the game as much with smaller driver heads is a nonsense. Golf has always been played and enjoyed by older people, and in fact the counter argument would be that longer courses are a far greater turn off for the aging golfer than the loss of a few yards off the tee.”

It is a great article and I’d be interested in what you all have to say about it.
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Comments (5)

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  1. Have to agree that the distance off the tee is becoming a significant problem, but surely the ball is a big part of that but back to the driver.

    The truly great drivers of a golf ball are hard to identify these days with clubs giving so much margin for error. Everyone looks like a good driver. You no longer need to be able to consistently middle the ball to get 90% of your available distance.

    I like and agree with what John Huggan said:

    “Back in the not-so-distant days when Greg Norman was the best player in the world, the Australian largely built his pre-eminence on his ability with the longest club. Norman was a magnificent driver using a persimmon-headed club and a balata ball, his superior technique giving him – quite rightly – a significant advantage over his competition.

    Were Norman competing seriously today, that edge would be all but gone. Purely through the advent of technology, players can now “buy” a better game, to the point where practically everyone on tour is at least good off the tee. The art of driving has been almost completely lost.”

  2. Anonymous says:

    It may have had a major impact at the elite level, but seriously, it has hardly made a dent in the scoring average of the average player – in fact, in the last 40 years, nothing has. They still miss fairways, greens and can’t pitch, chip or putt.
    In all, it has been nothing more than a massive sales campaign to get golfers to part with copious amounts of their hard-earned cash for very little reward!!!!! Money better spent on tuition I believe.

  3. I read with interest John Huggan’s & Darius Oliver’s articles. Knowing both personally & actually chewing the fat with Darius on this very topic not long ago. I will respectufully give my point of view. Firstly, is anyone going to suggest that our golfing elite of 2012 are not hitting the “Pin Point” Centre of the club face, exactly as those elite golfers of 2 decades ago did. (You would be kidding yourself if you did) They could all pull out a Persimmon driver & find the sweet spot immediately!!! The elite golfer does “not” gain much if any advantage by using a 460cc head..I cannot agree with the statement “Golfers Can Now Buy a Better Game” (Don’t believe me.. go to the stats sheets, there you will find good driving % & bad driving %)
    It is not the size of the Driver Head that is producing the “Extra Length” IT IS THE LENGTH OF THE SHAFT!!! The Steel Shafted Persimmon Headed Driver used up until the 1990’s measured 43 inches in length.. The modern driver measures 45 to 46 inches..(thanks to the combination of a head of lightweight titanium & a graphite shaft.) It is this extra shaft length which gives “everybody” extra club head speed & so “extra” length. I rate the invention of 460 cc head driver as “The Greatest Developement” in Golf.. Why? Because IT HELPS “The Average Golfer” the 10 handicap plus golfer who makes up over 80 percent of all golfers playing, and, he surely is the person we need to look after in golf.. The Elite Professional Golfer uses the latest equipment not because he needs it but because “He / She is endorsed by the Golf Club Manufacturing Companies. Of course the Golf Club Companies want the Pro’s Playing their gear..”They Want to Sell Clubs” The next point is this.. Golf in Australia is Wallowing down the bottom of the Ladder it once rode atop of.. Why.. Nobody has the time to Play anymore.. Courses have been made long & hard, rounds invariably take 4 1/2 to 5 hours to play.. And everyone carries the Millstone of an antiquated Rules Book around their necks..
    Why not give Mr Average a more useable club to use, & whilst you are at it.. Give him an Easier Course to Play on, Fewer Rules to Bog him down and perhaps somewhere in the future Golf “may” become popular again.. Enjoy Your Golf.. Ross Baker Golf Professional, Club Maker..Golf Historian.. Barnbougle Lost Farm Golf Links Tas..

  4. Troy Vayanos says:

    I think they are all valid points here. Hitting 400 yard drives is just too far for a golfer at any level in my opinion. The size of the heads has definitely been a problem as have the length of shafts.

    What we can’t forget is the technology in the golf balls as well. This is helping golfers of all abilities hit shots further than before.

    Golf has and always should be about the best players winning because of being accurate off the tee and hitting the most greens and sinking the most putts. It should never be about being the longest!

  5. Carl. says:

    I have no complaints. I love playing golf. I love it even more when I have a good day. I enjoy the company. I enjoy the walk. Sometimes people should think of positives, not negatives. They might enjoy life more.